Does your Job Search Strategy Include a Headhunter?

Is starting a job search a bit daunting?

It’s no surprise given the current unemployment statistics that there is plenty of advice and opinions out there on how to conduct your job search. Fact is there are lots of quality candidates for whom the status ‘unemployed’ is unfamiliar territory. These candidates have enjoyed full-time employment for many years and can find the prospect of beginning a job search a bit daunting. It’s a bit like getting divorced and dating again.

No short cuts a job search is a process.

Panic and pressure do not make good allies and you certainly don’t want to be marching these guys into interviews with you. Reality is that the job market is tough and competition for jobs at record levels. But companies are hiring, not all jobs are advertised on job boards, quality candidates are get interviews and job offers. There are no short cuts, a job search is a process you start and doesn’t necessarily end once you’ve secured that new job. Having a realistic plan and achievable goals will help you stay focused and land a job you want rather than one you need.

Extend your network to find the best opportunities.

The best opportunities are going to come from your own network; you are far more likely to get an interview if you have been referred to a hiring manager by an employee versus knocking on the front door with the rest of the competition. Research suggests only 40-60 percent of jobs are publicly advertised and the higher the position and salary the less likely the position will be advertised. Extending your network will enable you to access this ‘closed job market’ a find quality opportunities. Working with a headhunter is a good way to extend your search and get access to jobs that are not publicly advertised. They can add a lot of value to your network and extend your search to companies outside of your existing contacts. But be selective, do some research and choose a headhunter that specialises in your sector, check out their website for testimonials and look for content you can relate to as opposed to marketing blurb.

Two types of headhunters.

There are two types of headhunters; those who work exclusively on retained projects and those like VadarMoss who besides searching for candidates for retained and live opportunities also use their knowledge of the market and client networks to create opportunities for candidates. Being on the radar of one of these recruitment companies and developing a relationship with the headhunters will complement your current job search strategy and offer longer term benefits.

Headhunters are choosy about the candidates they work with; they don’t have the bandwidth to represent every candidate that approaches them. A referral from an existing candidate or client will be better received than approaching them cold.

No guarantees.

There are many channels to finding a new job and none of them come with any guarantee. I’ve reviewed 1,000’s of CV’s and interviewed hundreds of candidates and in my experience it’s the resources you utilise and the amount of effort you but in to your job search that’s a big factor in determining the results.

What resources have you found useful in your job search? Have you worked with headhunters and was it successful?


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