Headhunting has been around for a long time in different versions.
Let’s discuss this in the context of recruitment though, rather than the literal term. Impressment in the 17th Century, colloquially known as “the press” or the “press gang” – was headhunting at its worst. The Press Gang would take men into a military or naval force by compulsion, with or without notice.
European navies of several nations used forced recruitment by various means, but of course it wasn’t just the military, but the taking of slaves from Africa was another form of Headhunting… no wonder it’s got a bad press over the past 60 years or so.
If we move past the terrible choice of name and consider the much better term of ‘Executive Search’, it’s different to typical recruitment – the consultant is likely to spend up to 2 weeks researching potential candidates for the role that they have. Thereby, they can establish that the candidate is ideal and is also likely to be open to the approach.
If you want to learn more about the Executive Search market, then watch the Recruiting Gym’s ‘Meet the Expert’ with Adrian Thomas of Walbridge Ltd.
With recruitment being more challenging than ever before, advertising vacancies and waiting for applications is just not enough anymore, especially for specialised roles. Nowadays, recruiters need to be much more proactive in their recruitment efforts. It can be difficult to know where to start, as it can feel like a bit of a minefield, so we have created some top tips to help you headhunt candidates and fill those all-important roles.
Reach out to your network
There is no harm in reaching out to your network to advise them on any new roles you have. This may include ex-colleagues, friends and even previous bosses. Most people will be flattered that you considered them. They may even suggest other people if they are not interested themselves.
Use social media
There are several ways to use social media for headhunting purposes, and if you’re not utilising it, you’re one of very few recruiters. When you have a new vacancy, make sure you post it on your platforms, and it is also worth searching profiles on social media to find suitable candidates, particularly LinkedIn. Engage with candidates and potential candidates, so that you build positive relationships. You never know who might come across your post, and it is always worth getting your vacancies out there.
Build your brand
Visibility is key with headhunting, as candidates are more likely to want to join a company that they know. Don’t be afraid to post regularly and get your brand out to the masses. The more people begin to recognise you, the more likely they are to be interested in joining you when you approach them.
Think about the competitors you have or that your client has, and search for employees in the positions you are recruiting. For example, if you were hiring a Marketing Manager for Coca-Cola, you might look at Marketing Managers working at PepsiCo or Schweppes. It can make your recruitment a lot easier as you know these employees are likely to have the skillset you require.
A referral system can work wonders when trying to source candidates. For instance, reaching out to your network and offering benefits if they introduce a friend and they join the company. It can be a great way to fill roles quickly.
Use the right tech for your needs
An Applicant Tracking System or Recruitment CRM play an essential part in recruitment these days, and it will be a worthwhile investment, even if it does seem costly at the start. You’ll be able to access candidate information that can make your recruitment efforts much quicker and easier. When you process your recruitment through technology, it allows you to get candidates through the process more quickly, and it also helps you prepare for future recruitment needs. If you are a recruiter without an ATS or CRM, you are like a writer who never reads!
Collaborate with other recruiters
You might think that other recruiters are your competition, but there are ways you can work together and help each other out. If you have a good relationship with other recruiters, and they hire someone but have another great candidate in reserve, they will be more likely to reach out to you and let you know. This is a really good way to find candidates that are already qualified, and you can return the favour whenever the need arises.
Industry meetings and events
Another good way to find suitable candidates is to attend industry meetings and events. You can get to know potential candidates a little, making it easier to recruit them in the future. With recruitment, it’s all about building great relationships and considering the future rather than just the here and now. Careers fairs are also good ways to meet your target market and to build relationships for future needs.
With all recruitment including headhunting and executive search, we recommend using a an ATS or CRM that’s highly matched to your needs.
We know it can be difficult to choose the right recruitment tech, as there are so many options, which is why we have created Rectec Compare to allow you to quickly and easily take a comprehensive look at the market. Don’t make a costly mistake by implementing the wrong system, make sure it is one fit for your needs.