If you are wondering why headhunters have so much of a better reputation than a lower-tier recruiter, you have come to the right place. The role of a recruiter is often considered side by side with a headhunter, when in fact the job is very different and requires a different approach.
Headhunters often approach passive candidates and generally aim to fill upper-management roles, while recruiters create a blanket search for jobs of various skill sets. Approaching passive candidates and filling high positions is a challenge – and you need a very sharply honed skill set for that. Let us take a look at six of the must-have skills that headhunters in London must have:
People who are actively listening focus on the speaker, and extrapolate so much more from the conversation than merely what is said. They can look at and understand body language, pick out significant gaps, whether in a CV or in a conversation, and they always leave the person they are speaking to sure in the knowledge that they were properly heard.
There are candidates who have excellent skills for a job, and employers who are maybe not as precise as they should be with their instructions on the ideal candidate. In both cases, a skilled headhunter will be able to draw the best from both, and arrive at a good understanding of what the employer needs as well as what the candidate is bringing to the table.
Genuine People Skills
Have you ever wondered why, in this cynical and mistrustful world, there are still people that we automatically like and want to trust? It is probably because they are ‘genuine people persons’. While many people, especially those who work in retail or hospitality, can seem to be friendly, often this is just good customer service. Those who genuinely like people come across as warmer, more interested in you as a person, and as really wanting to help you with your dilemma, whatever it might be.
Good recruiters must have patience. Often when interviewing candidates, headhunters will ask for at least an hour of the candidate’s time, and even longer if the job field is a particularly specialised one. Recruiters will spend this time very carefully assessing the candidate and testing some of their skills, while they observe the candidate’s behaviour, body-language and check for tells that will prove the candidate a good fit for the establishment they have in mind.
Headhunters must be able to pick up the details of niche jobs quickly, order this knowledge into a list of requirements for the job, and then apply those details against potential candidates for the job. Having a mind that can grasp these details quickly makes a headhunter’s job that little bit easier.
And, finally, of course, a top recruiter must be reliable. Finding the perfect candidate, ensuring they are trustworthy and have the promised skills is the least a headhunter is expected to do – and they should also check in with the employee to make sure that the terms and conditions are as promised in the contract.