Headhunting services are employed by companies looking to improve their roster with the brightest, best and most talented individuals out there. Using their experiences head-hunters will seek out the cream of the crop from opposition firms and offer them incentives to defect from their current position. The question is, for ambitious workers, how to get into a head-hunter’s sights and what to do when there.

Usually head hunters will find their clients through networking, both in flesh and on-line, and becoming knowledgeable on who is who in the industries they are targeting. Whilst a headhunting company will not turn down any CVs they receive on a cold or unsolicited basis they do not act in the same way as an agency; head hunters will not simply just forward resumes they have received to the businesses looking for candidates for job opportunities. Head hunters are more likely to approach a potential candidate rather than vice versa. This ensures that all potential candidates fulfil a very narrow and specific criteria handpicked by the head hunting company; head hunting ensures candidates will constitute the cream of the crop and that no time is wasted for the interviewers. This means that a head hunting company’s reputation in finding the best possible candidates is enhanced and they are ultimately going to be given more work fulfilling this task in the future. The best way to get onto a head hunter’s list, thusly, is through a combination of ensuring the best possible performance in a current role and also through networking – physically and through on-line connections.

When contacted by a head hunter there are a number of issues to take onboard regarding conduct regardless of whether a CV was directly submitted or the solicitation for a new position was received on a cold basis or out of the blue. The best rule of thumb in dealing with head hunters, provided the job they are offering is appealing, is to treat any contact with them not just as formal chats but rather as a first stage interview. This means acting in a professional manner in all dealings with them; if the head hunters are not impressed at any stage they will have no incentive to forward an unprofessional candidate.

One assumption, a false one, is that once a head hunter has made contact regarding a prospective job then the candidate contacted will automatically receive the position. This is not true; head hunters usually try and feel out a few candidates simultaneously and it is likely other people will also be approached regarding filling a potential role. Therefore it is best to equip one’s self with details which would help in assuring a head hunter will forward details to the prospective new employees. This includes utilising tips that would be used in a straight forward interview – expressing  worth in current position by outlining the tasks that are performed particularly well, answers to questions taken from a CV and many more similar practices are vital.

Another mistake that people make regarding head hunters is their responsibility; an agency’s responsibility is to place people in suitable jobs whilst a headhunter’s responsibility is solely to the company who has hired them. No head hunter would pro-actively try and find a work placement for each and every CV they find but would rather only put forward a person as a candidate if they fulfil a certain criteria set by a company looking to find a new employee.


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