Headhunters as we introduced before, are a part of a serious business. Usually most of us are not aware of the whole value chain or the activities of a headhunter especially when analyzing just how a Headhunter finds you a top position. We decided to list down the top ten activities that are a part of the Headhunter business to help you see the steps of reaching your dream career in a more transparent manner.
Here’s our ‘Headhunter value chain‘ and the activity list:
- Identification of consulting needs & sales of service: This includes the acquisition of new clients (who own your dream jobs), references, online and offline marketing from the Headhunter. The headhunter usually develops a consulting services portfolio and a company intro. Many headhunters may specialize on specific sectors and talent profiles.
- Project consulting: The absolute key on how your Headhunter finds you a top position comes from them analyzing the project goals, developing the description of the position, needs, conditions and terms, together with their clients. This is a process that usually goes back and forth to ensure that the correct needs are looked out for!
- Market research and identification: The headhunter next analyzes the target market (in some case target firms) for suitable potential candidates. This may happen through information and recommendations through their network, through specialized databases (e.g. for top-level senior management positions Experteer is a great database with a ~6 million strong candidate database). This is also the time that the Headhunter may conduct extensive web research.
- Initial contact: Your Headhunter finds you a top position, and this is the stage for you to know! Headhunters get in touch with candidates who seem to fit in the profile and assess mutual interest and a potential fit.
- Detailed Interview part 1: This initially starts with a telephone interview. Usually, a Headhunter would find a match towards motivation, culture fit, education, development, functional fit, salary and mobility.
- Detailed Interview part 2: Here the funnel comes to about 5 to 10 selected top candidates and the fit around competencies including- expertise, social competency, management experience, leadership abilities, motivations etc.
- Candidate presentation: Here the Headhunter usually sends in ‘anonymized CVs’ to clients. About 3-7 candidates reach this level when the Headhunter moderates the discussion between the companies and candidates and presents confidential reports of the performance in the interviews.
- Reference check: The Headhunter obtains the references for the candidates and also generates a second confidential report on how well it maps to present to the companies
- Project support & closing: Here the headhunter may help moderate the process of contract negotiations, and also mentor the candidates until the official contracts are signed. Salary negotiation mentoring can also be a possibility. Finally feedback conversations with the recruiter as well as candidate are also undertaken
- Reporting: Here the Headhunter analyzes the whole process reporting on the candidates found, firms researched and closes the loop with a quality audit, goal setting and the next goal.
It is probably not hard to notice that how your Headhunter finds you a top position is a complex and long value chain including a string of specialized activities. In the future, we hope to share more insights on how candidates can enhance their positioning in each of these steps, to ensure that they close in the gap towards finding their dream careers!