As a headhunt search company we are in business to help clients find the high calibre people they need to be successful.
We find people by identifying and then headhunting target individuals who we believe have the right skills and attributes that we are looking for. That’s great – but when a headhunter rings you, what is it really like?
As a rule of thumb, we will firstly call the individual and identify that it is in fact them speaking (and not their manager who’s answered their line); then we will make them aware that we are a headhunting organisation and that we would like to have a conversation with them about an career opportunity. We’ll ask “is it a convenient time to talk?”
Having spent over 23 years working in Search Recruitment; the single biggest issue I’ve found is explaining to clients what is it that we actually do? How do we “add value” to their business?
And why does Search work so much better than other “reactive” forms of recruiting? Why does Search Recruitment gets results win in the war for the top talent in your market?
The answer comes in 3 forms:
Search finds the cream of the crop; we call it the “Hidden Elite” that Recruitment Agencies, advertising and CV Websites can’t find
Proactive search gives us much better control of the timescales of a search. We are in control; we’re not relying on the right candidates coming to us. We go to them.
The top companies need the top talent, not just a “bum on a seat” to do a job. Bad hires cost huge amounts of time and negative energy.
So let’s explore the 3 most common questions we are asked by prospective clients:
Surely companies can source the same candidates as a search recruiter?
Although the world is now predominantly “online”; the mechanisms for the job market haven’t really changed with the advent of technology.
In 1990; people who were looking for jobs used to “register” with agencies, read job adverts in the newspaper & ask companies direct whether they had any vacancies. These things still happen, agencies register “active candidates”, job adverts are now online & companies have websites with job vacancies on their “Jobs” page.
But that’s missing the point; companies can only recruit candidates that are actually looking for a job; which is roughly 5% of the working population at any one time. So what about the other 95%? How do we as an employer access them?
Well that’s where a search recruiter comes into play.
We work in very niche, specific industries & we make it our business to know all of the companies in the space we operate; and then find out who the people are that work for those companies.
We spend years forging relationships with the top talent in our chosen market sectors; both to recruit them but also to use their huge network of contacts to unearth the right individual for the right job. This level of network is our secret weapon that allows us to fill even the most difficult of roles.
This unique network is our expert knowledge; and it’s core to the service we provide. Quite simply, we can unearth candidates than nobody else can access.
So when we have an active search we are able to then tap into this “network” to identify the individuals with the right skillset we require. That’s why it’s called “Search”. We truly search for the skillset our client requires.
With Advertising, Agency or posting jobs on an employers website; there is no searching whatsoever – success relies on the right talent being in the right place at the right time. Which is a pretty unlikely set of circumstances.
HR & Internal recruiters can source the same calibre of candidates.
Search recruiters spend their time doing two things; finding talent that companies cannot find themselves & recruiting that talent into client companies’. That is our reason for existence.
We are experts in “recruitment”; getting the right candidate to take the job.
There are a seemingly endless number of reasons the right candidate rejects a job offer. Salary, package, working hours, job poorly defined, etc.
Finding the right candidate is critical; but the reason we are expert “Search Recruiters” is we know how to work through the interview and offer process to give you the client the best chance of recruiting the talent you need. Our livelihoods depend on it. Recruitment to us is the ability to actually get the talent to accept the job. Most of the time it’s a mix of managing expectations coupled with strong communication. Specifically, through the inevitably complex negotiation of a salary package.
In our experience; companies themselves (whether it’s hiring managers or HR) tend to be weak in this area and although they have “selected” the talent through the interview process; an amateurish handling of the offer process leads to an eventual rejection of the job offer.
We’ve huge experience in every conceivable eventuality when it comes to managing job offers; and we use our unique 3rd party position to our advantage – so that we are able to work as a conduit between the 2 parties to facilitate a deal that works for everyone.
Search Recruiters are expensive.
A common objection we hear is that our one-off fees are expensive.
This typically comes from companies that are employing both HR & Internal recruiters on activities to recruit people. As mentioned earlier; HR & Internal Recruiters are primarily talking to and interviewing active candidates; who are either rank average or not suitably qualified for the role. It’s understandable to employ internal recruiters who are hiring large volumes of generically skilled people; but within highly specialised, knowledge based industries paying their people high salaries; it makes no sense to ignore expert recruiters in favour of salaried generalists that simply have to tools to recruit the active job seekers.
It’s the norm in every industry that the top performers never actually “look” for a job. Opportunity seeks them. Whether it’s upward movement within a group of companies; an “old boss/colleague” approached me; or a “Headhunter” approached me. The common theme here is opportunity finds them. Their individual career achievements make peers & management take note; and their reputation gets noticed.
That’s what we look for – people who are “noticed” and then subsequently recommended by others. Referrals are our No1 source of top quality people. It’s what we are all about.
So it makes financial sense to use an expert search recruiter in your market to hire the best talent in your specialist industry.
As a market leading recruitment organisation we are in a somewhat unique position at the “cutting edge” of dealing with people leaving organisations on a day-to-day basis. A common misconception is that as a headhunt search company we somehow have mystical power to “spirit” people away from blissfully happy jobs. The reality is completely different. On average over 60% of individuals we pro-actively approach will rebuff our advances as they are happy with their present situation. Unless there is an underlying issue there we are unable to persuade that person to talk about moving.
If you resign your job, and your existing employer offers you a better package or a different job to stay; this is called a Counter-Offer. If you are thinking about accepting a counter offer to stay in a job when you’ve already resigned, or you’re thinking of using a potential employer’s job offer to get your current company to pay you more money read on.
We have over 400 cumulative years of experience at Wynne Consulting and we are regularly faced with these situations.
In the vast majority of situations, using another job offer as a bargaining chip to get more money may be tempting, but it usually ends badly. If you want a salary increase/promotion, then negotiate it on your own merits; or prepare to move jobs.
Whenever we broach this subject, we always get feedback along the lines of “You’re a recruiter, it’s in your personal interests to dissuade candidates from accepting counter-offers as you will lose your fee”. This maybe the case with other recruiters, but for us this is not the case and is missing the point.
I was chatting to my father over the weekend about his experiences of job “interviews” in the 1960’s when he first left college. Morose interviewers firing open questions over an imposing oak desk whilst portraying the demeanor of a disinterested headmaster thinking “why on earth should I bother giving you a job?”.
This kind of arrogant interview style was commonplace where there is a rich choice of candidates to employ; where jobs are few and interviewees are plentiful.
Fast-forward to 2014 and the vast majority of the market sectors we operate in genuinely struggle to identify and recruit the top talent in their sector. A shortage of highly skilled people coupled with an improving economy and falling unemployment makes the battle for talent even more intense.
One of the biggest decisions many professionals take in their career is not just whether to take that great job opportunity, but is it the right thing to do to move lock, stock & barrel to the other part of the country (or continent!) that the new job demands. Here’s the view of top UK headhunter Wynne Consulting.
“On one side – limiting career progression to the commuting distance from your home can be very restrictive to your career in the long-term; whereas a full job relocation often means leaving behind your friends, family and the standard of living you’re accustomed to (whether that’s a good thing or not!). Relocation is a massive step to take but for the brave it significantly increases the scope and volume of job opportunities available.
As the UK digests the roadmap to a return to a “normalized” society; now is a great time to reflect on your professional life. Most of us spend more time at work than with their immediate family; so now’s a good time to reflect on where you are at with your career. This can be looking for new opportunities within your company, changing your location of work or even more dramatic changes such as changing the industry in which you work. You may be on the search for your dream job, or maybe just a “stepping stone” to get you out of university and onto the job market to enable you to work your way up.
Either way, your CV is the first thing that potential employers see, so it has to represent you in the best possible way. The average amount of time an employer spends initially looking at your CV is 30 seconds. Capture their attention in that short time window and they will delve deeper; miss the boat and they will likely move on.
At Wynne Consulting we see hundreds of CV’s every day. The biggest mistake we see is people filling their CV’s with every single activity, skill or job they have ever had onto one page instead of focusing on creating a logical and compelling story of their career. Just recently I was reviewing a 12-page CV that started out with the following:
“My skills include marketing, social media, project management, accounting, tax law, employment law, financial management, sales strategy, 6 Sigma, operational effectiveness, advertising operations and software sales. I’ve also published two novels and took a few months off to write a poetry book in 2018.”
As a specialist search recruiter we are continually asked by clients to recruit highly skilled people with specialist skill-sets throughout the UK and Europe.
The nature of the high technology marketplace is that individual expertise and a collective capability of your people to deliver top quality solutions are the fundamental strengths of all successful businesses.
The critical part of that process is a companies’ ability to hire and retain top quality talent from a competitive marketplace. The other companies that you compete with are all looking to hire the same people so your ability to identify and hire the people you need often is the key difference between success and failure.