Chase down the hunter AKA headhunter

Did you know that there is an online directory where headhunters can be found? Whether you call them headhunters, talent scouts, or recruitment consultants, these qualified professionals know which threads to draw to advise the right candidates to the right companies. These discreet connectors to the world of employment could well lead you to a position in a large company, an important mandate, or you could become the top executive of a national company. But… who are they? Where are they hiding, and how do you find them? Reverse the roles today: hunt down the headhunter!

To better understand what a headhunter is

On the job market, third-party talent recruitment is done in two ways: with placement agencies, or with executive search firms. Let’s look at the latter.

The headhunter’s job is based on confidentiality, so we must unravel some of the mysteries surrounding it… His or her job is to identify the people with the best talent and niche expertise, and thus attract the rare jem for his or her client. To track down this type of professional, one must understand the functions: he or she works for the employer who mandates him/her, and not for the candidate. When looking for opportunities, it is not mandatory to know a headhunter personally. If you are good at what you do, are bold and have the ability and skills to go the extra mile, a high-caliber recruiter will hear of you.

Despite the aura of mystery that surrounds him/her, the headhunter has many important contacts in the business world. In other words, if your candidacy is promising, it is highly likely that you will receive offers from a headhunter.


It is also important to understand, especially if you are actively looking for a new job, that you can, and should, present yourself to several headhunters. Headhunters have what is known as “search exclusivity“, which means that they are the only ones who recruit for the jobs they are mandated with.


What they don’t have, however, is candidate exclusivity. So, if you’re active with several recruitment firms, there will certainly be headhunters with whom you form good ties and others with whom you don’t, but what matters is that they all have your profile in hand.

A good balance to find with the headhunter

When first contacting the headhunter, it is important to introduce yourself well. However, one must be careful not to be disturbing or even harassing; one must dose the follow-up well. We can remind the headhunter of our candidacy once or twice a year, but not more than that.


Contacting the headhunter on a weekly basis can be counterproductive in terms of getting a job. If we are too insistent, the headhunter may become exasperated and not want to recommend us to a potential employer… We must find the right balance between assertiveness and giving the headhunter the time and space to get the right mandate for us.


Consequently, it is important to understand that working with a headhunter also depends on good timing. That is to say, the recruiter can have the best perception of you as well as the best intentions. If he or she is not mandated, at the time of your job search, with a position that suits your experience, he or she will not be able to perform miracles.


He or she could call you 6 months after you start a new job, again the timing will be a factor. However, take his or her call, listen to what he or she is looking for and try to think about people in your network, then update him or her on your own situation. If the contact is good with a particular headhunter cultivate the relationship, we are living longer and longer, and our careers last several decades – such a collaboration could happen again.

Remember that one exists, through one’s professional network

When you’re in career transition, it’s very important to get to know people so that they know exactly what you have to offer. Here’s a great way to leave a memory in the headhunter’s mind: being active in the business community and in our community in general.


For example, if you hear of a position that would be of interest to an executive you know, you can suggest it to the headhunter. It’s a way to kill two birds with one stone! This may result in a favorable outcome for the candidate, who may eventually want to send the ball back to you. The headhunter will also likely appreciate this generous gesture and potentially remember your own candidacy when a position in your industry sector becomes available!

How to get their attention

The headhunter is always on the lookout for an interesting application. The market is competitive, and you have to be able to stand out; you can equip yourself with many tips and tricks to get yourself noticed in the job market. You must be proactive and network a lot to make many contacts. You also need to have good reasons to go to headhunting events. That way, you can shake hands, talk business, and get ahead, but without being too pushy.

Remember that headhunters are interested in individuals, both in terms of their interests and behaviours, so everything you’ve done in the past, as well as what you’re doing now, is of paramount importance. Your actions today may be brought to the attention of someone very influential, so be on the lookout.

The ball is in your court!

In short, you now have a better portrait of headhunters. You’ll know how to establish and maintain a good relationship with this type of professional, as well as some good leads on what actions to take to stand out from the crowd. Now, it’s up to you to hunt the headhunters! If you’re ready for a new challenge, visit our positions regularly on JOB FOR BOSS.

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