Benefits of Headhunting
Companies are coming under greater pressure from shareholders and tighter corporate governance rules, placing more pressure than ever on the importance of finding the best and most appropriate person for top jobs. Overseas especially, headhunting is being increasingly relied upon for this purpose.
For many executive positions, particularly those at CEO level, traditional means of recruitment are not always appropriate or fruitful. Placing job ads in the media or recruiting from existing staff can have its pitfalls. The process of finding the right candidate can be time-consuming and a drain on resources, and there is no guarantee that the successful candidate will be the most appropriate person for the job. Executive search companies are able to make this a lot simpler.
Rather than just plug holes in a company, headhunters perform extensive research so that, by the time they make their recommendations, the candidate is already intensively checked and referenced. It is important to understand a company's strategy, its issues and internal dynamics and then build a job specification from this.
A good headhunter will source and map the market - look at the sector involved, and learn to understand the business
and see the direction in which it is heading. In addition, a headhunter needs to have a strong grasp of the culture of the organisation, as well as the identification of key players and their personalities and leadership styles. Perhaps the most crucial attribute of the right candidate is the ability to grow the business.
Essentially, companies look for employees who can not only do the job, but are also creative. This can be as important as a candidate's qualifications, resilience and track record.
With the right methods, it is possible to source the best candidates. It is highly encouraging to see how much goodwill exists in the marketplace. Many people are keen to provide leads and suggest names of possible candidates; forms of soft-referencing which headhunting is heavily reliant upon.
If certain names tend to pop up periodically, the headhunter will research them and prepare candidate profiles for the recruiting company. The brief must be thorough; not only should it contextualise the organisation involved, it must also elucidate the leadership requirements and competencies of candidates.
However, the main hurdle is determining how to entice employees away from their current jobs. As important as money is, it is not the sole motivating factor for many people.
There is no better reward in this business than seeing employees live up to his or her potential. Though the analogy is partially correct, headhunting is not just about poaching - it is about adding value and ultimately, helping shape the future of an organisation.