However, a fine line separates how they operate, which is essentially the basic function they perform for clients. Let’s see exactly what separates recruiters from headhunters and why recruitment agencies must strive to become better at headhunting.
Recruiter vs. Headhunter – What They Do
A recruiter is generally an individual associated with a firm that specializes in talent acquisition. With access to various networks and databases of candidates, they start their search for the right candidate with a curriculum vitae.
A headhunter is more of a specialist at identifying individuals with a particular skill set that is suited for a particular role. They don’t limit themselves to candidates actively looking for jobs and rely on social networking and other platforms to persuade even those individuals that are already employed.
Why Headhunting is Important
A recruitment agency’s focus typically revolves around screening resumes and sharing suitable ones with a client. However, this doesn’t ensure that a position is filled by the right candidate.
Say, a client is planning to expand in a foreign market, which would naturally present unique challenges. Because there wouldn’t be time for extensive market research, the importance of ‘the right man’ for the job would come into play - someone with an understanding of the market, experienced with positions of leadership, and so on. But there’s a good chance that such a qualified person wouldn’t be hard-pressed for employment opportunities.
Unlike a recruitment agency, headhunters would actively approach such individuals on behalf of their client and apprise them of the opportunity. From here it can be as simple as setting up a meeting or making an offer that both parties would consent to. Clearly, headhunting requires a varied range of skills, not least of which are excellent communication with a proactive approach.
While recruitment agencies may be using some part of this approach, they must become better headhunters to spot talent quickly and accurately. Though there is no one formula for success in headhunting, taking certain measures can significantly improve the chances of finding the right person.
Social Presence and Networking
A recruitment agency shouldn’t limit itself to a passive approach based on researching online databases. It should actively scout for talent on social and professional networking platforms and attend networking events to connect with talented individuals.
Getting Headhunters on Payroll
While headhunting is usually outsourced to self-employed individuals, recruitment agencies can actively employ headhunters. By equipping them with the right resources and information (think databanks), they can further their agenda of becoming better at headhunting.
The Right Way to Approach Candidates
It is important to be tactful when approaching a candidate. Being too pushy can seem suspicious, especially when you’re approaching someone out of the blue. Yet following up with candidates is necessary. To find the right balance is key to becoming a better headhunter.
Recruitment agencies must approach candidates only after learning about a position in depth. Going in with a cursory understanding can leave a bad impression on the candidate. Know your facts and be thorough with background checks to become a better headhunter.
Randstad India is a leading recruitment agency that specializes in headhunting. With years of industry expertise and a global network, Randstad identifies just the right person for a role.