5 Tips for Building Stronger Executive Headhunter Relationships
Impressing headhunters is one major thing, but developing a strong relationship is needed to be put forward for relevant opportunities, manage expectations and understand what the candidate is looking for. Being put forward for unsuitable opportunities is not going to help the candidate or the headhunter, so mutual understanding and honesty is required. Building strong trusted relationships with good reputable headhunting firms is vitally important to get the most out of any potential opportunities.
Relationship Building with Headhunters
- Research Headhunter Contacts (identifying potential headhunters to partner with)
- Visit (Establish relationships by visiting headhunters and building a good rapport)
- Follow Advice (listen, learn and follow constructive advice; make adjustments)
- Remain Proactive (keep headhunters informed; maintain job search intensity)
- Strong Focus (recruitment processes can often take time to come to fruition)
Research Headhunter Contacts: Carefully identify headhunter contacts by location, industry sector or through personal recommendation from others. Choosing the right headhunter to partner with is important as there are some good and bad ones, but equally candidates need someone who is going to support them and understanding requirements better to find the right opportunity.
Visit Headhunters: This is probably the most important thing. Getting through the door, building a rapport, having an initial interview and being accepted on their books, are important first steps. Having met candidates, headhunters are much more likely to remember them, understand requirements better and push harder for opportunities. Candidates must be credible and convincing for headhunter contacts.
Follow Advice: Headhunters are in a position to offer a wealth of advice and guidance, especially if candidates are credible and have a good chance of securing a top-level position. There are some good headhunters who offer really good advice, whilst others are less forthcoming or do not have the time.
Remain Proactive: Keep headhunters informed on a regular basis to maintain relationship and build momentum into the job search. Do not rely entirely on headhunters to use their contacts networks and deliver a pipeline of opportunities. A balanced approach to job search activities is more successful.
Strong Focus: Recruitment processes can be fraught with issues, delays and problems getting key decision-makers in one place to oversee the selection process. Stay positive, be patient and remain focused to take advantage of opportunities that emerge over time. There are peaks and troughs of recruitment activity as well as seasonal elements that can interrupt things.
5 Ways to Build Headhunter Relationships: Conclusion
These are just some quick ways to prepare in advance of meeting headhunters and subsequently managing a worthwhile relationship going forward. Headhunters expect high standards, quick responses and have limited time on each assignment. Credible candidates are likely to get through screening procedures, whereas timewasters will not (headhunters can be ruthless). It is also necessary to choose the right headhunting firm by location, industry sector or specialist niche as this influences the type, nature and scope of vacancies on offer. One of the major challenges is finding useful ways to remain focused on goals for job searches to build momentum by getting organised, making a list and prioritising key tasks.
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