Tag Archives: recruiters

How to Hire a Chief Growth Officer

A chief growth officer is a title and a position that is becoming more and more popular among organizations around the country and the world. Particularly, this is becoming more known and highly seen with startup companies, or companies very focused on growth and acquisition. A chief growth officer is typically someone who sits over a marketing function. Some might even say it is synonymous with the chief marketing officer, although the differentiation in title is important and intentional. A chief growth officer is very involved with marketing, sales, as well as product and product development. So a chief growth officer is sort of a hybrid leader over marketing, sales, and product. They are ensuring that a value proposition is being directed through all of these departments in a unified fashion.

DEFINING GROWTH WITHIN YOUR COMPANY

Growth is very specific in terms of its outcome. Of course, all companies want to grow, but there is a particular way to position your company to be a high-growth company. This takes a very specific skillset and a very specific type of background. Hiring a chief growth officer can be a little tricky, as it’s a newer title, and someone can come from many different types of backgrounds to fulfill on this title.

THE ROLE OF YOUR CHIEF GROWTH OFFICER

The first thing you’re going to want to do before hiring a chief growth officer is to get clear about what functions this role will oversee. Since this person deals with marketing, sales, product, and even to some degree finance, you’ve got to be clear about how this person is going to be situated within your organization. If you already have this fleshed out, you’re one step ahead of the game. But if not, it’s important to create an organizational chart for your company. Here you can define how this person is going to interact with other departments and teams.

WRITING A JOB DESCRIPTION

One mistake is having the job of your chief growth officer spread too thin across different departments and functions. Any time anybody is spread too thin, they’re not going to be able to get their job done. It becomes a capacity issue. Once you have an organizational chart figured out, you can write your job description. You need to define who they’re going to report to, and what functions they’re going to oversee. A powerful job description will outline this role across the different functions of marketing, sales, product, and maybe even finance. Marketing and sales are definitely the larger pieces of this puzzle. Depending on what you sell, product may or may not be a bigger piece of this. If you have a software product, then this may be a bigger function, but if your company is more service-driven, product might not be as important. So you’ll need to determine how important it is for this person to be involved with product.

HUNTING CANDIDATES

Once you have a solid job description, it will be nearly impossible to find the right person by simply posting the job and seeing who comes to you. These types of people are some of the most highly sought after folks in the market. They are typically not out on the market looking for a job. Again, I can’t stress enough that it’s going to be nearly impossible that this person is just going to find you. You’ll want to start by doing some networking and asking around who people might know and who might be available. It’s unlikely you’ll find someone through these channels as well, but you want to make sure to exhaust all avenues. This includes employee referrals as well as networking with other executives, CEOs, and business owners that you may know.

WHAT IS THEIR TRACK RECORD?

At the end of the day, you’re likely going to need some type of outbound recruiting effort to go out and headhunt these people. Likely, you’re going to specifically want to hire somebody from a company that is similar to yours. You want someone who has marketed, sold, and grown a similar product to the product that you’re selling. It doesn’t have to be exactly the same, but it should be similar. Someone with a similar background, who’s selling to a similar customer, is what’s most important. What’s even more important is going to be the customer base that they’re selling into. It’s critical that you find someone with a proven track record of growth and acquisition with the customer base that you’re targeting. This is going to be one of the most critical things to focus in on.

HONING IN ON THE RIGHT TITLES AND PEOPLE

You’ll want to go after people with growth titles, because that is what you’re doing here. This is not a common title as of yet, although they are out there. Acquisition is another type of title that you’re going to want to go after, as well as chief marketing officers and business development. Somebody with a sales title is likely not going to be the right candidate for this job. And somebody who is only product is likely not going to be a candidate for this job. You’re looking for chief marketing officers, chief growth officers, heads of acquisition, heads of customer acquisition, heads of business development, heads of new business, etc. These types of titles are going to get you in the right direction of the right people. You want to hone in on titles and people at companies selling into a similar customer that you are. This is going to get you in the right direction of hiring a chief growth officer.

ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

Once you start getting some candidates and resumes in the door, you’ll want to find out and learn what their strategies are. You also want to know what sort of structures and systems they’ve used to achieve high growth and customer acquisition. Your interview process here is going to be very critical. You need to ask questions that don’t lead the witness. Your questions should be open-ended, and have these people really spell out their strategy and philosophy when it comes to growth. You’re going to want to get a very good picture about what they would do to grow your product.

Remember that these people are highly sought after, so you need to make sure that your employer brand is very strong. Your brand should clearly communicate the opportunity for this person to join your company. A high-level executive role like this requires some level of shmoozing. It’s important that you do what you need to do to impress upon this person the opportunity of your company.

CONCLUSION

These are some high-level points for you to consider when hiring a chief growth officer. If you’re interested in high growth and high customer acquisition, you may want to highly consider hiring someone in this sort of function for your company. Growth and acquisition is really the next evolution of marketing, and it takes marketing to the next level in order to have companies grow and acquire customers in ways that have not been seen before.

Have questions or want to hire us to speed up your process? Let’s chat! 

How To Hire A 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 Write A VP Of Sales Job Description

how to write a vp of sales job description

Writing a job description for a VP of Sales can often be a daunting task.

It’s something that many hiring managers don’t like doing and don’t even really have the time to do.

A good VP of Sales job description though can go along way in attracting the right kind of talent for your team or organization.

A poorly written job description will often result in unqualified resumes and wasted time sifting through the wrong people for your team.

A good job description can be a powerful tool that will give you an edge in hiring the best talent in the market.

Often times we work with clients that have job descriptions that don’t truly match what the job is that they’re looking to hire. 

And they wonder why they’re not getting the right kind of candidates with the right kind of skills.

Usually, candidates apply for a job that is a match for their skill set or they apply for random jobs, it’s usually not somewhere in the middle.

So a well-written job description does give you a chance at finding people that are right for your needs.

POORLY WRITTEN VP OF SALES JOB DESCRIPTIONS

Candidates often think they’re not the right fit for a job because they read a job description that doesn’t seem to match their skills.

In fact, many times, we already know that they’re a fit for the job because we’ve spoken with the client.

Poorly written job descriptions can also result in candidates who are actually a fit for what you need not applying for your job.

This is another way that you can lose out on good talent!

At the end of the day, it’s worth the time and energy to write a good job description and it doesn’t have to be as challenging as you may think.

VP OF SALES JOB DESCRIPTIONS

Writing a sales job description is particularly important because there are a lot of different ways salespeople work across different industries.

A sales job description needs to articulate certain critical aspects in order to communicate effectively what is needed for the job.

Job titles can be very deceiving and even leave more questions, particularly when it comes to sales roles.

It’s important that the job description communicates what the role is so that people are not solely relying on the title.

For example, a VP of sales could be a department head who’s leading a team of sales people.

VP of sales could also be an individual contributor who does not manage any team members and is selling on their own.

And they could also be anything in between these two extremes.

It’s critical that if you’re hiring for VP sales you want to start off by being clear about what this position is in your company.

WRITING THE JOB DESCRIPTION

This rule of thumb really goes for any type of job you may be writing a job description for.

The first step is to start jotting down and brainstorming about the key functions this role is going to need.

You want to make sure you narrow it down to 10 or less key functions within a role.

I would even say that a sweet spot really is five key functions.

Whether that be managing a team of sales executives or selling on their own or a combination of both.

They could be building a team or focusing on channel relationships and partnerships or managing and/or doing inside or outside sales.

VP OF SALES ROLES ARE EXTREMELY DIVERSE

You want to hone in on exactly the type of sales and the type of management this person is going to be doing.

There’s a big difference between inside sales, outside sales, lead generation, channel sales, partner sales, and the list goes on.

There are also different parts of the sales cycle that many roles will or won’t be responsible for.

For example, will this part of the role be responsible for cold calling in generating leads?

Will they be responsible for managing relationships, closing sales and closing warm leads?

Will this person be reselling to existing customers?

Often times it’s a combination of all these things.

FOUR SECTIONS OF A VP OF SALES JOB DESCRIPTION

It’s critical to flush out exactly what the key functions of the role are going to be so that this all gets spelled out in a job description.

We recommend a VP of Sales job description always has four sections.

The first section should be a company overview which gives an overview of your company and some insight into your culture.

You want to make sure that this section mentions some key points.

This should include anything about you being fast growing, anything about your industry, and some of your successes.

Also, include some of the things that are great and unique about working with you.

VP OF SALES SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS

The next two sections are the meat of the job description.

This will include the required skills or qualifications.

These are hard skills and qualifications that this person is going to already need to have to bring to the table.

So this is where you may need something like a track record in building sales teams or selling a certain amount of sales per year or working with certain types of budgets.

You may need a track record of working in certain industries or with a certain type of company or client.

You may need a track record of selling into a particular vertical, or of selling to a particular decision maker.

Next, you’re going to have the key must have’s for the role.

We recommend this section not be too long and that you distinguish between what is a must-have and what is a nice-to-have.

This is also where we recommend having years of experience.

Years of experience truly is just a number, but it is a good gauge and we do recommend putting it on a section of your job descriptions.

VP OF SALES ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The third section is the actual job description.

This tells what the role is, what it’s going entail, what it’s going to accomplish and what it’s going to be responsible and accountable for.

This is where you want to spell out what the roles and responsibilities are going to be so that is very clear what this role is.

This can come before the required skills or after – it’s up to you.

The point is these sections can be flip-flopped.

ABOUT YOUR COMPANY

The final section is always good to give an overview of your company benefits and anything else about company culture.

Anything that you didn’t cover in the first section can be added here and is a nice way to round out a job description.

You can also mention compensation or salary here if you’d like.

However, we recommend not putting in salary or compensation on a job description and leaving that open for discussion in your first interview.

Lastly, you don’t want a job description to be too long.

All of this should onto two to three pages maximum.

CONCLUSION

Writing a VP of Sales job description does not have to be complicated.

It’s four simple parts and typically the first and fourth parts can be recycled from job description to job description, regardless of the role.

Sections two and three are going to require the most work.

You’re going to want to make sure to hone in on these sections and that they’re complete, clear and concise.

In conclusion, writing a job description particularly for a role like a VP of sales is critical.

You will be able to attract and not turn away the right talent for your team.

Best of luck!


Here are some more great tips for hiring the right sales team! https://bit.ly/2DFQZIy


Have questions or want to find out about working with us? Let’s chat! 

https://aldebaranrecruiting.com/looking-for-talent/

Top 5 Digital Marketing Interview Questions

Hiring for marketing in today’s landscape can be challenging.

There are a lot of different types of marketing out there. 

A lot of professionals are specialized working in one or sometimes many marketing channels.

It’s important to make sure that you’re able to hire somebody who is going to be able to do the job you need them to do.

Marketing is especially a critical aspect of any business, as marketing and sales are the lifeblood of an organization.

So making a good or bad hire in marketing can make or break your organization.

At the end of the day it all comes down to talent, so hiring the right talent is your job.

Hiring in general is tricky and interviewing truly is an art.

GETTING CLEAR ABOUT YOUR NEEDS

First and foremost, before you even get to the interview stage it’s critical that you have a clear picture of what you need.

Often times, hiring managers will start to interview candidates without having a clear picture of what they need.

You’ll want to sit down and get clear about what the different channels are that are critical for your business.

If this is already spelled out and clear for you then you can skip this step.

If not, we recommend truly examining this and deciding which channels are important to you.

Sometimes candidates have expertise and other channels that will crossover.

For example, search engine optimization and search engine marketing have a lot of crossover, but they’re not the same.

If you need someone who is heavily focused in SEO or SEM you’ll need to tailor your interview process to flesh out that person’s strengths.

Most people who do SEO also know how to do SEM, but they may be stronger or weaker in one or the other.

BEYOND SEO AND SEM

There are also many other digital channels that you could need for your business.

Some things to consider aside from SEO and SEM are email marketing, social media, paid social or other types of paid or display ads.

You might need someone strong in writing content for different ads, and/or someone stronger from a strategy perspective.

You need to take all of these things into account when you’re writing a job description.

Nowadays digital marketing people need to be much more involved from an analytics and campaign perspective.

You’ll need to figure out a way to screen for this if it’s important to your business.

WHAT ABOUT TECHNOLOGY?

The other thing that you’ll need to be clear about is how technical you need this person to be.

Are they going to be making website updates?

Do they need to have a design background?

Should they have some development skills?

Marketing is tied so much with technology nowadays that these are things you’ll need to consider.

Your position may be more or less specialized and you may need somebody with only one or two channels of expertise.

On the other hand, you may need someone who is extremely multi channeled who knows how to market in a wide variety of channels.

Getting very clear about all of this will help you tailor your interview questions.

DO NOT LEAD THE WITNESS

Many interviewers make the common mistake of what we call “leading the witness” when interviewing a candidate.

What we mean by that is asking questions that are too easy to answer.

Asking a question like, “are you good at search engine marketing?” makes it very easy for a candidate to just answer “yes.”

So they have told you exactly what you want to hear.

This is particularly important when hiring marketing folks, and especially when you need to hone in on someone with digital expertise.

ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

Asking the right questions when interviewing digital marketing candidates is everything!

QUESTION #1

The number one thing to ask a digital marketing person is to tell you about recent campaigns and projects they’ve been responsible for.

Ask them to walk you through the day-to-day of running those campaigns and projects and what they have their hands on.

You want to ask open ended questions like, “walk me through your day to day” and “what are your most recent projects and campaigns?”

Asking this question in this way is going to give you insight into what the person’s day looks like and doesn’t lead to witness.

It doesn’t give them something to launch off from to tell you what they think you want to hear.

You want questions that actually have them walk through their day to day.

Then you can get a sense of what this person has been doing and see if that matches up with what you need.

MEASURING PERFORMANCE

QUESTION #2

The next critical question for marketing candidates is having them explain what their KPI’s are, and how they’re measured and managed for their performance.

Find out what they think important KPI’s are, how they measure KPI’s and how they adjust and optimize different projects in the campaigns they’re running.

It’s critical that a marketing person is connected to their performance and outcomes of their activities.

You want to get some insight into how this person knows they’re effective or not effective.

QUESTION #3

Another critical question is what they think the most important aspects of marketing are when it comes to acquiring customers.

You want to understand their philosophy, where they come from and how they think as a marketer.

It is critical for you to evaluate them as a marketer as well as to see if their philosophy on marketing lines up with your company values and strategy.

HANDLING CHALLENGES

QUESTION #4

A fourth great question to ask candidates is to have them tell you about a challenging campaign or project that they have come across.

You want to hear of a major hurdle or article that they needed to overcome.

Have them walk you through what the problem was, what happened and how they dealt with it.

This will give you insight into their thinking and how they solve problems from a marketing perspective.

The more specific you get them to answer, the better, as you’ll get a sense of how they deal with problems as a marketer and how they overcome them.

HIRING FOR CULTURE FIT

QUESTION #5

Last, but not least you want to ask them to tell you what their idea work environment and company culture looks like.

When asking candidates this, ask them to be honest because people tend to want to tell the interviewer what they think they want to hear.

Candidates want to get the job and so they’ll likely tell you that they’re going to fit in with your company.

You want to really know if working together would really be a good fit.

There are lot of different people and a lot of personalities out there in the world and not everybody works well together.

It’s important to keep in mind that is not a problem at all, you just have to keep looking.

There is a lid for every pot and so you want to make it safe for the candidate to tell you about their ideal culture.

You want to be able to truly gauge if they would be a good fit for you and for them.

In the same breath you can also ask about some of the things that they don’t like in a work environment and culture.

You can gauge dislikes against your company culture as well.

CONCLUSION

These are some simple steps that you can apply when it comes to hiring digital marketing people. 

If you’re smart you’ll be able to take these questions and apply them to any type of professional.

Your interview questions should all be tailored and used to hire the best marketing talent out there to grow and scale your business.

Good luck!


If you’re still building your interview questions, here’s a great resource! https://muse.cm/1hLMaHT


Have questions or want to find out about working with us? Let’s chat! 

https://aldebaranrecruiting.com/looking-for-talent/

How Much Does A Headhunter Cost?

In today’s blog we will cover the way headhunters are paid, how much they cost, and the different fee models in which you can hire a recruiter.

Particularly, contingency or retained headhunters.

The costs for various recruiters are similar and there will only be minor differences depending on which company you work with.

It’s important to keep in mind that the fee models for permanent placement candidates versus contract, freelance or staffing can be different.

Staffing recruiters are typically never referred to as headhunters.

When looking to hire a headhunter you’re typically looking for someone who’s going to find a long-term full-time employee.

A headhunter is someone who is hunting high-level, typically director level or above, talent for an organization.

FEE MODEL FOR CONTINGENCY & RETAINED RECRUITING

A headhunter fee is always based off of the candidate’s first year salary as negotiated in an offer letter.

Depending on the headhunter, that first year’s salary can include a sign on bonus or any other compensation that happens in that first year.

The first year’s compensation typically would not include sales commissions or bonuses.

The only bonus that is usually included in a first year salary when calculating the recruiter’s fee is a sign on bonus.

Relocation expenses and anything else of that nature would not be included in the calculation.

RECRUITING FEE RANGES

Whatever the headhunter’s fee is would be multiplied by the first year’s starting salary.

For example, if a Director of Marketing is offered a position at $100,000 and recruiter’s fee is 20%, that would be a $20,000 fee paid to the recruiter.

In terms of the range of fees, these can vary greatly depending on which firm you work with and what type of position you’re working.

Fees can be as low as 15% and as high as 40% or even 50%.

The industry standard is typically between 20 to 25%.

One thing to keep in mind when hiring a headhunter, as with anything, is that you always get what you pay for.

There are a lot more firms out there nowadays doing extremely low fees like 15% while some other firms are up to 30-40-50%.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to get a much better service than you might at the 25% range.

FOCUS ON WHAT’S IMPORTANT

As a note, I’ve written other blogs about tips for hiring headhunters covering more important factors than the fees alone.

You should be focused on hiring the right headhunter for your business than trying to get the best deal.

At the end of the day, if you hire a headhunter who is extremely cheap, but not going to get you the results you need, then you’re at a loss.

RETAINED RECRUITING

Retained recruiting can work in a couple of different ways, but is similar to retaining a lawyer.

Although when you’re retaining a lawyer you’re typically making a monthly payment to have them working for you.

This isn’t typically the way that retaining a recruiter works, although you can retain recruiters this way if you have substantial recruiting needs.

Typically a retained headhunter is going to work on one or a handful of positions.

When retaining a recruiter you’re typically going to pay an upfront fee, also sometimes known as an engagement fee.

You’re paying that recruiter for working a search for you and typically that recruiter will have exclusivity working that role.

Any money that you pay upfront to a retained recruiter will come out of your final invoice.

RETAINER FEES

A typical retainer is a third of the estimated fee.

Again, if you’re hiring a retained headhunter to work a position with an estimated salary of $100,000, that’s a $20,000 fee.

If the retainer is 1/3 of the $20,000 fee, you’ll pay roughly $6666, which would then be deducted from your final invoice.

Many retained firms ask for 1/3 of the fee up front, another 1/3 if the placement hasn’t been done at 60 days and the final 1/3 once the placement is complete.

Many companies stray away from retained search firms because any of the money that you pay up front is at risk.

If for some reason they don’t fill the role, you put it on hold or you find someone on your own, you’ve lost that money.

Aldebaran has a very unique retainer model that is extremely low risk, but still gets all the benefit.

If you’re interested in learning more about how we work you should reach out to us!

Although retained recruiting is slightly more risky, it is highly more effective than contingency recruiting.

CONTINGENCY RECRUITING

Contingency recruiting tends to be a favorite for a lot of companies filling lower-level positions.

Retained recruiting tends to be reserved for more high-level roles that require special attention.

The fee that you pay in contingency recruiting is contingent on the recruiter finding the right candidate and you hiring them.

With the contingency search you only pay a fee if and when you hire someone from that headhunter.

From a financial perspective it’s less risk because you aren’t paying any money upfront to secure having the headhunter work for you.

Again we can’t stress enough that you get what you pay for!

RECRUITERS PRIORITIES

Recruiters are always going to prioritize their search internally, and this makes sense.

If someone has paid us a retainer fee we are going to have the work go toward that job, it’s only fair.

Most recruiting firms will only be able to budget a certain amount of time for any contingency search.

For retained searches, recruiters will typically work a job until the job is done.

That’s why retained searches tend to be 30-40% and even sometimes 50% more effective than contingency recruiting.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

I talk with a lot of clients with tough roles to fill and they complain that contingency recruiters aren’t showing them good candidates.

This isn’t too much of a surprise.

If you have a tough role you’re looking to fill, a contingency firm is going to give it a shot maybe for a few weeks.

If they don’t come up with somebody it’s going to be less profitable or sometimes even negatively profitable for them to continue working the role.

Contingency firms simply cannot dedicate unlimited resources to contingency searches.

When you’ve got a tricky role or something that requires special attention you really want to go the retainer route.

The retained route is way more effective and if you have a good recruiting firm that you trust, this shouldn’t be an issue as it’s just an upfront payment.

If you’re confident they’re going to find you somebody then that’s the way to go.

CONCLUSION

So this is a basic rundown of how recruiting firms and headhunters are paid.

At the end of the day you want to find a recruiting company that is a good match for you, your company and your industry.

You need someone you can trust who’s going to find you quality candidates.

This should be your primary concern and cost should be your secondary concern.

You do get what you pay for and it is worth it to pay a little bit more for a good recruiter. 


How do you find a great recruiter anyway? Go here for more: https://bit.ly/2EJyIrE


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

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 A Corporate Recruiter?

A corporate recruiter is best defined in relationship to an executive recruiter or even a staffing recruiter.

Corporate recruiters exist in house at a corporation regardless of the size of the corporation.

A corporate recruiter could also be called an in-house recruiter and typically exists on an HR team.

Sometimes they’re also on a more distinct department of an HR team known as talent acquisition.

A corporate recruiter’s job is similar to an executive recruiter or a staffing recruiter and is to recruit candidates.

THE DIFFERENCE WITH CORPORATE RECRUITERS

Corporate recruiters are likely focusing on specific roles that tend to have a wide variety of roles and experience.

These roles could be in logistics, marketing, sales, entry-level, senior level or executive level roles and so on.

Often times senior-level roles are reserved for more senior recruiters.

These types of roles, which typically start at the director level or above, require a different type of experience and expertise.

A corporate recruiter often is also focused on hiring for one company only.

An executive or staffing recruiter is going to be working with a variety of clients and locations, often nationwide and sometimes globally.

One thing that’s important to keep in mind with corporate recruiters is that they are always going to be solely focused on recruiting.

All they’re going to be doing is recruiting and managing the full recruiting lifecycle.

*For more information about what the full recruiting lifecycle is, or what a full cycle recruiter is, please refer to an earlier blog HERE.

OTHER RECRUITERS

An executive or agency recruiter is going to be focused on recruiting for multiple companies and levels and probably not solely recruiting.

Agency recruiters are almost always doing some level of sales and/or client services.

Since agency recruiters are also vendors, they will also be constantly managing client relationships, up selling, opening and growing accounts.

This is a unique sales function that is particular to agency recruiters that a corporate recruiter is never going to deal with.

Agency recruiters are typically going to be held to a higher standard as they need to pay more attention to quality versus quantity.

Internal corporate recruiters don’t have to prove themselves as much as an outside recruiter.

Typically corporate recruiters get paid a lot more money than agency recruiters since they’re on salary with some bonuses and commissions.

A corporate recruiter is part of HR, while an agency, executive or staffing recruiter is more of a sales person who is also a recruiter.

ADVANTAGES OF CORPORATE RECRUITERS

One thing to know is that corporate recruiters tend to have an advantage and a better grasp on culture within a company.

Since they’re in house with the company, they have day-to-day interactions with the culture and other employees of the company.

They’re often involved in other conversations with HR about staff augmentation, company structure and strategy.

They will have an insight into things that the agency recruiters are just never going to be privy to.

This can be an advantage as hiring for culture is becoming more and more important across organizations.

Being able to find people that are the right cultural fit for the long term is critical for anyone dealing with talent acquisition.

WHERE OTHERS RECRUITERS FALL SHORT

This is where most executive recruiters or agency recruiters drop the ball.

They don’t do the legwork to find out about their clients culture and their clients needs.

And they don’t stay in touch and communicate with their clients in ways that keep them connected.

They in turn tend to find people that may or may not be the best cultural fit.

Often times this is why there is such an industry wide fall off ratio for agency recruiters.

If you are going to hire a recruiter you want the advantage of being connected with your company culture.

If you’re an agency recruiter it’s critical that you take the extra steps necessary to be able to do that.

Corporate recruiters are often times going to be very invested in their company given that they work there.

So this can sometimes lead to another competitive advantage in terms of finding the right talent.

RETAINED VS. CONTINGENCY RECRUITERS

This is why most of the time retained recruiting agencies are wildly more effective than contingency.

Often companies don’t want to pay engagement fees, but don’t realize the fees are guaranteeing much better results.

For example, here at Aldebaran, we have a 95% close rate on our VIP retained searches while our contingency searches rate is closer to 60%.

This is a very large discrepancy, but that’s because retained searches get prioritized and have permanent VIP status.

A contingency search isn’t going to have permanent VIP status.

When contingency searches don’t produce results in 3-4 weeks they lose priority as other needs come in through the business.

It becomes less and less profitable for a recruiting firm to spend too much time on contingency searches.

If you find a good recruiter and pay the engagement fees, you’ll get sometimes up to 50% increase in effectiveness!

CORPORATE OVERLOAD

A corporate recruiter is likely going to be able to spend unlimited resources on any given position until it’s filled.

This is an advantage, but the potential problem is that roles tend to stack up.

At many organizations, corporate recruiters are overloaded and unable to focus on the needs of the organization. 

Agency recruiters tend to be more experienced and better head hunters than corporate recruiters.

This is simply because of their exposure to different markets, clients, and different types of opportunities.

Agency recruiters tend to have a better understanding of business and how different companies work together.

A good agency recruiter is going to be able to be an asset to you and your talent acquisition team.

If you find and hire a good external recruiter, make sure that you’re leaning on and leveraging them for advice.

They are exposed to a lot and can give you a lot of insight into different aspects and strategies in the market.

So these are some of the differences between corporate recruiters and agency recruiters.

There are many more, but this is an initial look at the differences in the types of recruiters out there. 


Here are more things to consider when thinking of hiring a recruiter: https://bit.ly/2C5Ot9C


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/

How Do I Find A Job I Love?

Love Your Work - Find the Job You Love

Nobody should ever work for an extended period of time at a job where they are unhappy.

In today’s strong economy, or any economy, nobody should settle for working in a job that they don’t like.

We hear from so many people very regularly that they’re working in a job that isn’t a good fit for them.

THE REASONS FOR DISSATISFACTION ARE MANY

Sometimes it isn’t a good fit culturally, sometimes it’s the work they’re doing that isn’t a match for their skills.

Sometimes they’re being underpaid, and sometimes the company just isn’t aligned with their values, ethics or goals.

The list goes on for the reasons that people don’t like where they’re working.

Again, we hear this extremely often and we find it disconcerting the amount of people that don’t like their jobs.

WAITING FOR THE WEEKEND

Gary Vaynerchuk talks a lot about how if your whole life is about waiting for the weekend then you need to change your game.

I couldn’t agree with this more.

If you suffer throughout the week only to live for the weekend, you should seriously be looking at making some changes.

The weekends are such a small fraction of your life, that you want to look at how you have your life and your career organized.

You spend the vast majority of your life at your job working.

Whether behind a desk, at a construction site, with clients in houses or in a retail store, that time should not be spent suffering.

SUFFERING COMPLACENCY

The thing that is even more disconcerting is the amount of people who are complacently unhappy in their job’s demand.

In other words, the amount of people that have been unhappy in their jobs for significant periods of time.

It almost seems like a lot of us like to complain about being unhappy but not do anything about it.

It’s like there’s something romantic or enjoyable about suffering, or that we get out of complaining a lot and being unhappy.

MAKING THE CHANGE

I say if you are unhappy in your job, do something about it! And if you’re not going to do something about it, then don’t complain.

You only get to complain if you’re actually going to do something about it.

The good news is you probably won’t complain for too long because you’re taking action around altering your situation.

There’s nothing worse than someone who complains about something that they can change.

This is the definition of a victim!

None of us deserve to be victims in any situation, especially at our jobs.

YOUR JOB SHOULD GIVE YOU LIFE AND MAKE YOU HAPPY

I think we all have the right to work somewhere that is a true fit for our values and a true fit for our goals.

You should work somewhere that gives you life and makes you happy.

You should do something that you’re excited to wake up in the morning and contribute to.

And, you should make good money!

GETTING PAST WHAT’S IN YOUR WAY

We often find there are a lot of circumstances that get in people’s way as to why they can’t find a new job.

Perhaps you don’t have the education or the time.

Sometimes people talk about how they’ve tried and haven’t been able to get what they want, or they apply and don’t get any interviews.

It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it to put in the work to find something and be somewhere that you truly like.

If you’re having difficulty, there are a lot of resources out there to support you.

There are career centers, career coaches, life coaches, and a lot of other resources for you to branch out and grow.

Networking & marketing events, conferences, and trade shows are all great resources.

You need to get yourself exposed to different people, opportunities and types of work that could be a match for you.

WHAT ABOUT EDUCATION?

If you don’t have the education that you need, you can take night classes while you work.

The ability to take night or online classes makes getting an education extremely affordable and flexible.

So if education is the missing piece, you simply need to go out and get educated.

Something that’s very important to do is to get clear about your values and what’s most important to you.

From that vantage point you can look for what might be the best type of career that would engender and feed your passion.

THE PITFALLS OF LOVING YOUR JOB

Sometimes it can be a pitfall to have your job be something that is also a hobby or a passion.

When you take a passion or a hobby and turn into a job, you take something that you like and turn it into work.

This is something to keep in mind as you’re exploring this process.

Of course it is still possible to have a job that you like and that you’re passionate about that is distinct from your hobbies.

CONCLUSION

The bottom line here is that nobody should ever have to suffer in their job.

You shouldn’t work somewhere you don’t like, especially in today’s economy and the vibrant and eclectic world that we live in.

There is a way for everyone to make money in a way that is in line with their values and goals.

Don’t be a victim!

If you don’t like where you are, stop complaining and start doing something about it. If you’re not going to do something about it, you don’t get to complain – sorry!

Put in the work and you will live a more fulfilled life than if you spend the vast majority working somewhere that you don’t like.

Get out there, have your life be great, and have a great career! 

You owe it to yourself to have your job and your career be great!


Check out this article on how to find and do what you love: https://muse.cm/2ee8e5Y