Tag Archives: headhunters

Top Five Questions to Ask Your Headhunter

We’re writing this from the perspective of someone who’s looking to hire a headhunter to help them find some sort of talent for their team. If you’re thinking about hiring a head hunter, it’s likely that you either don’t have the time or resources to conduct searches and sourcing on your own, or you have tried sourcing and searching on your own for candidates and have not come up with anything solid. As an employer or a team manager you should be extremely specific and picky about who you add to your team. It’s so important to find the right match both from the hard and soft skills perspective. You never want to settle on hiring someone that’s not going to be the right person for your team. People are everything at a company and a company can only succeed when it has the right people in the right seats in its company. This is regardless of if you have the best service or best product in the world. It’s not going to happen and your company is not going to do well if you don’t have the right people.

THE VALUE OF HEADHUNTERS

Headhunters can be extremely valuable because they do the massive amount of leg work required to find qualified candidates for your company and for your role. A lot of people think that they can just post a job on a job board or on LinkedIn and the right candidates are going to show up. The truth is this is actually very rare. Yes, sometimes inbound submissions do come that can be a fit. This is mostly when you’re a smaller company with less hiring needs, but as you continue to grow and your hiring needs become more specialized and more frequent, incoming submissions are not going to cut the mustard. And so you have to find a way to have an outbound proactive headhunting and recruiting strategy. You’re going to either need to hire recruiters that are going to work full time internally on your team and your human resources department or you’re going to need to outsource to a headhunter.

FINDING THE RIGHT HEADHUNTER FOR YOUR TEAM

An internal recruiter is very different than an external headhunter, so if you’re looking to hire a headhunter you want to really make sure you ask the right kinds of questions to make sure you hire the right person and the right agency for your team. There are a lot of different recruiting companies out there – big, medium, and small – and recruiting companies tend to specialize in different fields. Technology tends to be a very common type of recruiting firm so you’ll be dealing with positions in the technology space like engineering, software development, programming, and so on. Accounting and finances is another very common type of recruiting specialty to be dealing with positions in the financial and accounting space like CPAs, controllers, CFOs, and things of that nature.

Another common area is marketing and sales recruiters who cover a wide gamut of marketing and sales type positions with a variety of different types of companies which also include creative type positions. There are other types of recruiting firms as well that specialize in more or less areas and it’s one of the first places to start when you’re interviewing a recruiter.

QUESTION #1 – INDUSTRIES

You want to find out and ask your recruiter what industries they recruit in. And by industries I mean the types of companies that they work with. Industry can mean a lot of different things and sometimes people think it’s synonymous with the word vertical. Sometimes it’s not, it’s one of those things that isn’t really well defined in the marketplace in a lot of ways. A lot of people use it in different ways. We recommend asking the recruiter to tell you about the different kinds of companies that they work with. Learning about the kinds of companies they work with will give you an idea whether you fit into their ideal client mold.

QUESTION #2 – ROLES

A solid second question is to ask them about the kinds of positions they fill. Have them tell you some of the more recent positions they have filled at the companies they just told you about. Again, you want to be listening for if the positions they’ve filled are similar to your needs. Don’t worry about getting too caught up in the specifics of this as many positions can be very similar from company to company. You want to be listening for if they’re similar enough to your needs.

QUESTION #3 – FEE STRUCTURE

Another important question is to find out about their fee structure. Are they a retained firm? Are they a contingency firm? Do they have different fee options? Are they a flat fee agency? Are they crowd sourcing? You want to find out what their fee model is and how they charge. Included in this is you’re going to want to find out about their terms and what their guarantee on candidates is as well.

The industry standard for fees is 20%. And that can go much higher depending on the firm you work with. Some retained search firms have fees as high as 40% on their retained searches. You really do get what you pay for in this world and that goes with recruiting sometimes more than ever. Recruiting is an unregulated industry and anybody can put “recruiter” on their Linkedin profile and start recruiting.

QUESTION #4 – PROCESSES

Another important question to ask the recruiter is about their process. What is their sourcing process? What is their interview process? What is the process for when they introduce candidates to you? What happens after they introduce candidates to you? You want to learn what their process is soup to nuts and how hands on they are.

A good full service recruiter is going to be hands on throughout the entire process and particularly is going to help you with offer negotiation and doing counter offer damage control. Many candidates today are getting counter offers and a good recruiter can go a long way to making sure that your offer that gets extended doesn’t get rejected because the candidate gets a counter offer or at least can minimize this. You want to make sure that you have a recruiter that is hands on and experienced throughout the entire recruiting life cycle, not just sourcing or sending you resumes. A resume mill is not as useful as a full cycle recruiter who’s going to be hands on and be your guide throughout the entire process.

QUESTION #5 – WHAT SETS THEM APART?

The last question I would ask a recruiter in this list is to have them tell you what makes them unique from other recruiting firms out there. There are a lot of recruiters out on the market and you want to find out how this recruiter says they differentiate themselves. What they say here will give you a lot of insight into their understanding of the market, their understanding into your type of company and industry and their expertise an a recruiter. It’s a critical question that can tell you a lot about this person and this company and how they will work with you.

LESS IS MORE

Some companies think they can hire multiple headhunters and that will help them find their position better and faster. This is actually a mistake. You don’t want multiple recruiters out there recruiting on your roll. They will be contacting many of the same people and in turn those people will not feel valued by you. At the end of the day you’re not going to get really good quality work out of either of them because there will be too much risk for them to really put the work into your position that is required. It makes sense to have one maybe two maximum recruiters working on a position that you have.

CONCLUSION

These five questions are really great starting points when it comes to interviewing and hiring a headhunter. Since you’ll be working with us recruiters it’s important that you hire the right ones! Good luck!

Want to consider us as your recruiter? We would love to work with you! Contact us for an exploratory call!

What Is An Executive Search Firm?

This is a question that commonly comes up. People ask, what is an executive search firm, or even what is an executive recruiter, or what is a recruiting agency? Or sometimes different versions of this question. The bottom line is people are sometimes, and often times, not familiar with what an executive search firm does, or an executive recruiting firm does. So, the purpose of this blog is to give a little bit of insight into what an executive search firm is, how executive search firms work, and why they are valuable.

Here at Aldebaran Recruiting, we really try to set ourselves apart from other executive search firms out there in terms of providing a high level of customer service, and quality versus quantity. Most executive search firms, though, serve a similar purpose. The easiest analogy of an executive search firm is to think of it as a consulting firm. While there are many different types of consulting firms out there, you can find consulting firms for marketing, you can find consulting firms to help your business with sales, you can find consulting firms to help your business with accounting or finance, or even legal matters.

HUMAN RESOURCES AND CONSULTANTS

An executive search firm is a consulting firm that basically helps in the human resources department specifically with recruiting. There are a lot of other types of human resource consultants out there as well. Many executive search firms like here at Aldebaran Recruiting offer other human resource workshops and resources, as well. But from an executive search perspective, this is referring to recruiting or head hunting. And this recruiting or head hunting is typically done at the executive level, and we would define the executive level here at Aldebaran as director level and above. Many companies may define the executive level in different ways, maybe VP and above, or maybe someone who’s considered an executive in a different fashion. This definition isn’t as important.

Most executive recruiting firms will recruit positions outside of the executive suite, as well. So, this can include managers, and even entry level positions. Here at Aldebaran Recruiting, we do work a lot of mid-level, manager level and director level positions for clients as this type of talent tends to be very sought after in the market, and difficult to recruit.

WHY HIRE AN EXECUTIVE SEARCH FIRM?

You could be in many different positions that would require you to hire an executive search firm, or where it may benefit you greatly. For one, you might own a small or medium size business, and you don’t have a true human resources department. If you don’t have a true human resources department, and no internal recruiting function, you may reach a tipping point. Your own networks and posting on job boards may no longer be sufficient for you to be able to attract the right kind of talent for open positions to grow your company. If this is the case, you’re left with two options. One, either hire someone internally to join your team who can recruit for you as a full-time recruiter, or hire an executive recruiting firm to outsource your recruiting needs to.

This is something that we’ve written about in the past in terms hiring a recruiter, or how to hire a recruiter, and you should check out some of those other blogs as well.

Another reason might be that you have an internal human resources department, or an internal recruiting team, and they might be overloaded. So, they may not be able to handle all of the open requisitions that you have, and at this point, you may need to pick some of your difficult positions, and outsource these to an executive search firm. You would then be using the executive search firm as a supplement to your internal department.

Another scenario where companies hire executive search firms is if they have a confidential role, or a position that they need to keep hush hush that needs to get filled. Sometimes it’s because there’s work on a new client, or a new part of the business that wants to be kept confidential. Sometimes there’s somebody that you need to replace in your organization, and you need to find their replacement before you let them go, and this needs to be kept confidential for obvious reasons. Executive search firms tend to be very good at keeping searches confidential, and keeping things under the radar so that you don’t worry about any unnecessary exposure.

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

These are the most common reasons for needing to hire an executive search firm. When it comes to hiring an executive search firm, there are a lot of things that you need to keep in mind. Again, we recommend looking at some of our other blog posts that have talked about the things to look out for when hiring your recruiter, and how to hire a recruiter. In general, it always is good to find a recruiting firm that is smart. You want to interview different recruiting firms, and find someone that you feel is going to truly be able to understand your company and your business.

INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE

Someone who can understand your company and understand your business is much more important than someone that has “industry experience.” Industry experience is only as good as someone who’s able to truly understand your business. So, don’t get too caught up on if someone has worked the particular type of position or industry. While this is important, and this is something that you should be looking into, what you want to be paying more attention to is, is this recruiter smart, and are they going to actually focus in on what I need for my team? This is the most critical thing.

CONCLUSION

In summary, an executive search firm is a consulting company that is going to help you and your organization from the recruiting or head hunting perspective. Typically, this recruiting or head hunting is going to be happening at the director level or above, but many times it’s happening at the manager level, and even entry level type positions. There are many different types of executive search firms out there, and we’ve talked about some of these in some previous blogs.

If you’re thinking of hiring an executive search firm, you want to be sure to educate yourself on the different types of companies, the different types of models, and be sure you have some good questions to interview some recruiters so that you hire the right person. We always recommend hiring only one executive search firm, maybe two maximum. Some companies will use several recruiting firms for their needs, and this is typically not a good idea. Good luck out there, and we hope you hire the best talent in the market.

Here are some more great tips to consider when hiring a recruiter: https://bit.ly/2REt7eY

Looking to Hire Superstar Talent? We would love to work with you! Contact us for an exploratory call!

The Five Best Practices for Recruiting

We’re going to cover here the top five things that we say are critical for a recruiters or headhunters to be highly successful in acquiring and retaining the top talent in the market. The skills that we’re going to talk about will apply to anyone who’s recruiting or headhunting for any type of position. In other words, these things are universal. They will apply to everybody in all cases. If you’re able to apply all five of these points, you’re going to give yourself a major edge when it comes to being an effective recruiter. If you’re able to implement only one of them, you may give yourself a slight edge, but when they’re all combined together there is an extremely potent strategy that comes into play.

Number five is organization.

It’s critical as a recruiter that you are organized to be productive and successful. In other words, you need to have a quality candidate tracking system, systems for tracking interviews, data, clients, communication, etc. You need to look at all the different aspects of the recruiting process and be sure that you have an organizational system in place to track and keep place of these things. One of the most important things to be organized around, which is a thing that many recruiters get wrong, is to be organized around your results. You want to track all of your activity and outcomes, so that you have a clear scoreboard and a clear picture of your performance. Only when you have a clear picture of the facts of your performance are you able to make tweaks in order to increase your performance.

Number four is tenacity.

A good recruiter is someone who’s not easily frustrated, and is someone who never gives up and does what they have to do to get the job done. Again this is applicable for any recruiter, whether it’s somebody on the client side or somebody at an agency. If you’re easily frustrated or easily thwarted or think things are hard, this is going to be very detrimental for a recruiter. A successful recruiter has tenacity in the sense that they never give up, they’re not easily frustrated, and they are constantly looking and thinking in creative ways to produce an outcome. You’ve gotta be a creative thinker who can think outside the box and is able to come up with creative ways to solve problems. All while having fun! If you’re not having fun and you’re easily frustrated or thwarted, recruiting may not be the right field for you.

Number three is integrity.

It’s critical that you build a foundation of integrity both for your clients and your candidates whether you’re on the client side or the agency side of your employer’s brand. There is way too much of what’s known as the resume black hole in the market. The resume black hole is the black hole that resumes go into when people apply for positions and then never hear anything back. Part of your organizational structure should include that all candidates who apply get feedback, and get feedback at every step throughout the process. Nobody should ever be left hanging. This also includes how you communicate with your clients if you’re on the agency side. You need to have structures in place to be sure that you’re communicating with your clients and keeping them up to date on what’s happening with their searches. Even if you aren’t producing the result you want to produce, that is the update that needs to be getting to your clients. In order to be a successful recruiter, you need to build a track record of reliability. If you’re known as someone who is reliable and who can be counted on, this is going to go a long way in you being successful as a recruiter.

Number two is to be a good asker of questions.

In other words, you have to be somebody who knows how to ask the right questions and who knows what questions to ask and when, and isn’t afraid to ask a lot of questions. A good recruiter will ask a lot of questions up front about the open position. A good recruiter knows that the more they know and understand the position, the higher the likelihood is that they will find someone who is a match for it quickly. Many people are afraid to ask questions because they think that they’re supposed to know everything and they’re afraid that people will think that they’re unqualified or don’t know something because they’re asking questions. The opposite is true! You need to be able to ask questions and ask a lot of questions, so that you have a clear understanding of what’s going on. When you’re able to ask the right questions, this will give you a huge edge when it comes to being effective. So learn to love to ask questions, learn the right questions to ask, and make sure you ask them no matter what.

The number one trait is the ability to listen effectively.

A good recruiter is able to listen effectively in all situations. Whether that is when you’re intaking a new position, interviewing candidates or getting candidate feedback. These are all the things that you need to be able to be a good listener. Listening is a huge trait as it takes actually being able to be present with the people that you’re speaking with and asking questions to. A solid recruiter is able to ask the right questions but then also listens in the right way. So you want to practice in all your conversations with people listening intently to what people are actually saying. The problem is we tend to listen to things, not what people are saying, but to the little voice in our head. This tends to be our big downfall! You’ve gotta really train yourself to listen to what other people are saying and fully understanding their answers to your questions. The better you’re able to listen and the more keenly you’re able to listen, the more you will be able to get the correct information from clients, candidates, etc., and to be able to make the right matches.

In Conclusion:

These are the five traits that we say make a rockstar recruiter! You can also call these Five Best Practices. Individually each one is powerful, but when put together you get a potent combination that will make you a rockstar recruiter. Most recruiters out there are lacking in more than one of these and that is why most recruiters end up being mediocre. Recruiting truly is an art, and if you’re able to combine these skills and develop yourself in these areas, you’ll end up being a rockstar who will be an undeniable asset to any organization when it comes to hiring.

Want to find out more about becoming the best recruiter? Go here! https://bit.ly/2KAx3Xc

Looking to Hire Superstar Talent? We would love to work with you!


How To Find and Hire the Right Headhunter

Finding a headhunter, typically, is going to involve a lot of the upfront research and getting referrals from people that you know, etc., There are some other, more in depth, pieces that we’ll cover in this blog.

HEADHUNTERS VS. RECRUITERS

Headhunters can be an extremely critical aspect of your hiring process. A headhunter is different than a recruiter, although headhunters are also recruiters. This is someone who is going to go out and proactively search for candidates on your behalf. They are specialists at understanding their client’s needs and going out and networking to find specific talent for specific roles. A headhunter is a specialist in the sense that they, and only they, are going to know exactly what it takes to do the proactive work to find you specific talent for a specific role.

If you have a position that you can post on job boards and find good candidates for, then you do not need a headhunter for that position. Headhunters are more like a secret weapon that you are going to want to yield for specific roles. This is why headhunters are typically used at the executive level, like Director, VP, and C suite.

But headhunters can oftentimes be used at the entry and mid-level as well. In fact, many of our clients use us at the mid-level, as mid-level professionals are becoming harder and harder to recruit in today’s market. There is actually more of an abundance of senior people than there are of very solid mid-level people. Most organizations are weak when it comes to having strong mid-level people. Especially when it comes to hiring millennials.

CLARIFYING YOUR NEEDS

When you’re looking to hire a headhunter, the thing that is most important for you to get clear about first is what your specific need is. You’re going to want to hire a headhunter that is good and specialized in your specific need. But don’t go to crazy here! Many companies think they need to find a headhunter who does exactly what they do. The truth is, most headhunters specialize in an industry or a niche, not in a particular position.

And headhunting is a skill that can be applied to different industries. A good headhunter can use his network and skills of recruiting to head hunt any type of position. This is what makes a good headhunter a good headhunter. You want someone who knows what it takes to recruit and hunt top talent for any position.

You should actually be more focused in on if the recruiter understands what they’re doing. Do they know how to hunt, have a network, seem smart enough to understand your company, your position and your role? These smarts and these know-how are going to be way more important than someone who happens to work in your industry. Just because they work in your industry, doesn’t mean they’re a good headhunter. Now, if you can find a good headhunter who also specializes in your industry, then you’ve struck gold. This is someone that you want to bring onto your team as an asset.

INTERVIEWING POTENTIAL HEADHUNTERS

When it comes to hiring a headhunter, it’s important to know how to interview them, very similar to interviewing candidates. Many companies make mistakes when interviewing a headhunter because they ask simple yes or no questions that are too easy to answer, and therefore they don’t fully screen and vet properly.

You can’t ask a headhunter if they have experience working in marketing? It’s too easy for that headhunter to say yes. Instead, ask the headhunter to give you examples of some of the positions they’ve recently worked and had success with and some of the types of companies they’ve had success with. You’ll also want to find out about what types of markets they’ve had success working in.

Asking more open-ended questions and having the recruiter fill-in-the-blanks is going to give you a lot better insight into what kind of work they do. Ask them to explain to you some of the specifics or some of the niche details of some of the positions they have worked recently.

Another question you can ask a headhunter is about their process. A good headhunter is never going to give you their whole process, but will give you some insight into what they do. Ask the headhunter what they do and what about their process is unique. These kinds of questions are going to flesh out for you about this headhunter’s style.

HONING IN ON YOUR INDUSTRY

You can also ask them questions about your industry. Asking questions about your industry or the specific position you’re working will have answer in a way that will tell you if they actually have the technical know-how of the position that you’re looking to fill.

Some clients like to have recruiters give them a reference. In other words, they want to talk to one of the recruiter’s other clients to get a reference or insight into working with them. Just like we don’t recommend references with candidates, we also don’t recommend references when it comes to hiring a recruiter or a headhunter.

The reason being is that everybody has at least one or two good references. Whether they’re good or bad at recruiting, their reference is never going to be bad. Talking to references is not the best use of your time when it comes to working with somebody. If you’re able to interview someone and get a good feeling for them, then you should be able to run with that.

RETAINED VS. CONTINGENCY

The last piece here comes down to if you’re gonna hire the recruiter as a contingency headhunter or as a retained headhunter. This is a critical topic and it depends on how urgent your need is and how much challenge you’re having finding good people. If you have an urgent need and you’re challenged finding good people, it’s most likely going to make sense to go with the retainer model. A retainer model is more risky, but almost guarantees results if you’re working with the right headhunter.

Headhunters working from a contingency perspective can only give so much priority to their contingency positions. Retained positions always gain priority, and the recruiter is going take it to the very end until the position gets filled. A lot of companies make a big mistake hiring headhunters on a contingency basis when what they really need is a retained headhunter. Don’t let the fear of spending a little bit of money upfront, and taking some risk, stop you from taking the course that’s going to produce the best and fastest results.

CONCLUSION

The key is that you have interviewed your recruiter or headhunter correctly, so that you take out a lot of the risk when it comes to paying that retainer. Retainers are wildly more effective than contingency searches. For example, here at Aldebaran, our fill rate on retained searches is 95% with over 17 years in business, whereas our contingency fill rate is close to 70%, this is a very large difference.

We can guarantee prioritization of our VIP retained searches indefinitely. With contingency, we can only guarantee so much, and the more challenging your position is, the less we can guarantee it because it’s too risky.

This should give you some tips when it comes to hiring a headhunter. Headhunters are critical aspects to an organization when it comes to hiring specific talent. So you want to know when you need one and when you don’t need one. When you do need a headhunter, make sure you’re smart about it.

How To Hire A Headhunter

It is certainly important to follow a process when hiring a headhunter because there aren’t as many good headhunters as there are mediocre ones.

The recruiting industry is littered with a massive variety of different types of recruiters and different types of people.

Recruiting is an unregulated industry which means you don’t have to have a license or any sort of certification to call yourself a recruiter.

Therefore anybody can put that they’re a recruiter on their LinkedIn profile without having any experience or qualifications.

There are a lot of inexperienced, unethical, ineffective, etc. types of headhunters and recruiters out there.

It’s critical that you are smart about how you hire a headhunter or a recruiter.

LESS IS MORE

It’s also really important that you don’t make the mistake that some companies make by thinking more is better.

It is never a good idea to hire three, four or even five different headhunting companies to work on your open positions.

You’ll end up managing too many relationships which takes up too much time and the market can get oversaturated with your position.

Candidates will have three or four people reaching out to them about the same role and this will make your company look desperate in the market.

This is not a good initial impression to make with potential candidates.

At most you want to be working with two headhunting firms at a time and ideally really only one.

The goal should be to find one good recruiting firm that can help you with certain roles.

HIRING MORE THAN ONE RECRUITER

You may need to work with multiple recruiting firms depending on their specialties and which roles you’re trying to fill.

For example, you might need one headhunting firm to focus on sales and marketing and another to focus on technology roles like developers and software engineers.

Splitting it up this way can be very effective as different recruiting companies will be working different roles. 

This will also prevent companies from stepping over each other and you will have less relationships to manage.

SEEKING REFERRALS FOR A HEADHUNTER

How you go through the process of hiring a headhunter is important because the goal is to only have one or two at your disposal.

You want to start your search in the usual places such as Google and Yelp, although keep in mind Yelp tends to be more localized.

You may want to think about some business colleagues that you could check in with about a referral and get some insight from them.

It’s likely that some of your colleagues, some of your competitors, or some of your other partners have worked with recruiters in the past.

A referral is always going to be great because you already know that this person has some sort of track record.

You might also want to think about if you’ve ever been recruited before.

The company you’re at may have also used previous recruiters and that could be a good place to start as well.

At the end of the day, we recommend doing some online research on companies pages, websites, social media and LinkedIn.

INTERVIEWING POTENTIAL RECRUITERS

You can then narrow it down to a handful or five or less companies that you want to interview.

This gives you a chance to see who’s going to be best to work on the particular role or roles that you need.

It’s very critical that you interview the headhunters to find out who’s going to be the best for your company.

You want to find out what their industry specialty is, what types of professionals, and what types verticals and companies they work with.

You certainly want to hire a recruiter that has experience working with your type of company.

FOCUS ON INDUSTRY AND VERTICAL 

Focus on industry is more important than focus on a particular type of role.

Sometimes hiring managers and HR people will get too bogged down on a certain title or type of position.

Types of positions are extremely narrow and a good headhunter’s reach is going to go beyond just certain types of positions.

A good recruiter will focus on a specific industry or vertical and will be able to work most positions within that industry or vertical.

For example, we focus working with a lot of advertising, marketing, and PR agencies and we can fill 99% of roles within those industries.

This is because we are so focused on that vertical, that we understand those types of companies and have deep networks there.

CHECKING OFF THE BOXES

Ask about their process, how in-depth they are, and if they’re focus is more on quality or quantity.

You want to be sure you’re working with a recruiter who is more quality focused.

Ask them on average how many resumes do they send to a client to get a job filled.

This will give you some insight into the kind of quality they are sending.

Ask them how they are going to figure out how to hire for your culture.

Hiring for culture is critical and this is something that you want to be really interested in.

How is this potential recruiter or headhunter going to be able to represent your company accurately?

Once you’ve interviewed a handful of headhunters, take a look and see what boxes they check off and who will be the best fit.

It’s important that you have an understanding of how they work and how they’re going to work on your behalf.

You have to be sure you can trust this person to represent you, your team and your company.

Does this potential headhunter have a strong grasp of the position you’re hiring them to fill?

Do they understand my company and my industry?

You can see how interviewing headhunters is very important as it is a major time investment.

RETAINED VS. CONTINGENCY RECRUITING

You’ll also need to decide if you’re going to go the retained recruiting or contingency recruiting route.

Contingency recruiting tends to be the most common where you will not pay a fee unless the recruiter finds you someone that you hire.

Retained recruiting is where you pay an upfront engagement fee.

Like anything, you get what you pay for and retained recruiting is wildly more effective than contingency recruiting.

Many people complain that their contingency recruiter didn’t produce the results they wanted. 

What they don’t understand is that contingency recruiters can only put in so much work since there has been no fees paid up front.

Contingency recruiters are shouldering all the risk, so your role is likely not top priority.

This is why here at Aldebaran our retained fill rate is above 95% and our contingency fill rate is around 70%.

That is a 30% gap in effectiveness on retained verse contingency – a huge gap!

So again, you really do get what you pay for!

Although it can be risky to pay a retainer up front, it’s going to get you way better results.

If you think you can trust a recruiting firm and they seem like the right fit, you should consider paying an engagement fee.

Especially if you’re serious about getting your position filled.

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER

Don’t let your fear of a recruiter not getting the job done get in the way of getting really positive results.

Something else to keep in mind is hiring your headhunter based on location.

Some companies think they need to have their recruiter be local to whatever city they’re in, but this is not the case.

Hiring your recruiter based on location can actually limit you greatly to the types of great headhunters that are out there.

For example, we work in every major market around the country.

Although we’re based in San Diego, our largest candidate and client pools are in New York and San Francisco.

So you can see that location doesn’t limit us or you as a hiring manager at all.

This may be the case with many headhunters so you certainly want to be open to recruiters that are in other markets and not just your local market.

Again, the focus should be on industry, vertical and candidate expertise.

These things are much more important then location.

CONCLUSION

At the end of the day there are some very important criteria that you want to take into consideration when it comes to hiring a headhunter.

If you find a good one be sure to hang onto them.

By the way, we are one of those so feel free to give us a call!


Want more guidance on hiring the right recruiter or headhunter? Go here: https://bit.ly/2CdWv5m


Have questions or want to find out about working with us? Let’s chat! https://aldebaranrecruiting.com/looking-for-talent/

What Is Headhunting?

Headhunting is really an aspect of recruiting.

You could say that all headhunters are recruiters, but not all recruiters are headhunters.

In fact, most recruiters aren’t headhunters at all.

And even most recruiters who consider themselves headhunters, aren’t truly headhunters.

A true headhunter possesses a specific skill set which allows them to effectively and aggressively tap into the passive talent market.

They are able to track and attain specific talents that would never have found out about a role or position otherwise.

HEADHUNTING VS. RECRUITING

Headhunters are really more like actual hunters, where recruiters are really more like farmers.

A normal recruiter is typically going to rely on a high volume of inbound submissions.

These passive submissions usually come from other job boards, a company web portal or something of that nature.

A recruiter is mostly working with active talent that is out in the market.

These people are applying for jobs, interviewing with multiple companies and submitting to a wide variety of companies.

Another thing a recruiter tends to deal with is having to screen hundreds and hundreds of irrelevant resumes.

Job boards are making it increasingly easier for people to apply to all kinds of positions without seeing if they’re a good fit.

On one side of the recruiting spectrum is a fully passive recruiter who is only dealing with inbound submissions.

On the other end of the spectrum you have a headhunter who doesn’t rely on inbound submissions at all.

A headhunter will almost never even talk to someone who is an inbound submission.

A HEADHUNTER’S NETWORK

Headhunters are 100% proactive in what they do, which is why it’s so important to have a well established network.

In headhunting, a well established network is defined by a large candidate pool.

A large candidate pool is no good unless you know how to interact in a way that’s going to get you the results you need.

A good headhunter knows how to continuously be expanding their network.

They will know how to massage their network in different ways to be able to constantly be drumming up new talent.

This is why headhunters tend to have more of a hunter and sales mentality than a recruiter on the other side of the spectrum.

WORKING WITH A HEADHUNTER

Headhunters are very good at learning exactly what their clients need as far as quality over quantity.

They will ask a lot of questions about what specifics are needed for a particular role, both hard skills and soft skills.

The more questions a headhunter asks, the more they’re going to be able to hone in on what their client needs.

Once the picture is clear about what the client needs, a headhunter is going to use their candidate network.

They will also use their extended network to make contact with hundreds, if not thousands of people.

RECRUITING PASSIVE TALENT

The majority of those are likely not actively on the job market looking for a job.

A headhunter is skilled at starting initial conversations with these people.

They will be able to get them interested, engaged and potentially making a move from their current company.

It requires a very specific skill set and a certain finesse to be able to get someone interested in another role when they’re happy where they’re at.

A headhunter is very good at building relationships and trust with candidates.

This allows them to guide them through the process while continually selling and closing them along the way.

Working with passive talent requires a lot more handholding and selling of an opportunity along the way.

This is an important distinction that many recruiters and hiring managers don’t understand.

Someone who is currently working needs to be treated differently than someone who isn’t working or is already actively looking.

Someone actively looking for a position already has a very high degree of motivation to make a move.

Passive candidates don’t have as high motivation and it’s a good headhunter’s job to move them to a place of high motivation.

This is where more of a selling piece comes into play and less of a farming piece.

SEEKING SPECIALIZED TALENT

Headhunters are best used when you are requiring some sort of specialized talent.

If you have a role that is specialized in any way you’re likely going to need someone to lead a proactive effort to find the right person.

It’s highly unlikely that specialized talent is going to find your job on a job board or your website.

The odds of this happening with even one person are extremely slim, let alone with a handful of people to choose a quality candidate from.

With any sort of specialized role you’re looking to fill it’s critical to have an outbound proactive strategy in order to find those people.

Those people are most likely working for your competition or in adjacent industries or verticals.

This is also where a headhunter is going to be extremely effective and useful at tapping into your competition. 

They will tap into neighboring industries and verticals and give you an advantage to poach from some of your competition and other companies.

The ability to poach highly effective and sought after talent will give you a certain competitive edge in being able to compete in the marketplace.

Often times the people who are not working and are actively looking for a position are in that place for a reason.

HEADHUNTING PASSIVE TALENT

The best talent on the market is typically the passive talent.

We know many candidates who have never applied for a job in their life and have never been on the market looking.

They’ve always been sought after or recruited and have only moved jobs when they were recruited by headhunter.

Those are the kind of people that you want to be able to get for your organization as that is the best talent in the market.

The absolute only reliable way to go after those people is to have them headhunted.

The only other second option is going to be networking within your organization or pure luck.

Networking within your organization or your own network can be a very useful tool.

That is something that should be explored, but it’s likely it will be exhausted fairly quickly.

You want to have an abundance of solid talent coming your way so that you’re able to pick the best of the best.

A headhunter is going to give you the ability to pick the best of the best.

CONCLUSION

Headhunters are recruiters, but not all recruiters are headhunters.

On a spectrum of recruiting, regular recruiters are more like farmers and headhunters are more like hunters.

Headhunters are extremely useful for proactive poaching from competition and also proactive tapping into the passive talent pool.

Make sure to assess your needs and figure out what the best strategy is for you and your company.

It’s likely a headhunter is going to be useful in many ways and the trick is finding a good one.

Check out some of our other blogs about the best way to work with recruiters.


Not sure if hiring a recruiter is right for you? Here are some things to consider: https://bit.ly/2ybIQ9L


Want to find out about working with us? Let’s chat! https://aldebaranrecruiting.com/looking-for-talent/