What is Headhunting


Recruitment process is never easy in any organization. It takes a toll on your reputation if you commit a slight mistake or hire a bad resource. Earlier people used to rely on old method of sourcing only, but with the growing competition, recruiters have become more proactive and try different ways of sourcing like portals, Referrals, social Media and headhunting.

Headhunting has become a crux of recruitment. Not everyone can become a head-hunter as you require a proper skill. Headhunting is basically a way to go ahead and find a prospective candidate to match your requirement.

In large organizations, specialized head-hunters are hired to do this process and they are called the third party head-hunters, whose job is to sell your job offer to the prospective candidate and bring them to you and then you take over from there. But not all can afford a paid head-hunter and so companies are now training the recruitment team about the techniques of headhunting, this is quite economical

The process of headhunting can nullify, if you do a slight mistake. The process goes like this:

  1. Proactively looking for the top performers in other organizations who are not looking for a change currently.
  2. High confidentiality has to be maintained and nobody except the person you are calling should know that this is a recruitment process.
  3. Headhunting is done for mid-level and top-level candidates and for niche and super niche skills. However, it can be done for other skill sets as well but because this is little time consuming, people prefer to go with the traditional hiring process.

Let’s discuss on how a headhunting is done:

  1. Job Analysis: The first and foremost thing in any recruitment process is to carefully analyse the job description. Research the candidates required and make a strategy on how to zero in on the perfect candidate. When the job description is crystal clear, it become easy for you, to start sourcing the candidates.
  2. Company Mapping:  Once you are clear with the job description, try to find out the companies which specialize in similar roles or skills. Make a list of all the companies and start searching for the potential candidates from those companies.
  3. Market research: A proper market research is important, when you are doing headhunting. Analyse the availability of resources in the market for the particular skill. Whether it’s easy, difficult or niche.
  4. Lateral Hiring: As already mentioned, headhunting is a process of proactively looking for the potential candidates in the competitor organization or any other organization which specializes in this. SO lateral hiring means, contacting these candidates who are already employed and not looking for a change, and luring them with the role and salary better than the current one. This might be a little time consuming and you require lot of patience.  But, this being the ideal headhunting process, chances of getting the exact match is a sure shot. But, you have to have the best of convincing quality.
  5. 5.      Selection: Once you have contacted the candidates, try to get more referrals from the same company. And when the candidate is convinced and willing to change the company and join your organization, your work is done.


So when you are headhunting, unless you are not sure, don’t reveal your name and the company you are calling from to any other person except for the candidate you are approaching to. Head hunting requires confidentiality at its core. Only when you get the right candidate on line, explain the job role and start your discussion.


Apparently, Headhunting doesn’t require a face to face interview most of the time. Because, you are sure the candidate is coming from the best of organizations and is a top performer and highly talented.  This is the latest technique of hiring the potential and great talent for your organization or for your client.


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