Being Head-Hunted - A CV Centre Guide
There has always been a certain level of esteem associated with being head-hunted for an executive position. The assumption is always that an individual who has been head-hunted is one that is particularly sought after and is able to command a particularly large salary. Traditionally, the head-hunting process does only apply to individuals who are in a higher pay bracket, generally accepted to be at least in excess of £30,000 - £50,000, but anybody within that range is capable of being head-hunted as long as they take control of their career development in a proactive and effective manner.
The most effective way of improving your chances of being head-hunted is to make sure that you are successful in your current role. By establishing a reputation for yourself as an over-achiever, you will start to be noticed by other organisations within your industry sector who could potentially be looking to recruit executive candidates. Another way of drawing attention to yourself is to take part in any industry specific meetings, conferences and events and to join any relevant bodies or organisations. Effective networking is the key to being head-hunted – the more business contacts you establish, the higher your profile will become.
There are a number of consultancies and agencies that specialise in executive recruitment and you should start by researching these to find those that are most experienced in your industry sector. Talk to other people you know who have been head-hunted and get their advice and look at any information available on the internet. Once you have chosen one or two suitable agencies, you should initiate direct contact with them. Make this process as personal as possible – you will be working closely with your head-hunter over the coming weeks so it is important that you develop a strong relationship with them. Discuss with them exactly what sort of role you are looking for and what your salary expectations are. They will not be able to perform their role successfully unless they have a thorough understanding of your requirements. It is essential that you keep your CV up to date with any new skills or experiences and any additional training or qualifications you may have undertaken. Also, make sure that your head-hunter is told of any changes in your CV or in your specific requirements. You should keep in regular contact with them throughout your search and allow time in your day to talk to them whenever they call you.
The head-hunter will be responsible for initiating contact with any potential employers on your behalf and they will then be able to inform you of any positions that you are suitable for. Their role is not only to sell the position to you but also to sell you to the recruiting company. This is why it is essential that you have provided them with detailed information on your requirements and why it is important that they are experienced in recruiting into your specific industry sector. Their discussions with the target company should provide them with enough information on the vacancy to enable you to decide whether or not you wish to proceed further. If you chose not to apply for the vacancy, be courteous and professional when you decline it and explain fully your reasons. That way, the head-hunter will be able to recommend more suitable vacancies to you in the future. If, however, the vacancy is exactly what you are looking for, your CV will be passed to the company before they decide whether or not to interview you personally. If you are unsuccessful in reaching the interview stage, the head-hunter is responsible for finding out the reasons why and for providing you with constructive feedback on how you can improve your chances of success at the next available vacancy. Listen carefully to their comments as it is very much to their advantage to find you a position and they will be wanting to do anything they can to help you.
Once you have been successful in reaching the interview, the onus is on you to prove your value to the recruiting company. Further tips and advice for successful interviews is contained in the Interviews article on this website. The head-hunter will be actively involved in the post-interview negotiations to ensure that any job offers made are in line with your original expectations. They will also maintain contact with you once you have started in your new job just to make sure that it is everything you were advised it would be and it is probably to your advantage to keep in touch with them should you need their help in the future.
In general, you are in full control of the head-hunting process and you should be willing and able to do anything you can to improve your chances of success by establishing a reputation for yourself with your industry peers, by adding value to your CV wherever possible and by managing a mutually beneficial relationship with your head-hunter. They are there to help you achieve your career expectations and the relationship should be built on mutual respect and understanding.
Author: James Innes