4 Ways To Get Headhunted

4 Ways To Get Headhunted

If you’re currently looking for a position within a new company then you’ll likely be looking for a headhunter to find you the perfect job, especially if you’re looking for a job within a completely new country. However, you may not be having much luck and asking yourself why you aren’t being headhunted?

A headhunter is there to find skilled professionals for specific roles. He or she may be independent or work through an agency and oftentimes will specialise in particular areas of employment and possibly geographic location. However, over the past decade more and more companies have been hiring internal recruiters or recruitment teams.

Nowadays, if you want to get headhunted you also have to take a much more active role in the whole process, exposing yourself to recruiters who may often have a much narrower search field (looking for active job seekers in specific industries / companies / locations who are visible to them) and who work internally for a recruitment team within a company.

So, without further ado, here are 4 ways to get headhunted.

1. Improve your visibility – With a huge increase in companies adopting an internal recruitment team it is essential that you improve your visibility to these individuals. A headhunter will be actively looking for candidates with specific skill sets and experiences and their job is to fill positions. The more positions they fill the more money they make – so sometimes the quality of ‘fit’, in terms of the candidate and the position, is at times very poor. However, an internal recruiter, or recruitment team, will be looking to find the best possible candidates to fill each role as their job is not dependent on number of positions filled, but rather their ability to find the right candidate for each job – with the hope that each candidate stays in the position for a long time.


As a result of this shift in direction away from external headhunters, you need to ensure that if you’re actively looking for a new position, you’re showing yourself to potential employers in the best possible light. This includes joining professional social networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter, and ensuring that they are used regularly to build your network, to contact potential employers, and that your profile (in the case of LinkedIn) is fully-optimised. But remember, it’s not just a digital replication of your CV.

2. Start networking with the right people – It’s not about getting to know every headhunter or every recruiter that you can possibly meet or connect with online, it’s about getting to know the right people who can actually help you to find the right job. Sometimes the best people to help you get a job are those that you already know, or that you’re already connected with. Finding a job when you can’t discuss the fact that you’re actively looking, i.e. you’re currently in a position at a company and you can’t tell them that you’re planning to leave, is a very hard task. However the job of, well, finding a job, is made a lot easier when you can discuss this publicly.

Scanning through your list of connections and contacting those that might be able to help you is very good idea. Try to identify where people work and what their position is at that company, and also how they might be able to help you – and not forgetting how you might be able to help them!

3. Get to know internal recruiters –  Now that we’ve identified the difference between headhunters and internal recruiters – and that you need to start networking with the right people – it is just as important to get to know these individuals. Many headhunters will make it their job to get to know as many people as possible and actively nurture that relationship over a prolonged period of time – as who knows when an employee might be looking for a new position. However, an internal recruiter won’t be so active, at least not with such a large search field. An internal recruiter may network a lot within a specific industry but not as much in other industries, so you must first identify these individuals and then get to know them.
Getting to know internal recruiters might well be a big investment of your time, but there will be a much better hit rate of you landing a job. Chances are that if an internal recruiter is on the prowl for new employees, then they have a position, or number of positions to fill. An internal recruiter is also likely to waste less of your time as they’ve got a much more well-rounded understanding of the job in hand, and they might even have a key role in shaping the job description themselves, so be sure to investigate this route to market.
4. Start using social media in a professional context – We’ve all heard of social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc. and many of you reading this may well have setup accounts on these platforms. Despite this, many of you are not utilising them in a professional context. During your job search you want to do everything possible to improve your visibility online to headhunters and recruiters, network and engage with the the right people and showcase your wealth of experience by demonstrating that you can practice what you preach as a thought leader.
Whether you choose to use Twitter, LinkedIn, a blog or a combination of all of them, there are many ways to achieve these goals and make your career move. By sharing your thoughts and experiences, discussing industry news and topics, you can engage with like-minded individuals and show yourself as a thought leader – something that many headhunters and recruiters are looking for in a candidate and need to see happening before they consider shortlisting you. As mentioned above, sometimes the best contacts are the ones you’ve already got, so by engaging with your contacts via these professional social platforms you will be increasing your chances of making new connections and getting a new position.

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About the author


Emma is the Senior Relationship Manager at Career Intelligence. She is also the Agony Aunt for the Career Intelligence blog, helping with any questions or issues that expatriates moving abroad may have.

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