Economics/Business

How to get noticed by headhunters/10 Tips to Get Noticed by a Headhunter

There comes a time in many professionals’ careers when the most likely source of alternative career options is via a headhunter. So if your next job is in the hands of a research firm, what do you need to do to capture their attention? David Angel, regional director of Page Executive, shares his advice. How to get noticed by headhunters?

1. Increase your visibility

One of the most effective ways to be recognized and identified as a talent is to actively participate in the dialogue within your sector/industry. Speaking at industry events or conferences, having articles published or being cited in relevant articles will increase your visibility.

2. Get recognized for your success

It may seem obvious, but the more successful you are, the more likely you are to be approached by a survey company. People who stand out (in a good way!) are easier to find. Unfortunately, seeing yourself as successful is not enough. What matters is what other people think of you. Your colleagues, your former colleagues, your competitors. Are there enough people out there who will recommend you and suggest your name if their opinion is required?

3. Be recognized as an expert

While the cultural fit between an individual and a potential employer will be a crucial element of the recruitment decision, most consultants will be looking for people with specific skills and experience. If you are recognized as being an expert or specialist, you have a greater chance of being identified. How to get noticed by headhunters?

4. Network consistently:

Many people talk about networking, few do anything about it. Effective networking among your peer group and across your industry is a powerful way to increase your chances of getting noticed. Make an effort to connect with talented and well-connected colleagues and reach out to others you know are important in your market.

5. Invest in your network for the long term

The most successful people who network in their professional relationships consistently over time. This type of behavior is much more genuine and more likely to reward you than the ‘enthusiastic’ networking that people often end up trying when they need a job.

6. Do social networking

LinkedIn, other social networking sites and search engines have changed some elements of the executive search process. While the traditional “black book” approach remains valid, most researchers will also use a multitude of online tools as part of their “long” construction process. As a result, it is advisable to build yourself a compelling social media profile. Also make sure that any of your articles, industry comments and/or PR are visible online. Too much exposure is not advisable, but a little online presence will lead to more headhunting experts meeting you more often. How to get noticed by headhunters?

7. Headhunting VS. Executive Recruitment  

Executive recruiting consultants, the people who helped you early in your career, tend to work in a relatively high volume of roles and rely on a database of candidates, advertising and networking to ‘fill the job openings’. This type of recruiter is easier to contact and get involved as they may be trying to build a large and varied pool of talent and they will happily have you in their database until they have something suitable to present to you.

8. Don’t call us, we’ll call you

True headhunting campaigns are intended to find the best possible talent for a specific role and then persuade the most suitable people to consider the role. Whether or not an individual is struggling to change jobs is usually irrelevant! The norm is for the consultant/researcher to call you and this partially explains why you may not find it easy to get in touch with them. Most headhunting professionals are experts, so if you are highly relevant to their experience, they are likely to be happy to talk to you and/or get to know you. If you have no direct relevance to them and/or they are not dealing with a proper tenure, you might think they politely explain that they will make the effort to get to know you.

9. Use a survey company for your own recruitment 

One of the easiest ways to develop a relationship with a headhunting company is to use them to recruit for you. Strong professional relationships are often the ones that are truly beneficial to both parties. If you’ve found a research firm relevant to your own career development, get in touch with them when you’re hiring. At this point, they will accept your call! If you are known at that company, they may well contact you again in future research. Conflicts of interest and “off-limits” protocols are taken very seriously by headhunting companies and this limits the effectiveness of this approach somewhat. However, if you are interested in investing in long-term relationships, this approach is often successful. How to get noticed by headhunters?

10. Are you a client or a candidate?

For most people, the answer to this question is both, but not always at the same time. Headhunting consultants often end up placing people they met as clients and also work for clients they met first as candidates. It’s worth remembering that a talented recruiter may very well be able to help your career as well as help you find talent for your organization. If, in the past, you had decided not to take a call from a recruiter when he was looking for business, they might not answer your call when you are looking for a job! The same is true the other way around, of course, so the best advice for all of us is to take the time to communicate with each other. Use a long-term approach to building strong, mutually beneficial relationships with peers and recruiters. Try to stay visible and ensure your key skills and accomplishments are in the public domain. How to get noticed by headhunters?

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