What Do Headhunters Look For?

Guest post by Daniel P. Shinaver, Co-Owner/Co-Founder of  Drake Shinaver Employment Services, LLC

Are you considering working with headhunters in your employment search?

Naturally, we often get asked about our development and headhunting services. People want to know what we look for in candidates. How do we screen them? In addition, they also want to know exactly what we will do to help them find gainful employment.

Related: What Does an Expert Executive Resume Writer Provide?

What Services to Headhunters Provide?

First off it is important to understand what services a quality headhunter can provide. Some headhunters specialize in certain industries such as manufacturing, medical, or administrative. Other headhunters focus on an industry only when accepting a contract from a client for their services. Your goal when seeking out a headhunter is to ask:

  • What services they can provide you?
  • Are they a good fit for your career goals? 
  • What value do they bring to your growth and development?

If you are in the manufacturing trades you need a headhunter familiar with that industry. It is crucial that you do not waste your valuable resources and time with a headhunter that is not providing you the quality services you deserve. Seek out those headhunters who seem to best fit your particular needs. 

Remember that you are screening them as much as they should be screening you!

What questions will Headhunters ask me?

Pay attention to their actions and their focus. A quality headhunter should ask you in-depth questions about your work and life skills, your personality, and your career goals. They need to be able to provide this feedback and information to a prospective hiring manager or employer. If a headhunter is not committed to understanding you he or she probably does not have your best interests in mind.

As an employment developer and headhunter, I look for:

All of these are vitally important for me as a headhunter to understand. I want to present a well-rounded picture to a prospective employer. From the moment of first contact with a candidate our agency looks for the little things that often go overlooked by employers or hiring personnel.

What can the job seeker to do to help headhunters?

Many things play a huge part in a candidate’s evaluation and positive or negative screening. For instance, if a candidate promises a headhunter that they will be available at a certain time and they do not follow through, then that headhunter can assume a certain weakness of character. Or if someone has poor body language or uncertainty of answers then a quality headhunter will recognize immediately that this may indicate dishonesty or something hidden.

Other traits that we look for include:

  • attention to detail in your wording choices
  • honesty and sincerity in your answers
  • an openness to new ideas and thoughts that may positively impact your placement

It is crucial that you are completely open and honest about your work experience

Be honest about your skill set, your thoughts, and your career goals. Good body language and enthusiasm, confidence in your answers, and a thorough knowledge of your industry or employment area of interest is also important.  If you do not provide this information then how can a headhunter truthfully help promote you to a prospective employer?

Working with Headhunters: The Wrap Up

If you are looking for a quality headhunter that has your best interests in mind then ask for clarity regarding their services! Observe how they interact with you. Are they clear in their answers? Are they confident in their knowledge and invested in knowing you as a person? You as a candidate need to have confidence in their skills and knowledge and a headhunter needs to do the same towards you. Anything less is unprofessional and not servicing your career needs to the extent that you deserve.

Happy Career Hunting! We are here for you!

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About the Author

headhuntersDaniel Shinaver is an employment and life skill specialist who began his career in 2006 working with the homeless, low-income, and at-risk populations. Since then his career has evolved into working with homeless disabled Veterans and Returning Citizens being released on parole and re-entering society. Shinaver specializes in Business Administration, Human Resources Management and Employment Development strategies focused on under-served individuals who do not know how to get to the next level of their personal development.
Daniel is the Co-Owner/Co-Founder of Drake Shinaver Employment Services, LLC.


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