First of all, as a former Executive Search Professional, I don’t mind having been called a “headhunter” – and I hope that you aren’t offended by my using the term.
I appreciate that the headhunting profession can be difficult. Basically it consists of “process work” – i.e., it involves essentially the same process being applied to every search. Such a process includes (among other things):
- Careful writing of a position specification
- Research for appropriate sources and prospective candidates
- Sourcing calls to individuals who might be able to suggest candidates
- Calls to prospective candidates
- Interviewing and screening candidates
- Writing a coherent and readable description/resume for the candidate to present to the client
- Conducting extensive reference calls on each candidate presented to clients
- Assisting in negotiating the final compensation package
- Closing the deal
These are detailed tasks by themselves, and a typical headhunter may have many searches underway in different phases at any moment – so the job becomes one of carefully managing time and effort.
My own observations of how various executive search professionals conduct searches leads me to the following conclusions:
- Many executive searches do not stipulate the “critical skills” necessary for the position
- Many executive search professionals do not have the requisite training to assess critical skill competencies
- Many executive search professionals do not understand or believe that the “best candidate” for a position may NOT be the one who is “good at” most of the requirements of the position. (Translated: Candidates who would be on top of a “Doom Loop” are generally NOT the best candidates. Put another way – overqualified people don’t necessarily make for long-lasting placements.)
- You can ignore my conclusions or disagree with them completely;
- You can learn a little bit about the “Critical Skills” and how to interview individuals to assess their levels of competency in each of them;
- You can learn a little bit about the “Doom Loop” to assist you in understanding if a particular position might be “right” for both the candidate AND the client;
- You can use the “Doom Loop” to develop a constructive and convincing argument why a candidate might seriously consider a position for which you are conducting a search;
- You can do whatever you please!
I wish all of you the very best of luck and success!