How to be chosen by headhunters

Headhunters are looking for talents on the market all the time, getting their attention is simple. Check out some tips given by Carlos Zanetti, a manager here at Foursales that hires middle and high level commercial managers. He will talk about how to bring attention to your resume and reveals how to be chosen by a headhunter.

When and how to look for a headhunter

Many people believe that headhunters work for candidates, but this is not truth. The headhunter works for companies and has the objective of solving a very common issue some organizations have: finding the qualified professionals they need.
This means the headhunter has no financial connection to their candidates, but this doesn’t mean that you, a professional who is looking for job opportunities, can’t act in a strategic manner to call their attention.
To be chosen by a headhunter you need, before all else, to understand this recruiter. In this sense, Zanneti explain us that it is important to have in mind two main types of headhunters:

  • The ones who do proactive interviews. They are the ones who are always looking for professionals, even when they don’t have any open opportunity (In this way, when they receive a new position, they already have a list of possible professionals).
  • The ones who exclusively interview for projects. They wait for until they have an open opportunity, and then they hunt and compare many different professionals who might match the project.

As not always it is possible to identify what is the focus of each headhunter, Zanetti advice the candidates to follow these steps:

  1. Sign up at the headhunting company website and attaching your resume.
  2. Check at the website if there is any job opportunity that seems perfect for you.
  3. Verify who is the responsible headhunter for the specific opportunity and sending him an e-mail.

“John, how is it going?
I applied to Job Opportunity X at your website and I believe to have all the pre-requisites for the position, which are:
– Experience in beverage sales
– Experience in managing distributors
– My networking is great for this segment and region.
I would like to know how we could proceed in our conversation.
At your service.”
Como ser escolhido por um headhunter
Zanetti tell us this is an excellent approach because it shows that you respected the company process, signing up to a position you have the specified pre-requisites and, at the same time, is objective – one of the common elements of a high performance executive. “One of the biggest issues the consultancies face in Brazil is because, in opposition to what happens in the USA and Europe, we face hundreds of applications all the time to many different positions, but the major part of these don’t have any adherence at all.”
In 2016, Foursales made a study of the annual percentage of usable applications in our opportunities. The average of candidates who applied and had the pre-requisites annually was less than 3%. This means that for each 1.000 resume the headhunter goes through, he only finds 30 that have any pre-requisite for the position.

3 tips to call the attention of headhunters

1 – Accurately plan and fill your LinkedIn profile

Almost half of the positions a headhunter fills come from candidates mapped through LinkedIn. This means that your profile always needs to be updated, with relevant and objective informations that are crucial to be found by these professionals. It is fundamental to include information that fill two objectives:

  • Have the right keywords the headhunters will type when they search someone for positions you are interested in.
  • Use information and facts to sustain how good you are in the competences you learned in previous experiences

Be detailed in relation to facts and informations that can bring attention o your resume and objective in regard the informations you communicate. Think in terms of segment, products, target public and sales channel.

2- Sign up your resume in the main headhunting companies of your region and/or market.

Make a mapping of the most relevant consultancies for what you are looking for – both in terms of the type of job opportunities as well as the region they work on,. Pay attention to these differences:

  • Multinational firms: Are present on all regions of a country and tend to attend for international companies and big corporations.
  • Regional firms: Focus on attending a regional demand, being very influent in a state or territory.
  • Specialized firms: They act in a specific segment or department, as Foursales does, which is specialized in hiring for the sales and marketing area. These firms tend to have a huge importance in the area they choose to specialize in and none in the others.

3 – Have an interview with the most influent headhunters

Let say that you signed up in the company website and/or sent an email to a headhunter who is responsible for a specific position that you have all the pre-requisites for and received a positive return. Maybe even without signing up for an opportunity, a headhunter found your profile and suggested you both should have a chat about possible opportunities. In this stage, you need to show you are a good candidate, so try to do the following:
a) Plan ahead
Arriving at an interview without any planning is the worst mistake a candidate can do. It is fundamental that you study the company he works for and the acting scope of the firm and the clients they attend. This shows preparation and dedication to your career.
b) Be objective
Stay away from the temptation of telling stories. Call attention to facts and informations that show your skills. The headhunter in most companies are former executives that come from the market or area they are hiring for. They are concerned in understanding how good you are as a professional and if you fit the opportunity they have, they do not want to make a psychological evaluation.
Most headhunters are not graduated in Psychology and similar areas, they don’t apply profile testes and psychological evaluations to add to their analysis after an interview. In this first moment, you need to be straightforward and answer clearly and objectively the questions, talking about the subjects the recruiter is interested.
c) Think of this interview as a sale
When you do an interview, be ready to face it as a sale. Many times, unfortunately, the first impression is the main factor of success in an interview with recruiters and executives who are experienced in evaluating people.
If you follow these tips, the chances of being found and selected by a headhunter will increase!

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