Why use a headhunter to fill a specialist vacancy when I can do it myself?

It is pretty obvious that many companies resent paying a recruitment fee at the best of times?


Because it costs money!

However, all of my clients swear by Headhunters.


Too much time is actually spent focusing on what the end cost maybe (when contingency recruitment is ‘no win no fee’) so there are no upfront costs anyway. Retained and sole agent assignments operate differently in some respects however the principles remain the same. 

What you are ultimately saving is time! Along with the utilisation of an expert in your field, a proactive approach, contacts and relationships spanning many years, a strong online network and presence, specialist systems designed for attracting talent and more importantly experience.

One of my mentors once said to me… “You can clean your car yourself and lose 3-4 hours out of your day or go down the road and get 6 people to do the same job in less than 10 minutes…” You pay for convenience, what you (the client) need to pre-qualify is experience, because us headhunters can all talk a great game.

Headhunters are not effective at what we do because it is easy, nobody is an overnight expert, this is years of mastering our craft

This is why now is an essential time to partner up with a Headhunter in your specialist field.

Why? (The Hiring Manager might say) I’ll advertise myself; many people are out of work due to Covid-19. I am guaranteed to get Candidates…

My response would be: Yes, you are! A lot! That is the problem!

I actually received over 100 applications in 6 hours recently for a role that was given to me by a client who is back in the market following the lockdown and not a single Candidate was suitable, however I have never relied on job boards as my main source of Candidates ever. It is a supporting system that complements my main search…

What I did was make the proactive calls and use the specialist systems in my armory which resulted in a very healthy pipeline with not one Candidate that was plucked from a job board or actively looking! All were approached on the grounds of a pre-existing relationships whereby I knew when it was the right time for me to make the call. All of those Candidates were choosing the right career move and looking to enhance their commercial profiles. 

With pressures on businesses being sky high right now, your brand is everything. If a company or hiring manager advertise a vacancy direct not only will that result in a lot of time sifting through reams of irrelevant CV’s, you also have relationships to build with potential candidates and an entire recruitment process to run.

But you have a business to run as well? Yes you do! Let’s be honest applicants will be let down, they will talk, your brand is damaged.

Headhunters protect that from happening!

The other questions are:

Are they going to be the right candidates? Not only from a skillset and experience perspective but from a ‘why are they really applying for the role in the first-place perspective?’

What are their true motivators?

What are their intentions short, medium, long term?

Are they really looking at this opportunity the way you would want?

Are they also being completely honest with you…? Probably not, many people especially now are desperate, and will do and say anything to get a chance if they think thats what you want to hear. A Headhunter will sense that and delete time being wasted before it has happened

Will you have truly committed, pre-qualified candidates that are genuinely looking at this opportunity? Probably not, Why? Because you haven’t had the time to pre-qualify, you are too busy doing your REAL job!.

A lot of Senior Managers have said to me over the years…. “I know everyone….” Of course, you do (I would reply), it is your job to know everyone, but did you know those Candidates were actually looking? Probably not, definitely not without asking them first. More time lost!

As a MD, HR, Director and Owner of a business or anyone looking to hire elite specialist talent now, over the next few months or in the foreseeable future I would highly recommend that you partner up with a Headhunter. The Commercial information they will possess will not only be priceless, your time will be utilised to best effect enabling you to look after the most important parts of your business…Your people and your clients!

It is extremely important that you focus on getting your business back to good health. Using expert headhunters to fill your specialist vacancies will give you the cost saving elements that you would lose 5 or even 10 fold if you compared the time consumed by everything that comes with doing a job like mine without the contacts, systems and network working for you and the experience.

Investing time at the inaugural stage discussing your detailed requirements ‘above and below the water line’ with a Headhunter and setting out a road map from start to finish will not only give you the confidence that a structured and systematic recruitment process plan is in place. You will also know that a Headhunter will only be introducing the top 10% of the talent in the market at that time to you enabling you (the client) to focus on your REAL job, which to be fair is probably going to be the toughest in your career to date.

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