How to headhunt “A Good Headhunter”

— By Talib Wassan, CEO, ACS Japan

Headhunters often have the access to jobs that are not advertised elsewhere and can speed up the hiring process between an employer and potential candidate depending on the situation; therefore it is of utmost importance to find a good agency and a good headhunter to discuss your career with and not to miss out on countless hidden job opportunities.

Selecting the “Right Recruitment Agency”

Every agency has strong industry presence in some specific domains so it is very important to select an agency that has superior contacts within the industry of your expertise. It doesn’t make sense to contact an agency which specializes in pharmaceutical industry while your career and expertise lies within IT industry. However, some agencies do everything without having any specific domain expertise. It is important to determine if the agency can accurately represent you for the most appropriate opportunities out there.

Identifying the right “Industry Expert Headhunter”

We often get calls or resumes from candidates who have background in automotive or mechanical engineering industry, we simply apologize that we don’t focus on such industries. This indicates that the candidate didn’t really do their research for the best headhunters out there. Sending a resume to someone who doesn’t even conduct searches in your field doesn’t yield good results. We recommend that you target those headhunters who specifically work within your industry / field. You can use LinkedIn or other networking methods to find out if anyone you know can recommend a good recruiter within your domain, and ask for an introduction.

Also, it is important to know if the recruiter has a few years of experience within your area of expertise. Make sure that the recruiter has 360-degree recruitment experience and knows his/her clients and candidates personally. A professional recruiter can always help you in writing an informative and professional resume matching the industry standards. He or she can help you with interview preparations by providing you some inside information on the opportunity and the client.

Help the Headhunter to assist you better

Recruiters are information brokers – the more you can give them, the more they’ll be inclined to help you when you are exploring new opportunities. Working with a recruiter as a team member really helps streamline the process of finding a great opportunity. It’s important to be open and honest as much as possible with your recruiter about your career, preferences and anything else that could affect your job search. Holding back information can make you look sneaky. Bringing these things up at the last minute can be a deal-breaker making the recruiter look unprofessional in front of their clients. Sharing updates on other job opportunities, interviews, offers, etc. helps recruiters to negotiate better with their clients and also speed up the process whenever necessary.

Since you work in the field and probably know many competitors within your domain, help your recruiter identifying some companies that you find interesting to work for, or you have heard good things about. This helps your recruiter understand your interests and future goals.