Successful companies are no strangers to heavy-handed sales tactics from headhunting firms that make big promises. A headhunter or professional recruiter can be a useful partner in sourcing and hiring top talent, especially for highly skilled positions. But how do you know who you can trust? It can be difficult to sort through the noise, but here are some of the top characteristics to look for in a headhunter for your business.
Headhunters should have extensive experience in your industry and a proven track record of success. You want to work with someone who has a solid pipeline of passive talent and who understands the unique challenges of your specific market.
Good Listening Skills
It is impossible to match a candidate with an employer without listening. Listening ensures that the recruiter understands both the client and the candidate and that they add value. People who talk more than they listen simply cannot deliver effective results.
A Sense of Urgency
In today’s job market, a slow hiring process will cost you top talent. Great recruiters and headhunters can generate a sense of urgency across the board to help keep the process moving forward to ensure you land your ideal candidate before a competitor does.
A Strong Sense of Timing
Creating good matches is as much about timing as it is about finding the right candidate. If the candidate isn’t ready to make a move when you’ve got an open position, you can’t hire them. Great recruiters and headhunters can spot the right moment to present a great candidate with an opportunity at your business.
A Good “BS” Detector and Filter
Effective headhunters don’t have time to waste with candidates who aren’t upfront with them or with clients who aren’t providing the right details. They have a good “BS detector” and make it a habit not to waste their time. They should also be able to apply a “BS filter” to themselves; good headhunters are direct and forthcoming.
Attention To Detail
Look for someone who pays attention to detail across the board and who may even ask you to provide more detail throughout the process so they can do a better job. They should pay attention to deadlines, address your requirements and should be able to provide you with some tips on how to make your process more efficient and more successful.
The Ability To Manage Expectations
It is virtually impossible to deliver a candidate who matches up 100% to every item on an employer’s wish list. Hiring the right person is often about compromise. Good headhunters can help hiring managers develop realistic expectations and to understand which traits and qualifications are true “must-haves” and which are “nice-to-haves.”