What is a headhunter?
Dear Canadian Headhunter,
I'm a Psychology student in Argentina. Many years ago I discovered that I'd love to work in the recruiting field but I'm having a hard time trying to get information about the meaning of head hunting.
I'd really appreciate some information regarding what does a head hunter do and I would be eternally grateful if you told me where can I start learning about the head hunting business. I'm already thankful for your assistance.
Dear Amigo, from what we hear about the Argentinian economy, I would be surprised if any company had the money to hire people let alone pay a headhunter to find them. But since you've asked the question I will provide a short answer.
A headhunter is a person who finds a manager who has an opening in her organization that is hard to fill because it requires someone with special skills, experience and personal characteristics.
After the company agrees to pay a fee for finding the right person, the headhunter draws up a list of people who might qualify for the role or who might know someone who qualifies. Then he contacts these people.
Identifying the people to contact is the hardest part of the job. After contact identification, the hardest part is eliciting referrals. And, finally, you have to be able to ask questions that will allow you to determine if the people you speak to are qualified for the job.
Having had some experience in the area in which you are recruiting is very useful. Because if you know the field, you should know where to look for people. And once you find someone, your knowledge of the field should enable you to ask her the right questions to see if she is a good fit for the job.
It's a combination of sales representative, private detective, telemarketer and interviewer.
Your psychology degree might be useful if it has given you any skill in interviewing people and assessing their personalities. But that is not the most important part of the job. Actually, the person who brings in the business is generally the one who makes the most money . And that is harder than interviewing but not harder than finding the people to fill the jobs.
Alison Doyle has an introduction called Headhunters, Recruiters and Employment Agencies. Here's an intro from Business Week. Here is a headhunting guru who sells educational materials. And here is more info about recruiter training.