What is Headhunting?
A direct search is a specific search, which the employer implements with the help of an external direct search consultant. Direct search does not use public announcements, but the direct search consultant searches for suitable candidates using different information sources, contacts them confidentially and presents the most suitable candidates.
When do companies use direct search?
With a direct search, employers want to reach especially those candidates who are not actively looking for a new job. Direct search is often used when the pool of potential candidates is very small, it is difficult to find them, and you want the best possible person for the job.
Is direct search only used for management-level positions?
Not anymore. Direct search is used more and more also in manager and expert level recruitments.
Where do direct search consultants find their candidates?
Today, online presence is very useful. Various electronic professional networks, such as Linkedin, serve as good sources of information for direct search consultants.
In addition, direct search consultants use different types of company and branch lists, personal and association lists, as well as registers, which are published for e.g. economists, engineers and lawyers.
There are various search engines on the market that direct search consultants can use to search for potential candidates online. These search engines can be used to find information about candidates’ work history, education, publications and other public information, for example. The sources of information in this case may be, for example, appointment news, press releases, annual reports and the like.
How do I get on the direct search consultant’s lists?
At first, you should ensure your own visibility in the Linkedin service, which is an important source of information for a direct search consultant.
Some of the direct search companies also accept open applications through their websites. In this case, the direct search consultant can be in touch when an assignment suitable for the candidate’s profile arrives. A good way to become known is also active networking in your professional group, various expert articles, seminar speeches and other visibility.
Is it worth it for a recent graduate to contact direct recruitment companies?
Direct search is used to fill positions that require experience. In expert-level recruitments, the direct search consultant usually becomes interested in the candidate only after about five years of work experience.
What does a direct search consultant value?
Direct search consultants act on the basis of their clients’ assignments and evaluate the candidate’s suitability for the position through their clients’ wishes. Often, the client has defined quite precisely the work experience, skills and work style of the candidate being sought. Naturally, a good and successful career history, sufficiently long employment relationships and a logically progressing career are always important.
What to do when a direct search consultant calls?
Contacting a direct search consultant means that your name has come up in one way or another and the direct search consultant wants more information about you. The consultant wants to determine your suitability for the position being applied for and find out your interest in starting a conversation about changing jobs.
Before getting involved in the process, it is always a good idea to ask for sufficient information about the assignment at hand and the client. Also think carefully about what the offered position means for your career.
Conversations with a direct search consultant are confidential, and a skilled direct search consultant will not forward your information until you give permission for this. If the task at hand is not suitable for you, the direct search consultant may contact you again in a year, for example – and this time it may be your next dream job.
About the author
Author Mika Nevasuo is the founder of the international Talentor network. He has more than 20 years of experience in challenging recruitment processes from expert level to top management – in Finland and internationally.
Mika has a master’s degree in economics (KTM) and has a certificate issued by the Finnish Psychological Association for skills and competence-based personal assessments.