Why should you hire a “headhunter”?
Admittedly, the American term for personnel consultants sounds very martial. As if a service provider were to lay his hunted prey at your feet and then expect a reward. Hardly!
It’s more like going to a surgeon for an important medical procedure and not using home remedies.
So what exactly is a headhunter? A headhunter or personnel consultant is hired by companies that are specifically looking for specialists and executives. The focus is usually on direct searches.
A good headhunter will not be satisfied with a job description, but will sound out very precisely what the client wants to achieve by filling the position. With the help of their own researchers, they then search for suitable candidates. After an initial contact, usually by telephone, in which the willingness to change is checked, an interview date is subsequently arranged. The aim here is not only to test the candidate, but also to arouse enthusiasm for the job, the company and, if applicable, the region.
A good headhunter therefore does not limit himself to sending out CVs, but prepares the candidate and the company for the interviews, accompanies them, advises on salary issues and makes recommendations for individual candidates in the selection.
But a headhunter is very expensive!
The question of whether you want to hire a headhunter is not easy to answer. In a cost-benefit analysis, the following considerations may be important for you:
- Your desired employee most likely works in another company. As an entrepreneur, you can hardly penetrate this territory (unfair competition).
- You want discretion so as not to signal to competitors that you are entering a new market segment, for example.
- The effort to find a new employee is simply too high for your personnel department. Applications have to be evaluated, interviews have to be coordinated and conducted, assessment centres have to be prepared, conducted and evaluated. The search in advance turns out to be expensive, difficult and often fruitless. And if, contrary to expectations, the new employee fails in the probationary period, the position is filled by reputable headhunters without additional fees.
- A professional can also bring a breath of fresh air and new ideas to support your HR team. He finds new ways of recruiting and arguments for the job and the company. A good consultant has the ability to empathise with your company and culture to avoid bad hires.
- In the application process, the headhunter keeps the candidates “in line”, passes on the state of affairs and ensures that good candidates do not drop out prematurely.
- The calculation should include what it means when a position is not filled. The “cost-of-vacancy” is a key figure in the human resources sector. In Germany, it would be called opportunity costs.
I will answer the calculation and the basis for it in one of the next posts.