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How to get yourself headhunted

Posted on from Page Executive

Getting headhunted can seem a difficult prospect, particularly in the current jobs market. But with many senior HR roles being filled through headhunting, how can you give yourself the best chance of being noticed? Simon Bell offers his top tips.

Communicate your successes

Are you doing a great job? The more successful you are, the more likely you’ll be noticed. Do people know about your specific contributions? As well as doing a good job, for HR professionals, it’s vital your good work is being recognised both internally and externally.

Search firms regularly ask people for recommendations of who they think are experts in market or the best person they have ever worked for. What matters is what other people think of you, so make sure your colleagues, former colleagues, and competitors think highly of you. Don’t be shy about communicating your successes – appropriately.

Keep up the networking

A common mistake people make is to become suddenly enthusiastic about networking when looking for a job. This approach can make you come across as insincere and hence your relationships may never prosper. Networking can be a powerful tool to increase your chances of being noticed within your peer group.

The key to successful networking is to be consistent and ensure you invest over the long term. Make an effort to stay in touch with talented and well-connected colleagues and reach out to other people who you know are figureheads within your marketplace. Take time to support and mentor more junior professionals in your own organisation and externally - it will be recognised.

Boost your visibility

Executive search firms have a dedicated research function whose role is to identify suitable individuals so make sure you have a presence online and in person. New technologies are being introduced into a recruiter’s toolbox changing the way talent can be found, so it is important that you build a compelling social media profile. This means ensuring that your LinkedIn profile is up to date including having a professional photo. Some well selected testimonials from senior colleagues is worthwhile, but a small number only. Nothing screams desperation like 30 testimonials.

Add credibility to your credentials by getting involved in industry events or conferences, having articles published or being quoted in relevant articles. Good search firms will be reading key industry publications so if you have the opportunity to comment make sure you do so.

Use a search firm to recruit your staff

The strongest relationships often grow from a working relationship. As recruiters, many of our clients were former candidates who had a positive experience and subsequently brought their business to us. Equally, many of the individuals we place were previously clients who we got to know when recruiting for them.

A talented recruiter doesn’t distinguish between candidate and client; they just spot top talent and ensure they provide an excellent service in the appropriate area at the appropriate time. The strongest professional relationships are often those that are truly beneficial to both parties.

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