What Qualities Do Headhunters Seek in Candidates for Management Jobs?

Have you ever even asked yourself question like how a Headhunter identifies candidates for management jobs. What qualities do headhunters seek in today’s leaders? We have, and therefore we reached out to a headhunter directly. A good leader in a management job can bring value that qualifies him or her for a top position.

What qualities do headhunters seek in leaders

Often there is talk of assertiveness and the ability to command respect. Behind these lie a lot of “soft” qualities of the personality that are important and so the focus is increasingly placed on communication, feedback and interpersonal relationships. But before we share this further, we want to listen to the expert first, and get insights from today’s interviewee, Karsten Berge from SearchConsult.

What questions must a candidate always be prepared for in an interview for management jobs?

What added value and experience would you bring to the work with our clients? This is the question you use to allow the applicants to showcase the self-assessment of their own skills, which are based on their experiences from previous positions. This also allows us to take note of their personal assessment of factors that they consider important for the new work/ position.

Are there any new trends in the HR/recruitment sector that you expect to see in the near future, especially for management positions?

A focus on a certain industry and even within the industry on key and specialized areas such as SearchConsult focuses on BI / ERP / CRM or say, Apentia consulting on SAP. The client and the candidate mandates are honored when they speak the ‘same language’ and their qualifications/skill-sets can find a strong professional match.

This ensures, the quality of the candidates presented at the client-side increases enormously and the candidates feel well understood and cared for. At the same time, access to the candidate is changing rapidly, because in addition to directly contacting the candidates, online portals such as Experteer are playing an increasingly important role.

What are the most important qualities headhunters seek in candidates for management jobs?

Personal authenticity and strong communication are primary. And so is flexibility with respect to say location or work-timings. With professional expertise, we are witnessing an increasing expectation at client side to have strong industry-specific process knowledge.

Personally, in a spectrum of these qualities, how do you identify the best of senior candidates?

The ability to adapt to new  market and economic developments in a short time period, as well being able to manage and work well together in teams and even virtual teams in physically separate locations is key.

How does one choose the best headhunters, is it by industry focus or something else?

Our company focuses on the ICT industry. In this industry, you can see a trend that clients increasingly prefer recruitment agencies specializing on certain topics. The time of the “all-rounders or generalized” headhunters/ recruiters in the HR consulting industry is coming to an end.

The spectrum within the ICT industry is also very wide so that you can find recruiters adequately prepared to work on any topic. This, however at the same time means that, the recruitment consultant and researcher need to have relevant experiences.
We would like to thank Karsten Berge for these interesting insights. The interview took place at an earlier date.

However, we wanted to share the tips that you can undoubtedly use while establishing strong headhunter connections and knowing what to expect. Perhaps this can help you get your next top position!

In addition, before we go, we have quotes from a couple of other experts enlisting leadership qualities you may want to focus on…

Michael Dams, National Instruments: “I would like to say a good boss has the knowledge of the matter and can listen and communicate. In addition, he trusts his staff and builds momentum. He/She acts with integrity. Personally to me, it is also important that he/she can radiate reliability.”

Dr. Sörge Drosten, Kienbaum Executive Search: “I’d imagine, communication is at the forefront. Only managers with an open, forward looking and to the point communication style can operate successfully in the long run. With clear communication, it is possible to allocate tasks within or outside departments successfully. Clear communication is also the only way to identify problems early, draw synergies, and find new approaches and solutions to increasingly complex issues. In such an environment, a non collaborative person will not stand a chance.”

About Karsten Berge und SearchConsult:

Karsten BergeKarsten Berge is the managing partner at SearchConsult, a company specializing in one of the most dynamic markets in the headhunting industry- information technology and telecommunications. The SearchConsult team consists of consultants with many years of management and sales experience in the ICT industry, consultants with expertise in recruiting international executives, as well as an internal research team with in-depth industry knowledge.

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