by Samantha Judd
I love the term headhunter. It is a homonym and any type of wordplay always appeals to me. Linguistics aside; the idea that a word that has the same sound and spelling but a different meaning depending on how and when it is used; is idiosyncratic and playful. So what does the term actually mean if you are a job seeker and what characterises a headhunter? Here are a few tips on how to work with our industry to maximise your career chances in 2014.
Headhunter is actually a synonym for recruiter and the majority of the London job market operates in both activities, hand in glove. You should expect to be called by headhunters and whilst this may not be the moment you are looking to move jobs you should treat the call courteously and make a note of contact details should the caller inspire confidence.
In the UK at this very moment, many of the working population are thinking of their recently made resolutions and for many, this will include finding a new job and/or improving their career prospects in the forthcoming year.
HR Review has reported that nearly half of British workers are considering a job move in 2014 and three quarters of London firms have plans to expand in 2014. This kind of feedback means that the CIPD prediction that 2014 could be a “jobs machine” looks like a very likely outcome.
Dream jobs however don’t just find you, but good recruiters will, so whilst gearing yourself up for a career change this year consider some of the factors that will help us help you.
In professional services markets; recruiters act as headhunters and headhunters act as recruiters. You should understand this as you will need to know who you need to reach out to before starting your search. Headhunting is part of a recruiters’ armoury of skills and you need to ensure you are on our call list by making yourself visible so we can hunt that head. Otherwise the call may not come.
Recruiters get excited by dream candidates and want to find you the dream job. So as well waiting for us to find and headhunt you, research recruiters whom you think will help you.
- Consider the reputations of the firms you are contacting
- Find a specialist recruiter in the reputable firms who knows and understands your target market.
- Ask to be referred and recommended to recruiters by trusted friends and colleagues and ask them why they would recommend that recruiter.
- Be prepared to be open, cooperative and honest with your recruiter. They need to understand all the key drivers of your job search. They have specific profiles given to them by hiring managers and they want to ensure they represent you fully and professionally.
Any job search is specific and distinct and great recruiters will be looking for individuals. We will be at networking events, trade shows and conferences. We will also be negotiating with online media agencies and publications to ensure our ads and searches produce the specific candidates that our clients are looking for. We work with social media experts who advise us on keywords, Boolean search techniques and Google analytics. We use LinkedIn and Facebook in a way that the majority of subscribers did not know it could be used and we are out there talking to people. All day, every day. You probably noticed. Actually, we are also listening because this is what helps us understand how we can work with you to land your dream job.
All of the listening means we know about headcount before the approval is signed, we are told about expansion so that we can start to plan our recruitment strategy. We advise you about how certain firms need CVs and cover letters to be submitted. We advise on your social media presence, how to highlight skills and why they are important to roles, we proof read your presentations and give feedback on them and we help you prepare for interview and to understand what to expect so that the experience is controlled and managed.
The fact that great recruiters are in touch with the market is the true reason why there is no tangible difference between the terms headhunters and recruiters. We charge differently sometimes but most recruiters have experience in Client Paid Advertising and Retainers and most Headhunters will have placed someone on a contingency fee.
If you are considering a career change in 2014 consider the idiosyncratic; you can be sure we are.