Have you been struggling to locate top talent to hire into your organization? It can be such a challenge to find people with the right skills and experience who will fit into your workplace seamlessly. That’s why many recruiters and hiring managers turn to headhunting to find talented people to hire. Find out some of the most effective ways to headhunt excellent new staff for your business.
What is Headhunting?
Headhunting is a recruiting method used to fill higher-level positions in an organization. The general idea is that you find candidates who are highly experienced and skilled for the job you want to hire for and contact them directly to ask them to apply. This is a common practice when you are trying to fill executive roles, as it can be hard to find applicants who are experienced enough just by posting a regular job ad.
Essentially, headhunting is a proactive recruitment method. Recruiters aren’t just interested in people seeking employment and in fact, generally, their targets are already employed and not looking for a new job.
8 Great Headhunting Ideas to Find Top Talent
Here are some ideas for ways that you can effectively implement a headhunting recruitment method in your organization.
When headhunting, it’s not enough to have just one candidate in mind. You’re filling an executive-level role, so you will want numerous high-quality, experienced candidates for the recruitment panel to select between. You need an entire list of top talent to present. Good candidates are not enough; they must be extraordinary.
That’s why it’s so crucial that you properly research anyone you are considering putting forward for the position. Google their name and see what comes up, look them up on social media, talk to people you both know. This will give you an idea as to whether this person is a genuinely viable candidate.
Create a Rapport
Rather than coming in cold with ‘I think you’d be great for this position’, start by introducing yourself. Establish a rapport by letting them know who you are and a bit about the company. Discuss why you are pleased to work for your company and tell them about its recent achievements. That way, when you mention the job, they will hopefully have already warmed up to you and your company.
A high-level executive is unlikely to move positions to an organization that they have never heard of. Your company will preferably have similar visibility or more than their previous employer. If you want this person to even listen to your pitch, then they need to already know who you are.
How can you achieve this? You will need time and resources to devote to increasing your company’s visibility by creating a strong employer brand. Create a careers page, social media pages, a LinkedIn following for your company. All of these techniques will go a long way towards helping you to recruit top talent.
Don’t Be Pushy
There is an extremely fine line between direct and pushy. Be honest and let the candidate know that you would love for them to apply for the available role. If they don’t respond or are vague, by all means, follow up with them. But you also need to know when to leave the person alone. If you come across as too eager, you risk verging into becoming pushy. No-one wants to work for an aggressive employer, so you will need to learn to back off when necessary. You never know, they may be waiting to respond until they research your company. Hopefully, once they have done that, they will see for themselves what a great organization you work for.
It’s not enough for a person to have an incredible CV – it also needs to be true! This is where verification is so essential to the headhunting process. Even top talent sometimes exaggerates on CVs and add false information. People do this, no matter how far up the corporate ladder you are recruiting for.
Reference checking is an excellent way to verify many of the details located in an impressive CV. Perform this process before you extend a job offer to any candidate.
As a recruiter, getting rejected during the headhunting process happens far more often than you may expect. Remember that you’re contacting people who aren’t looking for and maybe don’t even want a new job. They may be completely happy and fulfilled where they are. Take this as a win anyway, as you have established a connection with the person, and you never know when they may change their mind in the future.
Be Knowledgeable About the Role
To sell anything, you need to be somewhat of an expert on it. Recruiting is exactly the same; you must be knowledgeable about your subject matter. Go past the job description and ask the hiring manager what exactly they are looking for and what skills are essential in the role. That way, when the potential candidates have questions, you will be able to quickly answer them. You can also use this information to screen candidates and determine who the top talent for this role might be.
Be Lenient on Timeframes
The ‘going, going, gone!’ method of sales will not work when you are headhunting top talent. Avoid giving potential applicants short deadlines to make a decision if at all possible. These people may not be that excited about your position just yet, so that fear of missing out on the opportunity will not work on them. Instead, give them plenty of time to make a decision and be understanding if they don’t get back to you straight away. After all, you have likely contacted them out of the blue.
Headhunting can be an incredibly effective recruitment tactic for those higher-level roles in your organization. Approach top talent the right way, and you could have some excellent applicants on your hands. Use some of the above tips next time you’re headhunting, so that you can begin to experience more success in this technique.