How to get headhunted by an executive search consultant

By Robert Half 14th August 2017

Being headhunted by an executive search consultant puts you in a strong position as a candidate. Their wide pool of high quality talent and wealth of industry knowledge often make them the first port of call for companies looking to fill coveted roles.

Because they have a reputation for handling excellent talent, being recommended by the best executive headhunters puts you in a far better position to negotiate salaries and benefits when going for new roles. Something which is incredibly beneficial for taking the next step in your career path. 

Related: Meet our Executive Search team

If you feel like you’re ready for your next challenge and believe that a search firm is your ideal route to that next opportunity there are ways to raise your profile to ensure you get spotted. So how do headhunters find you?

Become a recognised industry expert

Becoming an active voice in your specialist industry is a quick way to gaining recognition for your knowledge and expertise. Writing and publishing blog posts and articles, volunteering to speak at events, attending conferences and being quoted in publications are all good ways to get noticed by an executive search consultant.

Collect recommendations and testimonials

Word of mouth is a powerful tool and if you’re good at what you do, plenty of people will be willing to vouch for you. Try adding testimonials and endorsements to your LinkedIn profile or getting colleagues or former colleagues to recommend you.  Adding metrics on your own website, blog or online CV are also good ways to quantify your work experience and get headhunted for a job.

Start networking consistently

It’s often about who you know as well as what you know. Networking continues to be one of the most powerful tools for opportunity generation.

Aside from helping you to build a strong network of like-minded industry professionals and contemporaries, it also provides a platform for you to demonstrate your knowledge, enthusiasm and the power of your personality.  

If you make the time to consistently network, you’ll find that building notoriety within your specific field becomes easier. You can start to cultivate your own personal brand, which is a powerful selling tool within itself and can make you far more attractive to executive search consultants looking for quality talent.

Increase your presence online

Social platforms have long been considered a tool for networking and displaying industry expertise. Building a strong social media profile is a great starting point for those wondering how to catch a headhunter’s attention.

For example, Twitter can be used to gain real-time updates on developments and movements within any particular scene. It isn’t uncommon for many professionals to get headhunted on LinkedIn, either. This social media platform offers professionals a credible way to showcase employment history and to become an authority on their area of expertise.

In order to get noticed, keep your exposure consistent and within reasonable levels to prevent alienating or annoying followers.

Build relationships

Relationships with recruitment firms are all about give and take. It’s not uncommon for top executive headhunters to find and place professionals that they once worked with as clients.

By employing a search firm to help fill your own in-house roles, you’re helping to build your current team and company culture while simultaneously fostering a good, mutually beneficial relationship with an executive search consultant.

Although you may find it tempting to discourage recruitment firms from contacting you about open roles within your business, it helps to consider the long-term benefits of forging relationships with them, especially when you might be the best fit for a role they’re trying to place. This is how to get a headhunter to notice you.

Because executive search consultants only start searching their pool of talent when they have an appropriate role available, it pays to consistently engage in all forms of profile-boosting activity, so you can build and maintain a strong, authoritative reputation, and stay front of mind.  

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