Last week, in the first of our 3-part series on Headhunting, we took a general look at what headhunting is and how it works. Today we move things on a level by bringing you the top 10 tips for headhunting to help you understand how to target candidates successfully.
If you are looking to attract the best talent for your company, then often job advertising alone is not going to be sufficient. To reach the very best people you need to consider headhunting, which opens your candidate pool to passive candidates that wouldn’t normally have visibility of the role. Whether you are taking this task on yourself or utilising a Head-hunter service such as ecruit, these are the top tips you need to keep in mind to ensure success.
1: Research Candidates
This might seem obvious, but any head-hunter should start the process by researching candidates. You should be researching your potential candidates but also ensure you have a full understanding of the job role and the team around this position. Start with a list of criteria that is essential to help you refine your search and start to pick out the best candidates.
2: Be Transparent
Be honest with the candidates throughout the process. If they end up taking the role based on false information you are risking the reputation of the brand and wasting time and money if they end up leaving the role. Set realistic expectations and make sure both sides have all the information they need to come to an informed decision.
3: Sell The Brand
A big part of the headhunting process is selling the potential candidate on the opportunity and the company. The brand reputation of the prospective company is one of the main reasons a candidate might decide not to take a job. You want to give off the best possible impression throughout the process and the head-hunter plays a key role in this. Research from LinkedIn found that companies with strong employer brand see 50% more qualified applicants.
4: Communicate Quickly
The last thing you want is to miss out on the perfect candidate because you didn’t get back to them quickly enough. Set expectations throughout the process and make sure you keep candidates up to date. If they have any questions or concerns, you should deal with these as quickly and honestly as possible.
5: Leverage Existing Contacts
Not every executive search has to start from scratch. If you want to find candidates you can trust and save valuable time then why not reach out to your existing network. You could also encourage referrals from existing employees to help expand the candidate pool. This not only gives you quick access to relevant candidates but also means you can approach from a warmer angle than a completely unknown candidate.
6: Don’t Be Pushy
A head-hunter needs to find the right balance between being enthusiastic and pushy. It is important to be persistent but try not to come across too forceful or you risk putting the candidate off. An aggressive, pushy approach suggests that this is the type of culture that is prevalent in the organisation, so you want to present a more positive environment.
7: Verify Candidates
Unfortunately, some candidates can exaggerate or even outright lie on their CV. It is vital that you verify any key elements. This might be a case of checking references or just researching company information. You might also want to ask for proof of any technical qualifications that are a requirement for the role.
8: Build Relationships
Remember the potential candidates you are reaching out to are most likely strangers and need to be nurtured in a similar way to trying to sell to a client. Focus on building an initial rapport and provide an explanation of why you have selected them in particular and why you feel they are a great match for the role you are advertising.
9: Improve Job Descriptions
The job description can sometimes be an afterthought when headhunting, but it has a hugely important role to play. If you do not create an accurate and compelling job description then you are already at a big disadvantage. Make sure your job description is selling the role and the company and include any perks that might be included.
10: Quality over Quantity
A large candidate pool is great to help you begin the process of filtering down the best but don’t worry too much if your search only brings back a small number of candidates. Focusing on the quality of the candidates rather than the quantity means there is less time wasted and only the very best are making it through to the interview process.
Headhunting requires a large amount of time and expertise but following these tips will help you improve your process and deliver the best possible candidates.
Next week we will take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of Headhunting compared to traditional recruitment.
If you are looking to attract the top talent, then ecruit can help you recruit top performers at a fraction of the cost of traditional agencies.
Our fixed price Head-hunter service offers fantastic value, allowing you to attract the very best talent in your sector without the huge commission costs of traditional recruitment agencies.
Book a 5 minute demo with our team to find out more.