Client Insight - How to get the best out of your Headhunter

Good headhunters who are deeply steeped in their markets can add real business benefit beyond search.  They can give you a people-based competitive view of the market and provide valuable insight into new business areas, particularly the way organisations structure their overall approach and, of course, compensation trends.  Good headhunters should be keen to build professional long-term relationships.  They should also be able to provide helpful insight and feedback even on your own company.

 During the search process they can also be excellent ambassadors for your company which provides you with an alternative, penetrating marketing campaign putting yourself and company in a very positive light.

As so many searches commence after a key employee has departed, speed is often seen as crucial.  For a successful outcome, both the headhunter and the client must work towards ensuring the relationship runs smoothly.  The following points give advice as to how to achieve this:-

  1. Give the headhunter as much information as possible about your company and the role, setting aside plenty of time to do this.
  2. Explain why it may be difficult to fill. You should be able to trust your headhunter with any confidential information to help them find the right person.
  3. Treat the headhunter as part of your own team. Don’t treat them as merely a supplier of bodies.  There should be a real partnership based on openness and trust.
  4. Be focused with a clear idea of what you want to achieve and give a precise, consistent picture of the ideal candidate.  Mixed messages are unproductive.
  5. Make sure there is good communication between those who will decide who to hire, your HR team and the headhunter.  Communicate to the relevant people within your company that the search is a top priority.
  6. Show sincere interest in the search and do not simply outsource it to the headhunter.  Make sufficient time available for interviews and think through what questions you want to ask.  Your headhunter can help you with this if needed. 
  7. Give the headhunter plenty of access if necessary to your management team and the company workplace so that the consultant can fully appreciate the culture, the people, the challenge of the job and what skills and personality traits the jobholder will need. The more access the consultant has, the better able they will be to propose suitable candidates.
  8. Give prompt and thorough feedback on the candidate.  If the headhunter has got the profile wrong, provide feedback to allow changes to be made quickly.  It is also unprofessional not to provide candidates with feedback or to make them wait too long, and this can reflect negatively on you and your company.
  9. Reach hiring decisions quickly.  Don’t get bogged down in discussions about terms and conditions.  Agree the terms swiftly and then follow up in writing.  The candidate will not be impressed with your company if this part of the process drags on, and you may even loose them.
  10. Keep on top of the headhunter, but do not be overbearing.  Ask for updates and say clearly when you want progress reports.
  11. And finally, return all phone calls from the headhunter promptly to enable them to get the right person for your opportunity.

Mosaic Search & Selection are specialist headhunters with a global reach, coupled with years of experience in sourcing the very best executive search candidates for the Publishing, Call Centre, BPO and Financial Service industries. To start your search for the most suitable candidates, please contact us today.