Direct approach recruitment, more familiarly known as ‘headhunting’, these days is not solely used for executives.
A shortage of certain types of professional profile and the need for very specific operational skills are spurring recruiters to make greater use of this particular recruitment method.
It involves approaching a number of known employees who have a good reputation within their sector. The most interesting and interested of them then need to be drawn in so that their professional and personal qualities can be assessed.
We aim to identify the key elements of candidates’ careers and to analyse their professional record (achievements, performance) as well as their potential and their motivation for taking up the post to be filled. A process then begins of channelling the candidates approached towards an attractive opportunity.
The first step is for recruiters to identify potential candidates. These days employees use virtual networks to spread their profile among their networks of contacts. Using the internet, we can all manage our own communications policy and image.
However, most senior managers and executives whose careers and profiles would be of interest to multiple companies do not have the time to think about where their careers are going. Contact with a ‘head-hunter’ at the appropriate time will either prompt them to think about their current professional situation or arouse interest in the opportunity being offered.
This is more likely nowadays as employees’ loyalty and sense of belonging to a particular company diminish and their individual career path becomes more important to them. It is therefore of prime importance for recruiters to identify the real, deeper motivations of the candidates that they meet. Career development should fit into an employee’s career path and plans without disrupting their work/life balance.
The war for talent is now an issue not only for companies with an international presence, but also for domestic companies. So the role and skills of the ‘head-hunter’ are not about to disappear, even though its slightly unusual expertise is not taught in schools but is only ever passed on from one consultant to another.
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