How to Perfect the Skills for Headhunting

  • Mobile phone, tablet and laptop

Headhunting can be far more challenging than finding candidates from the active jobseekers in your recruitment database, but can often be the way to find people your clients will be really excited about hiring. Generally, to headhunt means to get in touch with someone who is already working in a similar position or industry, and to try and lure them into considering a job with your recruiting client.

BlogHH1This means you need several skills – researching, to find targets, pitching, to encourage interest in your vacancy, and the subtlety to keep your interactions with the candidate under their current company’s radar.

Learn to Find the Right Targets
Your client may have already given you some direction on companies they would be interested in hiring people with experience at, or it may be obvious that a certain company would have people with the perfect experience and skills for your vacancy. Researching to find people who look like promising targets is exceptionally important, because you don’t want to waste time persuading someone to apply for your vacancy only to find they aren’t the fit you were looking for anyway. Things like LinkedIn can be a good tool, as can good old fashioned web research. You may also have people within your network of contacts who can help you with your fishing!

Sharpen Up Your Pitching
Persuading someone who doesn’t have a job to apply for a specific role is usually just a case of convincing them it is a good fit for them, but when you are dealing with people who already are in roles – often good ones – you need to really be able to promote what switching to your client could offer. Being very clear on what the benefits of the role are compared to someone’s current job will be essential here, as will making it clear why the employer would be so keen to consider your target in particular. Is the vacancy a more senior job? Is the company you are hiring for performing better than their employer? Is the project they would be working on very prestigious? Are there any benefits that would suit that person specifically, like a location closer to their home, more flexible working conditions, or more or less travel? Are there better promotion opportunities or personal development strategies within your client’s company?

This is partly about really understanding your client and their vacancy, so you can accurately represent why a move might suit the target, but is also about listening to them and trying to find out any things that they don’t like about their present work situation. Find out their career goals, and where their current job might not be helping them reach them.

If you want to become good at headhunting, these skills will be invaluable to you, so work on them, seek out training, and if you can, find someone who is experienced in approaching potential clients who are currently employed and ask them to mentor you.


Chameleoni Master Logo 1Chameleon-i offers a cloud based (SaaS) Recruitment Software package, giving your business 24/7 access. With no set up costs, no annual contract or long term tie-in and a business friendly rolling 30-day license enabling the addition & removal of users as your business needs dictate.

Chameleon-i online recruitment software delivers a fast, secure and portable database for recruitment agencies placing Permanent, Contract and Temporary candidates and a choice of website integration solutions including our WordPress plugin. We also build beautiful recruitment websites…

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2018-07-10T14:42:20+00:0027/04/2016|Categories: Recruitment Articles|Tags: , |

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