Headhunters have had a bad reputation over the years.
And frankly, I get why.
As hiring specialists, many demonized them as individuals without scruples, taking star talent from one team and setting them up with success on another team.
And what's worse, I've seen it happen.
Yet, if more hiring managers recruited like headhunters, they’d be able to save their employers money and cut down on the time it takes to fill a position.
Good vs Evil...
The evil headhunter is a tenacious individual that’s given an assignment, which is usually an executive search and begins searching without any real profile from their clients of the exact candidate they want to join their team.
Recruiting like a good headhunter means fine-tuning your search in detail by asking the hiring managers to define the right person to fulfill that available position. If you’re able to do this with the job description and requirements, personality, cultural fit, you’ll find yourself finding better talent initially, so you can make offers more quickly.
How can headhunting techniques save the company money?
In most cases, a headhunter will receive an order, and not much will be written down on the type of person they’re searching for, or why they’re even looking for that individual.
TRICK: You can spot the great recruiters by the quality of questions they ask the employer. If they aren't nosey about who they need to be finding, you're probably going to be tricked.
TRICK: If your recruiter admits to being able to scan a resume in 15 seconds, make sure they know what they are scanning for and can back up what red flags/green lights they identified.
Excellent recruiters can make a decision during the sorting process to candidates on to the next phase quickly. Also, headhunters have this uncanny ability to make that snap decision, which is sometimes a trainable attribute.
What makes a headhunter the best in the talent acquisition industry?
A true headhunter has a stream lined process, which is where most human resources departments struggle.
They excel because they ask questions along the way.
Recruiting isn't a 9-5. It's a lifestyle. Good recruiters will network with others in the industry to find the right fit. They’re willing to call 100 candidates in a day to make those connections, and through authentic relationships, eventually invite the best candidates possible to sit down with their clients.
Love 'em or hate 'em, it's a profession that isn't going anywhere.
They are needed. But if you are looking at hiring an agency to outsource recruiting, know what to look for.
1) Organized process
2) Sense of urgency
3) Ability to uncover questions about the position and type of candidate needed
5) Someone well-networked
And of course, if you don't hire one, that's fine too. But it will help you if you can be more like one.