Headhunters’ revelations about executives

In the face of competitive global environment prevailing in each sector of businesses, there is growing demand for talented executives from companies. The role of headhunters in this scenario is very important, as they are the people who recruit the talented and versatile candidates or executives for the top management positions of their client companies. However, before going on for talent search by organizations with the help of the recruiters, these organizations should know about the inner voice of the candidates from the horse’s mouth (headhunters). Therefore, it would be good for organizations to know how the headhunters carry out their duties of headhunting.

Headhunters or experienced search consultants typically interview thousands of executives or candidates. They access the skills of the executives, track them in the process of their job and sometimes place the same executive in a series of jobs. The headhunter also observe how these executives negotiate, what they expect from hiring contracts, how they decide to change the jobs etc. The executive candidates when evaluating an employment opportunity as observed by headhunters usually delves on the following three core aspects and these include-

Record of accomplishment of the company (employer) – An executive may accept a less than perfect job if it is in a sound industry and the firm having record of accomplishment of success even if the role is only 60-70 percent of what they are ideally looking for. It may be possible that the executive will take a less interesting and lower paying job role in a reputed company. Such considerations may also depend on the age and seniority of the concerned executive. For instance, younger executive candidates who are quickly moving up the ranks may be interested in reputation but may take calculated risk to gain exposure to a challenging job. Older executives on the other hand may be less inclined to take risks that could negatively influence his/her reputation.

Current and future prospects – Candidates may also be interested in apprising a firm’s future prospects, market competitiveness, and business strategy. In case, the company is not currently performing the candidate would look at ownership structure, board capability and its competency. Executive candidates would also look at how the company is well positioned for the future. These executives want to be part of management team that drives the growth and they are recognized for the added expertise that they bring in to the team.

People and culture – Executive candidates will also like to work with people who they respect and can learn from when working with the team. Some executives would like to join the companies with collaborative cultures while others prefer individualistic based organizations. Senior and experienced executives typically enjoy multiple employment options.         

Therefore, it can be concluded that companies need to be dynamic on many dimensions to attract talented executives as observed by headhunters.