Headhunter: What It Is and How It Works

By Nabila Choirunnisa   |  

Headhunter is one of the professions included in the HR field. The scope of work itself is related to the process of recruiting company or agency employees. On this basis, many people often equate headhunters with recruiters.

Even though they both work to select new employees, they are two different professions. In fact, the two have different responsibilities. Then what kind of profession is a headhunter? How does it work? To answer these questions and find out more complete information about headhunters, check out the following review!

Definition of headhunters

A headhunter is a company, agency, or individual that provides consulting and recruitment services for employees in strategic, managerial, or C-suite level roles. Usually, companies use the services of a headhunter as an expert to assist in the employee recruitment process.

Broadly speaking, it can be said that a headhunter is an individual, agency, or company that provides employment recruitment services on behalf of an employer independently.

Headhunters work based on client or service user satisfaction in terms of finding new workers. Unlike HR or recruiters, headhunters are specialists who have the expertise to recruit employees with specific fields and skills.

Even though they seem to be a liaison between prospective employees and the company, headhunters actually work based on the needs of the client or company that uses their services. Headhunters are also known to be experts in finding the best talent by looking at potential candidates for new employees to work for a company.

Companies hire headhunters to recruit employees, usually when there is a new position that needs to be filled immediately and the company has difficulty finding the right person to fill the position. In addition to looking for prospective new employees, headhunters also have expertise in “attracting” top talent from a company to change jobs to a client company. These influencing and persuading skills are not possessed by company HR recruiters in general.

Therefore, headhunters are also often referred to as executive recruiters. They usually already have a data set of prospective candidates in various job positions, so the company entrusts recruitment to them.

Skills possessed by headhunters

1. Be aware of the current business environment and trends.

Digitalization today has affected all areas of business. This is certainly a challenge for headhunters because they will always be faced with this topic in conversation with potential clients and candidates. Therefore, headhunters must update their knowledge of the current trend in business.

2. Have a background in sales.

Similar to the job of a salesperson, a headhunter must be able to sell the candidate’s abilities and what they offer to the company. These selling skills must be integrated into all headhunting processes. In addition, a headhunter must also be able to attract potential candidates willing to fill the positions offered.

3. Capable of evaluating potential candidates

A headhunter generally does not look for the best candidates, but they will look for candidates who fit the criteria that the client is looking for. In the process, the ability, personality, and emotional dynamics of the candidate itself are taken into consideration. Therefore, when a headhunter is interviewing a potential candidate for the first time, he or she must be able to evaluate how the candidate will fit into the team both at work and in good interactions with the management team, managers, or company executives.

4. Be familiar with technology and keep up with its advancements.

Besides having to understand current technological developments, headhunters must also be able to manage various applications that are currently widely used for the recruitment process. In particular, the ability to use applications related to finding important and fast information. A good headhunter will not only use email, but they will also use various applications, including social media, to find the right candidate.

5. Capable of establishing networks

Today’s rapidly developing technology makes all information available quickly. However, building and maintaining a network is still very important. Despite the current speed of digitalization, networking still has a big impact on the headhunting process. Generally, headhunters will rely heavily on the network they have built over a long time to find the most appropriate candidates.

6. Maintain strict confidentiality

There are times when a headhunter will be asked to look for candidates capable of filling various strategic positions. This position will greatly affect the decision making in a company. Therefore, companies will tend to ask headhunters to secretly search for candidates. For that, every headhunter must be able to maintain the confidentiality of their client.

How do headhunters work?

In the current digital era, headhunters can very easily identify workforce specifications through various social media websites or through LinkedIn. Then, the headhunter will contact the candidate in question and begin to undergo selection according to the standards applicable to the client company.

Then, how technically is an employee recruited by a headhunter? One way is that the candidate must correct his online CV. For example, on LinkedIn, the candidate must write down several important things, such as:

1. Job description and experience

The first thing a headhunter will look at is your current and previous job history. For this reason, it is very important to include detailed work experience. In addition, clearly describe the job clearly, complete with a list of tasks and projects that have been completed. Also include a list of duties and responsibilities that you have held and that are relevant to the position you want. In addition, you should also briefly write down all the work you have done for the previous company. You must also be able to explain clearly and specifically your contribution to a project. So, it will increase your selling point.

2.Work results and achievements

A headhunter will also pay attention to the contributions and results of the work you have done in previous companies. For that, don’t ever hesitate to write down the achievements you’ve had and targets that went beyond your plans. In addition, don’t forget to include the achievements you’ve had and targets that were able to exceed your plans. Don’t forget to include it briefly.

3. Education and training

In addition to formal education, your CV must also include your competencies and skills. In fact, you should include a non-formal diploma that you have obtained at a trusted and well-known course institution. Why? Because the certificate or diploma will be able to increase your value as long as it is still relevant to the job.

4. Networking

Networking is a long-term foundation that has high value for professional relationships. When you attend a networking event or social media update, you won’t get a job right away. However, the professional relationship that you establish will be able to help you open up opportunities in the future.

5. Consistent and simple to understand

Write down your work history and past accomplishments using a chronological order that is easier to read in a variety of bullet points. At least, avoid using sentences that are not important or standard sentences. Use words that can strengthen your selling point in the eyes of headhunters. If the client states that the employee candidate has passed, the headhunter’s job doesn’t just stop there. They also have to continue to escort the candidate until his probation period has been declared over by the employee.

Tags : Headhunter, HR, recruitment

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