How do executives get spotted by headhunters?

executive search recruiters

Not yet on the headhunter radar? Here are some very concrete tips to help executives get noticed.

Don’t wait until you “need” to be spotted

It is not once in the spotlight that you have to get closer to a headhunter. It would be too late. “From the beginning of his career, an executive, and therefore not yet a manager, must respond to the requests of a headhunter. And this, even if he is well in his company and does not intend to leave it. By meeting you, the headhunter gathers valuable information about your sector of activity and will be grateful to you later,” insists Isabelle, partner director at Taplow Group. Form a group of 10/20 headhunters as soon as possible and keep them regularly informed of your professional development. “Don’t forget that headhunters need to live. Giving them a search mandate if you have the power to do so may be a good idea so that they can think of you when the time comes,” says one of them anonymously.

Getting people to talk about themselves in the right circles

To make people talk about themselves, yes, but obviously in a positive way. Answer interviews in the professional press, offer forums, actively participate in round tables, take on responsibilities in employers’ organisations. “Being recognized and active in the professional union of your industry is also judicious,” advises Jean, president of the Taplow Group. Being listed in the Top Management US database or having your biography in the very prestigious Who’s also recommended. “Ask to be nominated for the National Order of Merit or Legion of Honor. On the day of the ceremony, make sure you get the badge from someone you know. It requires a leader,” says Thibaud Chalmin, headhunter at Taplow Group. “Organized cocktails always give rise to beautiful photos in the press,” he adds.

Update your data

All headhunters maintain close relations with alumni associations of universities and colleges. So let these structures know about your promotions. Also update your data with sites. This information is reported in many media.

Work on your online referencing

With their responsibilities, some may still question the appropriateness of their presence on online social networks. Error. From now on, all headhunters will consult the profiles of senior executives. “No need to post or have a huge pool of contacts to be spotted. On the contrary. For us this means that the candidate is in high demand and perhaps not very busy. It is better to publish sparingly,” says Jean. Also work on your referencing on search engines because shareholders will not fail to google you. “If among the first 10 occurrences, there is negative information about the candidate, it is a bad start. But the candidate can quite easily have obsolete content deleted on Google, or even have the right to be forgotten,” insists Thibaud Chalmin.

Make spontaneous applications

Send your updated CV to the HR office but do not necessarily expect a response. “Courtesy appointments, otherwise known as exploratory appointments, are rare but possible if the headhunter needs information on a sector, if the senior executive -HR can be a business contributor or if the candidate is highly recommended,” says Isabelle. At worst, you will not be received but they will integrate your application into their database. So nothing to lose. “Also contact investors who will need to recruit new senior executives. On the WhoGotfunded website, you will find all companies in the process of being recapitalized with the names of the investors. Apply directly to the latter because do not lose sight of the fact that it is the shareholders who validate the candidates for these positions,” recommends Thibaud Chalmin. As we can see, being spotted by a headhunter is a relatively time-consuming and long-term task. “This represents between 10% and 15% of the working time of a senior executive,” he concludes.

Published by Dave John

Decade of work experience in leadership consulting with strong focus on talent acquisition & assessment across different industries and geographies.

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