“A hunter who knows how to hunt…”

UpsCat, le chat d'Upsc

My grandmother used to ask me: “But what exactly do you do for a living?” I would start to explain and then I would see her face squirming, probably thinking that I was doing an armful and hazardous job…

The purpose here is not to give an all-round definition of this profession nor to impose an indigestible logorrhoea on our daily life, but simply to reveal some aspects of our sometimes strange, unknown or misunderstood trade.

It must be stressed that no specific training or diploma are required for this work.

To fully understand what a Headhunter is, I believe it is advisable to observe it from three perspectives: that of the Client, then of the Candidate and finally of the Hunter himself.


The Client

Above all, it is a question of hiring an expert in recruitment. Companies are indeed looking for the perfect Candidate who would ” tick ” all the boxes. The danger there is to fall into the quest for the well-known ” Five-legged Sheep “… But I would tend to say that nowadays, the famous sheep also often has 8 ears, 12 eyes and rather 24 legs… This transgenic animal is therefore very difficult to find! 😊

Our job does in no way consist in sending an infinite number of CVs. I often say that we are not “vending machines”. Instead, we try as much as we can to listen and analyze the demand and then put it in relation with the market, which is made of potentially-open-to-opportunities individuals.

The perfect knowledge of your candidates is a valuable asset, but you also have to be able to tell a client that seeking a profile that does not exist is not realistic.

We also favour customers who are ready to enter into a real partnership with us. Calling several firms is not a good solution in our opinion, because we often share the same candidates with our counterparts.

At the risk of disappointing potential clients, we do not have a secret vault in which perfect candidates are locked up! 😉

And I note that maintaining your brand’s reputation with current, past and future employees contributes greatly to eventually attract the skills you are looking for…


The Candidate

First and foremost, remember to build your image and safeguard your reputation. Of course, you must be present and visible on professional networks, but don’t neglect the other resources which may be available on the Internet either.

I sometimes hear people saying: “this is my private life”. True, yet you should know that your life becomes public when you let pictures of yourself be posted on the web, especially by some of your friends…

Also, if you are being approached and do not wish to change positions, simply say so because it contributes to your “reputation” more favourably than if you remain silent. 😊

Finally, we are often called by candidates when they are in difficulty or actively searching. Please let us know when everything is going well too because this will give us time to establish a genuine relationship, and the offers will be all the more in line with your expectations. And to concluce, if you are being hunted be sure that a potential opportunity for evolution is at stake for you.


The Hunter

He is himself human and has to deal with the “human client” and the “human candidate”. He is the go-between for professionals, the “Meetic” for career opportunities.

Above all, he is a good sales person who knows to convince a client of his or her added value, of the value of a submitted candidate and who also knows to convince a candidate of the merits of an opportunity, before acting a bit like his or her personal agent….

He can also deal with strategy changes, profile changes, changes of opinion and provides an unaffected external view on the offer as well as on the applicants.

He must know how to juggle with constantly evolving communication channels. Don’t blame when he doesn’t answer your message within a minute. He saw the alert on his smartphone and he must then find your message in text messages, whatsapp, messenger, viber, instagram, viadeo, skype, LinkedIn… 😉

Prefer to send him an email: this will be the guarantee to be read faster and to receive a prompt follow-up.

By now you have understood that this job requires patience and organization before all. Selling a position to a candidate and a candidate to a client is primarily a matter of human relations… And the human is far from being an exact science!

An article by Pascal Guillory