Working with Headhunters in 2015: What to Expect

As the economy picked back up in 2014 and companies started hiring again, your employees also started thinking about their career goals.

Much of the workforce has been overworked and underpaid over the past several years, but they felt lucky to have a job and didn’t want to leave something relatively stable for the unknown.

In the coming year, that’s expected to change. As companies increase their hiring goals to grow their businesses, both active and passive talent have more opportunities. Top talent, in particular, will have several choices if they decide to make a move.

This could create a two-pronged problem for employers: 1) retaining talent and 2) filling new and vacant positions. Both will be more difficult than ever, simply due to the sheer number of choices candidates will have.

If your company has plans to grow in 2015, you will have your hands full with employee retention, interviewing, on-boarding, off-boarding, and everything else you already do to keep your department running smoothly.

Many companies are planning to work with headhunters in 2015 to make hiring more efficient and free up some time to focus on other activities. If you’re planning to do the same, here’s what you can expect:

  1. Your company will have to stand out to candidates as an employer of choice. With more jobs opening up, candidates will be approached by more recruiters, and your company will have to stand out if you want the candidate to even consider moving forward. So make sure your headhunter knows how your company is different so they can sell that to candidates.

    If you’re not sure what kind of information to share, try asking your employees why they like working at your company: it could be something as simple as your great work-life balance or the fact that management really listens to all employees, or it could be a nice perk like unlimited vacation time or catered lunches. If your employees come up short on reasons they like working for your company, it may be time to start thinking about what you can do to change that.

  2. You will have to move quickly to close candidates. Since candidates have more opportunities available to them than they’ve had in the past, they will also see more offers. To keep great candidates from slipping through the cracks, you will have to be prepared to interview them and make an offer soon after your headhunter presents the candidate.

    If you have a long, drawn-out hiring process, you may lose your top choice candidates to other companies before you even have a chance to make an offer. While a good headhunter will find out if the candidate is interviewing with any other companies, and how far along in the process they are, that still doesn’t give you room to dilly-dally – because things can change very quickly in this market.

  3. Your offer will have to be competitive to close candidates. Again, your candidates may have multiple offers, so you need to make sure yours is competitive. Work with your headhunter to find out what the candidate is expecting in an offer, and what other companies they’re interviewing with, to make sure your offer is competitive.

    While salary is usually an important factor, your candidates will also consider paid time off, training benefits, and other perks – so make sure you sweeten the deal by including some of the things that are important to them.

  4. Headhunter fees will increase. During the recession, headhunter fees decreased dramatically as candidates were willing to accept lower job offers and headhunters were willing to adjust their fee schedules.

    In 2015, your headhunter fees will naturally increase as your salary offers increase and as headhunters get busier. With more competition for candidates, and more companies working with headhunters to find those candidates, you may see headhunter fees increasing beyond pre-recession levels.

Will be working with headhunters to help with recruiting in 2015? Why or why not? Do you have any other tips for working with headhunters in 2014? Share them in the comment section!

2017-08-03T05:33:34+00:00 December 26th, 2014|

About the Author:

Jen Dewar is a marketing consultant in the HR technology space with a focus on developing educational content for recruiters, corporate HR professionals, and staffing agency owners. She has spent the past 10 years working with a wide variety of companies — from corporate marketing for healthcare organizations and recruitment firms, to startup marketing for both Identified and Bright.com, prior to their respective acquisitions. When she's not doing marketing, you can find Jen snowboarding in Tahoe with her husband, traveling abroad, or enjoying a night in with friends and a good bottle of wine. She's a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a degree in Socio-Economic and Political Global Studies.