Elucidating the process of headhunting for novices

Headhunting as a process is concerned with attracting top talent to their client companies. No matter the atmosphere is heating up in recent years among companies and their competitors to attract top managerial talent into their respective corporate houses. Headhunting has become more crucial to business leaders than ever before. Majority of companies think of paying headhunters for scouting talent as a burden because they believe that there is no other alternative. This type of assumption arises because majority of clients/corporate do not have good understanding of what they are paying for compared with other professional staffing services.

There are still certain myths that continue to dominate the headhunting scenario and time has now come for business leaders and human resource departments to work closely with headhunters to dispel these myths with a better understanding. Some of the myths have been discussed herein below for the benefit of novices and these are:


  • The rules of Rolodex: It is a myth that successful headhunters have the biggest list of contacts but the real fact is that no matter how well connected a headhunter is, no matter how large a rolodex be they cannot replace a through intensive research that uncovers the fresh, talented candidates. Even though, rolodex plays a role in assembling a pool of candidates but the names from a rolodex should only form a small component of robust search pool. Organizations should find a headhunter who builds a broad and fresh pool of candidates without allowing rolodex to rule over his/her judgment.
  • Matters of location: Another common myth is that a company should choose a headhunting firm who has offices in the city where they plan to hire. Nevertheless, sound and extensive research does not depend on geographical boundaries. Therefore, when an organization begins to look for a headhunting firm, it is best to choose a firm that has enough proven methodology irrespective of its office location.
  • Database delivery: Some headhunting firms advertise about their large database to plug in the requirements of their clients for appropriate candidates. In reality, their databases just deliver names and numbers but rarely the best candidates. The database may not have been updated for years together. Therefore, organizations must not wholly rely on these databases.
  • Choosing headhunter who knows specific industry: Generally, it is believed that choosing a headhunting firm that specializes in the specific industry of the concerned client is the best bet. In reality, just because the headhunting firm understands an industry does not mean it can find the best candidates. Such a headhunting firm may have limited field of talent compared with what exists across industry sectors. These are some of the myths that organizations must be aware of about headhunters or headhunting firms.