disruptive, headhunter, recruiting, specialist
An interesting conversation I over heard whilst grabbing a coffee between seminars – at a [very] recent recruitment event…”you can’t headhunt for that role – it is not an executive level position!”

Codswallop! and yes I did hold my tongue [for those who know me that was really hard to do!]. HeadHunting is not the sole domain of, or intellectual property right of passage for ‘Executive’ or ‘C-Suite’ search requirements. One reason some think so is due to traditional views and good sales by the Executive Search & Selection community – good on them, but I want to disrupt some misnomers:

  1. HeadHunting is NOT expensive – it is a highly cost effective solution for the right role, function and business.
  2. HeadHunting is an all-inclusive service provided by professionals for specialist roles and functions that are hard to find, major impact on business performance or the position needs to be kept quite from the marketplace until filled.
  3. HeadHunting is NOT practiced by nor the forte of the majority (99%) of traditional Staffing/Recruitment Agencies/Firms.
  4. HeadHunting IS a consultative approach to search, engagement and selection and requires all invested parties to be be on the same page throughout the process.
  5. HeadHunters do not search for purple squirrels, unicorns or dodo’s.

So, what roles can you engage a HeadHunter for, the potential list is long and varied, but here are just a few I have been engaged to hunt…

  • Industry = Aerospace/Defence, Role = Reliability Engineer
  • Industry = Aerospace/Defence, Role = Ballistics Engineer
  • Industry = Financial Software, Role = Configuration Management
  • Industry = Manufacturing, Role = Retooling PM
  • Industry = BioChemical, Role = Biomune Scientist
  • Industry = Construction, Role = Conveyor Upgrade PM
  • Industry = Software as a Service (SaaS), Role = Architect
  • Industry = Manufacturing, Role = Operational Controller

Most of these roles were viewed as ‘Specialists’ by the company/business and I would put them in the same uniqueness as CEO/CFO/CTO/VP/etc…

talent, search

The main qualifying criteria is;

  1. there are usually only one of them in each business
  2. their particular skill-set are by virtue of the profession limited in supply
  3. you need to ‘hunt’ after a top or known name in a specific niche, industry or company [Sales for example]
  4. not having the role/position filled has significant impact on the business
  5. traditional [and broken] method of post and pray does not attract the right people, nor does it engage with them!

So, the next time your business has a specialist or unique role to fill – engage a professional ‘HeadHunter’ / ‘Recruiting Specialist’ early on, they will save you money and pain in the long term.