How to get no­ticed by head-hunters

Lesotho Times - - Jobs & Tenders -

THE me­chan­ics of head­hunt­ing are more firmly based in the pro­saic than the clan­des­tine. More of­ten than not, a suc­cess­ful head­hunt project will be founded upon the use of in­ter­net search en­gines, net­work rec­om­men­da­tions and can­di­date data­bases.

Be­cause of this, am­bi­tious pro­fes­sion­als can take a num­ber of prac­ti­cal steps to en­sure that they are firmly on the radar of head­hunters and don’t miss the best ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties as they come on to the mar­ket.

Here are three top tips on how to be head­hunted:

Be vis­i­bly good at your job Com­pa­nies don’t hire head­hunters to find them also-rans; they want a short­list of the very best tal­ent avail­able. The first step to be­ing head­hunted is be­ing good at your job; but just as im­por­tantly is that you need to be seen to be­ing do­ing a good job too.

Head­hunters will of­ten ask reli­able in­dus­try sources for rec­om­men­da­tions of who’s good, who’s a ris­ing star and who’s be­ing talked about, so hid­ing your light un­der a bushel is a no-no.

Build a cred­i­ble rep­u­ta­tion in your sec­tor, find some in­dus­try awards you can win and get some­one to nom­i­nate you. Al­ways en­sure you push your­self for­ward when it comes to pro­file in the com­pany and in­dus­try jour­nals; shy bairns get not, as they say in the north.

Be con­nected The old maxim, “it’s not what you know but who you know” needs up­dat­ing. In to­day’s mar­ket “it’s what you know and who you know”, or rather who you tweet, like, poke or fol­low as so­cial me­dia plays a mas­sive role in how head­hunters op­er­ate.

Sites such as Linkedin is a boon for our re­searchers as they can mine the data ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try, qual­i­fi­ca­tions, se­nior­ity, com­pany names etc and cre­ate use­ful lists of po­ten­tial tar­gets ex­tremely quickly de­pend­ing upon the client brief. But re­searchers will also use less for­mal sites such as Twit­ter, Face­book, Pin­ter­est and Foursquare to lo­cate can­di­dates with spe­cific skills and knowl­edge, or dis­cussing cer­tain top­ics.

It’s also im­por­tant that you com­bine this on­line net­work­ing with more tra­di­tional net- work­ing ac­tiv­ity such as at­tend­ing con­fer­ences, in­dus­try fo­rums and work­ing groups. Head­hunters will of­ten buy at­ten­dance lists or search meet­ing min­utes to see who has been to spe­cific meet­ings or events and cross ref­er­ence this with other data to build tar­get lists.

Be con­tactable It’s all well and good that you’re the best in the busi­ness and every­one knows it, but if the head­hunter can’t get to you then you run the risk of be­ing passed over for a more con­tactable can­di­date.

Even when you’re not look­ing for a job, take time out to have a reg­u­lar cof­fee or two with the best head­hunters in the sec­tor. This helps you place your­self on their radar for fu­ture op­por­tu­ni­ties, find out what’s hap­pen­ing in the mar­ket (ie spe­cific skills or qual­i­fi­ca­tions seen as must-haves) and swap con­tact de­tails.

Hav­ing an on­line pro­file is also a use­ful way to make your­self con­tactable. Use the so­cial net­works men­tioned above and per­haps start a blog to give head­hunters a way of see­ing who you are, what you do and how they can con­tact you.

Also, if you have a sec­re­tary or PA that screens your calls and emails (what the in­dus­try call a gate­keeper), make sure you brief them on the types of ap­proaches you are will­ing to ac­cept. For ex­am­ple, if the email or call is pro­fes­sional, rel­e­vant and spe­cific in what it re­quires as an ac­tion (e.g. email re­ply or sched­uled tele­phone call) you may want to take note. Also ex­plain the ap­proaches you are not will­ing to con­sider, ie rude, ag­gres­sive, sly, ir­rel­e­vant, vague or spammy.

In con­clu­sion, when the head­hunters call and the ap­proach feels right, take time out to re­spond pos­i­tively and pro­fes­sion­ally. Note what the head­hunter is hop­ing to dis­cuss and sched­ule a time to prop­erly as­sess the op­por­tu­nity be­ing of­fered. Some­times the ap­proach will go no fur­ther as one or both par­ties will con­clude this isn’t go­ing to be the right fit, but at least a con­nec­tion has been made and can be of use in the fu­ture. Of course, it may well also tran­spire that the ap­proach is the right one, at the right time and an un­looked for op­por­tu­nity presents it­self and leads to a new chap­ter in your ca­reer. — Guardian

Even when you’re not look­ing for a job, it is im­por­tant to be con­tactable.

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