Searching for a headhunter to help with your recruitment needs is not a simple task. You need a professional who will deliver the results you're paying for. If you're hiring in the United States and need a headhunter to find the talent you're seeking, here are 5 things to consider:
1. Industry is Key
Headhunters usually specialize in a specific industry or type of recruitment. It's not always cut-and-dried, and sometimes you have to choose which specialization is most important to you. For example, if you are in the pharmaceutical industry-and you need to hire a marketer for an executive position-ideally you want a headhunter who specializes in executive marketing roles in the pharma industry. Unless you're using a database like Online Recruiters Directory to search for a headhunter, that might be very difficult-and you may need to settle for someone who either specializes in pharma roles, marketing roles, or executive roles-but not all three.
2. Experience, Not Training
Headhunting is not something you learn at some university or college, so if you're looking at a number of potential headhunters you may want to hire, there's no point in looking at their education. You want to look at their experience, who they've worked for, their track record, how long they've been in the game, etc. The bottom line is what matters-can they find the person you're looking for, or not?
3. Quality Over Quantity
If you're hiring one person, you really only need one resume that is a perfect fit. A good headhunter won't send you dozens of CVs to go over. They will do the screening themselves and send you only those that they believe are a perfect match to what your company needs and wants.
It's important to understand their screening process in order to avoid any wasted time on your part going through incompatible or inapplicable CVs. Do they simply screen the CVs, or do they schedule calls and meetings with potential candidates and verify recommendations for a more effective screening process?
This will help you to determine how professional they are-and will ensure that the CVs you do get are decidedly suitable for the role you're looking to fill.
4. Cross the T's and Dot the I's
Each headhunter works a little differently. Payment terms differ and can be based on success or a monthly retainer. Some demand exclusivity while others do not mind the competition. It is important to understand the details before hiring a headhunter to be sure that their terms are in line with your requirements. There is no right or wrong here; everything has an advantage and disadvantage-so it is important to clarify everything. For example, exclusivity may seem bad to you, but it increases the chances that the headhunter will do the job and find the person you need. Many think that paying based on success is better than a retainer, but that does not guarantee that the headhunter will give your job hunt priority.
5. Location, Location, Location
Ideally, you want someone who is in your area. This isn't a make-or-break criteria, though, because many headhunters specialize in industries on a nationwide scale and are very good. But depending on the sort of role you're looking to fill, it may be a big advantage to find someone who specializes in recruitment in your city. It will also facilitate scheduling a meeting with the headhunter to get a better idea of who they are and how they work.