„Head hunting“ or finding staff


In one scene of the movie „To kill a mockingbird“ the character of Atticus Finch played by Gregory Peck turns to little Scott and says:

If you learn one single trick, Scott, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it …

No one can object to the previous claim – it is the basis of empathy, emotional and social intelligence, business and general success in life. And accordingly we will try to climb into the skin of experts whose main task is finding staff, so called head hunters and walk around in it!

The job of a head hunter is comprised of the following:

  • Searching: If there are no positions to be filled, a head hunter has nothing to do. So, for a head hunter the most important thing is to keep a constant flow by various forms of marketing, lobbying, random calls to potential clients, servicing and marinating contacts with current clients, recommendations and advertising.
  • Candidates: A head hunter has to make contacts and search for quality workers all the time in order to fill their client’s (employer’s) job positions or in order to maintain his CV databases/candidates. It’s important to keep things flowing. No matter if the candidates are looking for information through the Internet, newspaper, recommendations or through calls to professionals who are already employed. A successful head hunter is constantly updating his candidate database, connections and CVs.
  • Connecting the candidates with the employee: Only the most suitable candidates (2 or 3 candidates) who have been thoroughly checked, tested and which are believed to efficiently fill the position are steered towards the employers. By this time both parties are already interested, both the candidate and the employer (or the HR department manager in the company which hired the head hunter). Some head hunters additionally prepare their candidates for the interview, especially if they believe that the candidates themselves during the interview will not be able to emphasize their advantages enough without the help of a head hunter.
  • Employment:  Putting the right person in the right position and at the same time making money, with the both parties satisfied is the peak of business success in staff recruitment. It is the final, magical moment in which everything fits into place… As in happy relationships which end in marriage, in the staff recruitment process everything ends in employment. However, this in not always the case because, unlike marriage, the candidate and the company are not obliged to spend their whole lives together. Employment process is sometimes not so „magical“and the staff recruitment expert is expected to be an experienced go-between with exceptional communication skills and psychological consultation. Finishing the employment and sealing the deal are the main activities in staff recruitment, but it often depends on previous steps which have to be done perfectly: marketing, looking for candidates, directing and counseling the candidates and social and negotiation skills of the head hunter.

The head hunter’s networking is also very important because head hunters cannot always rely on their candidate databases, nor can they influence the demand and supply. In their databases they do not always have the right candidate, so head hunters often talk among themselves, exchange candidates and share commission.

To put it in simpler terms, the success of a head hunter does not depend solely on the personal activity (getting, searching, finding, testing and selection of the staff), but it rather increases exponentially with the amount of networking which the head hunter does in the bigger part of his time.

People often give up on the head hunting job even before they try to understand the basic work tasks, because they often think that the process of finding staff is extremely precarious, and sometimes not in their control, but rather under the control of some weird force. People get discouraged when the employment backfires because of unknown or incomprehensible reasons. However, the truth is that employment happens, from one day to the other.

According to the introduction to this text, the candidates who are interested in the job should understand the way the head hunting agencies work, so they can choose the best strategy, infiltrate the recruiting system and stress their own advantages. They also have to bear in mind that head hunters are also stressed because of constantly searching, updating their databases, business meetings and numerous consultations with clients. So, you should make them interested in you discreetly!

According to Darrella W. Gurneya text:  „A Day in the Life of a Headhunter“