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Recruiting your headhunter: 6 key points



Virginie Graziani

Talent Management & Synergologist

9 February 2023

Reading Time: 5 minutes



Recruiting an employee is the first management act in the experience of an executive and/or director. However, in order to attract and find experienced profiles, the classic search by advertisement is not enough. The question then arises of working with a professional in the search for specialised profiles, particularly through headhunting. However, nothing is more difficult than recruiting a headhunter: between the opacity and confidentiality of the profession, how can you make the right choice?


Choosing your headhunter


Difficulties in recruiting are widespread. According to the latest APEC studies, 82% of companies will find it difficult to recruit a manager in 2023. At the top of the list of problems is the low number of candidates or profiles available. The particularities of the executive job market in France still force many companies to turn to a headhunter to find their future employees. However, in order to make the right choice, here are a few basic points to bear in mind.




The ability of a consultant to understand your needs, your context and your specificities and to communicate them to potential candidates will ensure that the mission is well carried out. The consultant represents your company, he/she is the first contact and therefore the first image that the candidate will assess before committing to a recruitment process. Your headhunting partner must therefore integrate your needs and also the spirit of your structure.


How to evaluate those Mad profiles with the Assessment?


The Assessment or the Development Center are methodologies that use professional situations. The objective is to carry out a precise diagnosis of the strengths and areas for improvement of a candidate or employee. In the context of recruitment, this step allows us to advise the company on an integration plan that is appropriate to the individual’s personality and skills. Also, having a global vision of talents is essential to prepare a new organization within a company. In the case of internal mobility, the assessment includes specific recommendations on a development plan.



Expert advice


Your consultant must be able to provide you with references highlighting his or her expertise in the search for and evaluation of profiles similar to those expected in your company. Be careful not to choose a consultant who is too specialised and who will quickly find himself trapped in his network, within which it will then be difficult for him to select a candidate previously hired by another of his clients.





The large firms dealing with a large volume of assignments will logically have some difficulty in adapting their processes and offering you the finesse of a tailor-made service. The price level of the recruitment firm will tell you both about the quality of the services offered and about the resources used for the recruitment mission (advertisement distribution, CV database, headhunting, etc.).



The + in executive search


When the profile to be recruited is rather rare due to the reduced number of professionals available on the market, you will want to create a solid partnership with the consultant who accompanies you. Indeed, your consultant cannot work without you, as you also need to have regular feedback from him/her. This is especially the case when the initial profile will have to be adjusted according to the feedback from your headhunter in touch with the reality of the market.



Regular feedback


Once the project has been launched, regular monitoring will allow you to follow the progress of the mission until the final integration of your collaborator. Working with a headhunter means forming a valuable partnership. Thus, you can ask your consultant for feedback on the initial elements provided, but also for regular feedback throughout your collaboration.



Preliminary agreements


The definition of the required profile may change during the recruitment process to adapt to the candidates available on the job market. Consequently, it is necessary to agree in advance on the non-negotiable criteria of the profile to be recruited, but also on the deadlines to be respected. It is a question of working closely with your partner, in complete transparency.


Long-term commitment


A good recruitment is evaluated over time and your consultant will be keen to remain in contact with the chosen candidate beyond the first few months following recruitment. Both parties (on the company side and on the candidate side) are regularly surveyed on their feedback, notably through satisfaction surveys or quality audits. Whatever the tool used, continuous improvement is a real added value.



The invisible within recruitment firms


Innovation does not only exist in industry, it also concerns services. As far as headhunters are concerned, IT tools are increasingly accompanying them today. However, these tools must facilitate the various search phases, without ever replacing THE relationship.

Indeed, it is the targeted and quality contact that will change the career path of an executive or manager. Knowing how to sound out a person’s current state of mind in order to understand and envisage the next step in a career path is a profession in the field of relational art.

Also, IT must remain in its place in this alchemy which allows the best for the employee and his future employer.

So what do you think are the undeniable qualities of a headhunter?



About the Direct Approach


Headhunting is a way of approaching candidates from a specific sector of activity, with experience and mastery of specific skills and environments. These experienced individuals are generally not actively looking for a job opportunity and therefore their profiles are difficult to access through traditional recruitment channels.





Explore how an individual will perform in the future : Discover our Assessment Center based on simulation of a professional environment

To find out more about how we can help you attract, motivate and find the right talent, please contact us via the contact form or at contact@apostrof.fr.


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RH Consulting – Talent Management
Scientific evaluation of skills and potential

Expert in the evaluation and development of resources, skills and potential, Apostrof helps you make the right decisions regarding recruitment, annual interviews, professional training, organisation of operational staff, career management and professional development, succession plans and high potential..

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