Tag Archives: headhunting

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/

Headhunting And Recruiting For Your Team

Magnifying glass over icons of people - Headhunting and Recruiting new employees

This week’s blog is about tips for headhunting and recruiting new employees for your team.

Headhunting and active recruiting is distinct from posting on job boards and in taking incoming resumes.

This article is about the best ways and tips for proactively acquiring top talent, otherwise known as headhunting.

Proactively recruiting or head hunting will give you a competitive edge in acquiring top talent and over your competition.

GET CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU NEED

First, for any given position that you’re recruiting for, you need to be 100% clear about what you need for that role.

Clarity is the first place to start and is critical because without it you will never be able to find what you want!

You should sit with your team, stakeholders, mentors or outside resources to write up a good job description for the role.

Before writing a description though, be sure that you know what you need for your team.

What type of experience do you need for the open role?

Do you require somebody with management experience? If so, how many years?

Does this person need to have a specific skill set?

Do they need to be skilled in a particular technology?

The list goes on, but be sure you set out all of the important questions you’ll need to ask to create your ideal candidate.

FINDING THE RIGHT CULTURAL FIT FOR YOUR COMPANY

One thing that is also important is getting clear about what the personality for this person should be.

They will need to be able to be a fit in your company culture.

On a separate note, having a defined company culture is the first step to being able to interview for culture.

Interviewing for culture is a separate topic that we will discuss in another blog.

STAYING FLEXIBLE DURING THE PROCESS

Once you get extremely clear on what you need for your next hire, you’ll be set to succeed and able to focus on exactly what you want.

It’s important to note that you should be open to adjusting this along the way.

When you start interviewing people you may realize there are certain things that you really need and certain things that you don’t.

So you won’t be stuck with this description, but you want to have a very solid and precise place to start from.

ADVERTISING FOR YOUR OPEN POSITIONS

You’re going to want to advertise your job in someway, but I don’t recommend posting on a lot of job boards.

As a recruiting strategy, posting on job boards may become a secondary thing that you do.

You need to have a good career portal on your website.

This is a place that you can direct people to apply into your database so that you can process them as a candidate.

This is very important as potential candidates will need a simple process to follow in order for you to move them through quickly.

HAVING A SMOOTH INTERVIEWING PROCESS

The next point is that you want to have a well flushed out and well thought out interview process.

This will easily move potential candidates through your process and leave them with a good experience of your company.

They have a good experience of your company and they will be left with your brand and your culture when moving through your interview cycle.

You don’t want to ever have any candidate have a bad experience moving through your interview cycle.

KNOW YOUR COMPETITION 

Next, you will likely need to do some research as to where your ideal candidate lives.

It’s likely they are with at least some form of your competition.

You may know about some of your competitors, but it’s likely you don’t know a lot about many of them.

The best place to start is making a list of competitive companies or companies where your ideal person might be.

CREATE A STRONG HEADHUNTING STRATEGY

You can leverage resources like LinkedIn, other social media and Google.

Start to hunt these people down and then you will need to do a lot of outbound contact to reach the right people.

Sometimes the toughest part in having a headhunting strategy is the volume that is required.

Many people who start headhunting think they’ll reach out to 10 ideal candidates and that they will get one of them.

Unfortunately, it never works that way.

Most of the rolls we fill for our clients take us contacting 500 to 1,000 people in order to find a suitable candidate.

You need to be prepared to do the volume of outreach, the work and spend the time to find that right person.

WHEN TO HIRE AN OUTSIDE RECRUITER

If this is something that you can’t do, hire someone to do it for you.

You can hire a solid recruiter who knows your business, knows what they’re doing and can do this work on your behalf.

It’s very important to have a streamlined interview process, especially in today’s candidate driven market.

If your interview process is too long or drawn out, you’re likely to lose candidates to other offers or companies that are moving faster.

You’ve also got to make sure that you can compete from a salary perspective.

CONCLUSION

You need to have a good strategy from start to finish in order to have an effective recruiting or headhunting experience.

You need to start with a clear and concise view of what you need and what you will be looking for.

Only then will you be able to hone in on what is needed.

If this step isn’t followed you could waste a lot of time spinning your wheels with people who aren’t what you really need.

Avoid job boards or at least don’t rely solely on them to produce any real result.

Find out where your talent is, do the legwork and research so you know where to get the people that you need for your team.

Likely they are with your competition, so know your competition.

A concise interview process that flows well will leave candidates with a good experience of your company, brand and culture.

Have a process that moves quickly so that you don’t lose candidates to other companies that move faster.

Lastly, be ready and able to spend the time to put in the sheer volume required to head home effectively.

If this all seems like a lot of work, it is!

That’s why headhunting companies like us exist!

If you ever need extra help feel free to contact us.


Check out this article for some qualities you should look for when seeking new talent for your team: https://read.bi/2N1YvyW