Headhunting – If you want the best talent, it’s essential

I facilitated a workshop on Performance-based Hiring last week for a new client. For the last 11 years, I have been a passionate user of this methodology created by Lou Adler. Lou is an engineer who moved into executive search and created a methodology designed to attract and engage with the best talent in the market place, not just the best talent that apply to a job advertisement.

One of the statistics I was able to source from www.seek.com.au states that 27% of full and part time employees in Australia are settled in their job;  27% are actively seeking a new job and 46% are monitoring the market.

What does this mean?

One quarter of your workforce is looking for a new role on any day. One quarter are happy in their role and not contemplating moving; and half of your employees are open to an opportunity if the right role presented itself.

I am a headhunter and proud of what we do.

When I introduce these statistics to clients I highlight that when you are posting a job advertisement you need to hope that the active candidates see it. But note, you are only targeting a quarter of your potential market. When you strategically map the market and actively approach candidates together with a job advertisement you have the potential to talk to 75% of your potential candidate market.

So what do we actually do? On any assignment I work with a researcher and an Associate. The researchers are the online detectives who identify and map the people in similar jobs and companies to those our client is seeking to engage with. I then work with an Associate and we will proactively go out to contact all of the people on our market map. We will use a combined e-marketing campaign and a proactive telephone approach – we will headhunt.

Historically headhunting has had negative connotations to it. Today with the evolution of technology and social media platforms a good recruiter should be a headhunter. A good recruiter should be able to find you unique people that you wouldn’t have found if you only advertised. A client recently said to a candidate that we presented, “Why didn’t you apply for the job when we advertised?” His reply, “I wasn’t looking so I didn’t see it!”

So my words of advice is to think about your talent and attraction strategy. Are you only reaching the quarter of the population that are actively looking for a new job or are you talking with the best talent in the market.

If you want to hire superior people, use a system designed to hire superior people, not one designed to fill jobs” Lou Adler

Fiona Cochran is an executive search specialist and an executive career coach. She works with a wide variety of clients, across industry and throughout Australia. With the evolution of technology and social media she is passionate about working with the executive leadership team and boards of organisations to engage on social media and to build their personal and company brand.

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