When most people think about a good headhunters it is usually from the point of view of using one to either fill a niche position or to gain help in finding employment in a specialist field. But what are the job skills needed to become a good headhunters? Let us take a look at seven must-have skills for head-hunters.
Communicate Exceptionally Well
Head-hunters must be brilliant communicators, and need to be able to understand both sides of the equation, so they can sell a job to prospective candidates so well that they are prepared to give up their known and comfortable work to take a chance on something new, as well as assuring employers that the candidate that they have found is the best possible fit for the vacancy. Head-hunters must be able to understand what is meant, as well as what is being said – not everyone is as clear as they could be when describing desirable traits in an employee!
Be Like a Matchmaker
Fitting people to the right positions is easy enough on paper, but when you mix in human foibles and character traits making these matches can get much harder. Being a good head-hunter involves being able to tell if a candidate is a good match not only for the job, having the necessary qualifications, but also for the company culture. Of course, this does not refer to protected characteristics – such as gender, ethnicity, religion and so on – but rather the personality type of the people involved: putting a people pleaser with someone who demands more and more and more from their employees is a terrible idea and will almost certainly result in the employer perhaps becoming a full-fledged bully, and the employee suffering from burn-out. Instead, you will understand that dominant personalities need someone who is their equal in personality type, who will stand up to them and be capable of resisting the pressure to consistently improve on an already excellent performance!
Have an Excellent Eye for Admin
Good Headhunters often play the long game, with recruitment campaigns running into weeks and months. Knowing exactly how far in the campaign any one candidate or company has reached is vital for good management and following through to the next step. You should have an easy to use filing system with all your notes clearly typed up, preferably on a data-base or spreadsheet of some kind so you can quickly sort data by criteria, as needed. In this way, you do not have to rely on your memory to recall a good candidate, your system will provide you with up to the minute information the instant you need it. And needless to say, much of the data you handle will be sensitive and should be password protected with physical copies locked away when not in use.
Being flexible and willing to change your plans at a moment’s notice is also a useful skill for a head-hunter. If a shy candidate suddenly signals willingness to talk, you must strike while the iron is hot and not let their piqued interest die away, as it almost certainly will if you show any hesitation about acting on their newly expressed interest.
Be Salesy – But Not Too Salesy!
A good head-hunter will lay out the benefits of the job in question or the candidate under consideration in a way that is both flattering and truthful. Any sign of a head-hunter making false promises and a wary or cynical client will back away. Other traits shared with good salespeople is knowing when to be persistent and how to be patient. There is a fine line between pushy and passionate and a good head-hunter knows how to walk that line.
Look the Part
While some workplaces are becoming less formal, others still require strict office dress, or even uniforms. Executive headhunters must learn how to dress according to the industry they are catering for. But even when the dress code is casual or even barely existence, a head-hunter should look as though they are a figure of authority, deserving of respect and with a depth of knowledge behind them that makes them the ideal recruiter for any business.
Cope with Pressure While every recruiter goes through spells of quiet, there are also hectic times when companies are pressing for multiple positions to be filled, promising candidates have shown signs of making the leap (with your help, of course) to another company, and everyone seems to want your attention right now! A good head-hunter is able to cope with these high-pressure times, thriving on the bustle, and keeping on top of all their candidates and clients’ doings, thanks to the abovementioned admin system!