How To Get Noticed by Head-hunters


Get Noticed by Head-hunters

Are you content in your job, but open to the prospect of even better opportunities on the horizon? Perhaps you are seeking a move offshore but want something concrete in terms of a role to go to? Wouldn’t it be easier if fantastic opportunities like these were presented to you, rather than you having to go out and chase them? Well, enough of the questions, here’s the answer- you need to be on the radar of head-hunters.

Now I don’t mean head-hunters as in the gang of hitmen who are literally going to take your head – That’s not really who you want after you! I’m talking recruiters or executive search consultants who specialise in presenting opportunities to passive candidates. So with that cleared up, how do you actually go about attracting these people to you and what will make you stand out among your peers? Well, as a head-hunter myself (the recruiter kind), I’m here to tell you what you need to do to catch our eye and make you too attractive to overlook. It all comes down to three main things, social media, industry activity and market reputation.

For many head-hunters including myself, social media is a one stop shop when it comes to identifying candidates I want to approach on behalf of my clients. When given a job brief, in most cases the first thing I will do is search on LinkedIn using a few basic criteria. Typically that consists of key words relating to the role, and location. From there, I will search through the profiles that are returned in my initial search. If you haven’t figured it out by now, setting up a LinkedIn account is your first step to getting on our radar. But a LinkedIn profile simply isn’t enough – it needs to be detailed, complete and clear. Think of it this way, could you replace your CV with your LinkedIn profile? If not, it needs more work. When looking through profiles on LinkedIn, I like to see some form of project experience that will be relevant to what my client is, or will be doing, and a direction that the role I have will align with. That way, I know you have skills and experience that my client will be looking for, while they will also have work that is going to be of interest to you.

While having a detailed LinkedIn profile on its own is great, head-hunters hold those active in their industry in higher regard. Candidates that are active within discussion groups, sharing information, writing articles and being a part of the community shows passion and industry insight – something all good employers look for. Because most head-hunters are part of these groups, by starting discussions or contributing to others, you will inevitably become seen and get noticed.

Social media shouldn’t simply be restricted to LinkedIn, as head-hunters move across almost all platforms. Facebook and Twitter are usually checked once I have identified a good candidate on LinkedIn, as I find these less professional platforms show a greater insight into personality- which helps me determine your potential fit into a team. Twitter and Instagram are tools becoming more and more used by recruiters due to the instantaneous nature of their communication, meaning a head-hunter can identify a candidate and get in touch with them simply and easily. With that in mind, be sure to moderate what goes on these platforms, or keep them as private as you can.

While social media is a fantastic platform for head-hunters to work off, and something you as a passive candidate should take advantage of, there is still room for the old school, face to face networking. Attending industry meet-ups and networking events are a sure fire way to get on the radar of head-hunters, if not directly, than indirectly. While most events are likely to have recruiters lurking in the shadows looking for candidates to meet, by engaging face to face with your peers you become part of a bigger network. If for example I approach someone I know about a potential role, they may not be interested, but can say “I meet a great person at this event last night that sounds like what you’re looking for, get in touch with . . . “. So you see, by getting out there and meeting with the people in your field, you will ultimately get noticed by head-hunters as a result of your professional network.

If you want to be aware of fantastic opportunities that can really benefit your career, but don’t want to go out of your way to search for them, there are a few simple steps you can take to make sure they don’t pass you by.

  • Engage on social media and ensure you have a detailed LinkedIn profile

  • Comment on, and start industry related discussions on LinkedIn

  • Moderate your more personal social media profiles

  • Meet people within your industry and share information

If it sounds simple, that’s because it is! Follow these tips and within no time at all, you will have head-hunters presenting fantastic opportunities you would have otherwise never heard of.

Eamonn Dunn

920 Recruitment, Auckland