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The 5 Surprising Benefits of Headhunting

Author: Vicky Scholey

Published date: 2018/09

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The term ‘headhunting’ can often strike fear into the heart of a recruiter. There is a preconception that the effort of researching, targeting & contacting someone who is thriving in their role, cannot possibly lead to a positive outcome. It’s definitely a hard slog when compared to popping an ad up on Seek and waiting for the perfect candidate to appear! So why do we keep doing it? Apart from the fact that it’s how we can add immense value in our service as recruiters, here are 5 surprising benefits why all recruiters should be headhunting.

You can attract the best candidates

As the old saying goes, the best candidates are employed and happy! I’ve lost count of the number of times I have heard clients tell me that anyone who is good at their job shouldn’t be unemployed – and I can’t help but agree (having said that, there is always an exception to the rule!). If your perfect candidate is smashing it in their current role, it would be highly unlikely they’ll be exploring their options on an online job board. In order to entice someone out of a role where they are performing well & being looked after you need to have a very targeted approach. This can only be done with headhunting!

You can be a brand ambassador for your client

Working in recruitment isn’t only about filling roles with your clients and placing people in jobs.  For me, it is all about partnering with my clients and helping them grow their business in ways that doesn’t just involve staffing. When headhunting for your client, every call you make selling their business and talking about the benefits of their business is free marketing for them! Even if the person you’re on the phone to in that moment isn’t interested in the role, you’ve marketed your client and spread the good word to highly regarded people in the industry.

It’s a targeted approach for specific business needs

Headhunting allows you to specifically approach people who have all the necessary skills & requirements your client is looking for. In short, they tick every single box and you can ensure you are only targeting people that are 100% suitable for the role!

You’ll have a LOT less competition

If you work in recruitment, you’ll no doubt have been in a situation where you find yourself fighting over a candidate with another recruiter. Let’s be honest, it’s an absolute headache! 90% of the time that’s because these people are actively seeking other options, and if they’re good everyone will want to be the one to place them. If you’re making targeted approaches to people who are happy in their current role, and are only considering other options purely because it is a better opportunity. This gives you complete control over the process and a much better chance of placing the candidate.

You are consistently building relationships – and your brand

In a perfect world, you find a great candidate and you reach out to them. They love the sound of the role, they interview, they love it even more, your client loves them and everything goes swimmingly. However, we live in the real world and this isn’t always the case! At the very least, if your targeting a high calibre candidate and they’re not interested there and then, you are still building a relationship with them and positioning yourself as a recruiter that knows what they’re doing. That means, when they arelooking, you’re likely to be the first person they come to!

While headhunting might sound a bit scary and difficult, when you get into practice the benefits far outweigh the challenges. As a recruiter, you are far more likely to have success when you target a specific candidate than casting a wide online net, so get your hunt on today!


Vicky Scholey is a Commercial Construction consultant, focussing on permanent roles for top tier firms across Australia. You can connect with Vicky on LinkedIn here.