Choosing a headhunter can be migraine inducing for some, or just downright annoying to others. Headhunters are constantly trying to paint themselves in the best light (and who can blame them – we do that too!), and often leave you wondering if they are really the right one(s) to help you fill a specialty job position.
This is something we knew was a headache for corporate recruiting departments, which is why we built BountyJobs as a way to give employers objective performance data on recruiting agency interview rates, industry placements and performance.
But what if you don’t use BountyJobs? What if you don’t have the Niagra Falls of marketplace data we supply? We can still pass along some advice.
We sat down with Louie Lafond, who not only runs services at BountyJobs, but (like many here) has been a recruiter and a headhunter himself for several years, and gathered some tips.
Advice on Choosing an Agency – Louie Lafond at BountyJobs
Louie’s first suggestion? Don’t just take their word for it, do some research. Don’t just glance through their website, but don’t base all of your decisions on it either. This doesn’t mean agencies lie, it just means they are probably a lot like you (and your company).
Your website makes you look like the best thing since sliced bread. If an agency claims to specialize in medical device sales and service positions, and you’re counting on that expertise, visiting their website and viewing a list of clients and roles filled won’t tell the whole story. Louie’s advice? Interview them!
Louie’s Top 3 Things to Consider when Choosing an Agency
- Do they really “get” the category? Don’t just ask them that directly; ask them questions about your industry that only a true expert would know. Something like, “For your most recent medical implant engineer placement, for which design software were they an expert?”
- Get a solid picture of their recent search history. Ask them specifics about roles they say they’ve filled, and how long ago they’ve filled them. “What were the last three searches you worked?” and “Which did you fill?” Hopefully they can tell you about one or two they didn’t fill.
- Pay attention to what they ask you. A headhunter should be making a super-glue-strong effort to understand the job position, company, and your culture. This usually means loads of questions which may seem simple or dumb, but helps a headhunter develop a solid idea of exactly what you are looking for. If they aren’t asking you questions – walk away.
This advice should increase your chances of success, but don’t be shocked if you still end up needing to try a few to find a top performer. The headhunters best at sourcing candidates are often not the best at business development or selling employers on their skills.
That’s one of the reasons the best headhunters source great jobs through BountyJobs, and then spend the majority of their time sourcing great candidates to fill them. No matter what, we know finding a headhunter is no easy feat. Do you have any tall-tell signs that a headhunter is perfect or not-at-all perfect? We’d love to here your advice. Join the conversation on Twitter.