Category: Advice

What Does Headhunter mean?

Article by Lynne Dare, Director at Mosaic Search & Selection

What does Headhunter mean?

The business world is filled with acronyms and buzzwords. When it comes to recruitment, headhunting has been a popular term for years. But if you look it up online, the most common result is an ancient practice of literally hunting people and taking their heads!

Headhunting is now generally called Executive Recruitment or Executive Search. The industry has come a long way since the ancient practice of headhunting, and just as the terminology has moved on, we now operate using proven methods to help companies find the best candidates for senior roles – literally the “head” of a company or department!

Let’s take a closer look at what headhunting is, what being headhunted involves, and how we headhunt.

What is headhunting?

Headhunting, also called Executive Search, is the process of identifying and recruiting the best possible candidate for a senior level position. Usually, this is confined to Management / Director roles.   As an experienced headhunter, they specialise in approaching suitable individuals for positions which may be difficult to fill, confidential, and could also be time critical.

Often, candidates are identified and targeted even if the candidate is not actively looking for a new job. Passive candidates are approached confidentially, sold the benefits of the new opportunity and headhunters are in an ideal position to do this on behalf of their clients.

Some companies may have an internal headhunter or talent acquisition team responsible for filling roles.  However, most companies work with an Executive Search Agency to find the top talent for their senior-level positions, as it has been proven to be the most effective process.

Many companies now prefer to use the term “executive recruitment” instead of headhunting as this gives a more accurate description of what’s really happening.

How does headhunting or executive search work?

The executive recruitment process can vary greatly, but here at Mosaic Search, we’ve developed our own proven methods to ensure the greatest chance of successfully placing a candidate in the appropriate role, both in the UK and Internationally.

When a company identifies a critical position that needs to be filled, we will meet with the decision-maker to discuss the specifics. This covers everything from company culture, goals, position details, the ideal candidate, unique challenges, diversity, compensation, and more.

Armed with this crucial information, further market and competitor research is performed to gain an in-depth understanding of target companies and pertinent individuals to contact. We then create a search strategy and begin approaching individuals and selling them the benefits of this key opportunity.

The Executive Search Consultant will act as a confidential intermediary throughout the whole process from the initial screening, arranging interviews, briefing both client and candidates, negotiating remuneration, and finalising the offer and employment contract.

Start an executive recruitment search today

At Mosaic Search & Selection, we specialise in senior-level roles within the Publishing, Financial Services, and Business Process Outsourcing sectors.   Since 2000, we’ve leveraged our global reach, years of recruitment experience and the professional capabilities of our Executive Search Consultants enabling companies to fulfil their talent selection needs successfully and to help candidates locate their next leadership position.

Despite the slightly unusual name, headhunting isn’t as scary as it sounds; It’s all about finding the best candidate for a role. If you’re interested in working with us to find your next business-critical hire, get in touch, and one of our team will be happy to discuss your requirements. Click here to contact us, we’d love to hear from you.




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