Career Advice Career Guidance and Counselling

What you need to do to get the attention of headhunters

Published on Saturday, 02 Sep 2017

As a senior-level professional, your quest for a new role will look distinctly different from what it might have been like 10 years ago. Your job search therefore needs to be approached with great delicacy, precision and tact. Ideally, an executive-level recruiter would discreetly seek you out to discuss the perfect role in person, and confidentially.

In other words, you would get headhunted. So, how can you further your chances of this happening?

First of all, make sure to solidify your personal brand in your own mind. How do you want to be perceived by the headhunter? For instance, you may want to be viewed as an IT security expert with a wealth of experience.

Now check that your online profiles, for instance LinkedIn, are all up to date and aligned with your personal brand; from your job title to your skills and experience.

You should also check the privacy settings on your personal social media accounts and ensure that there’s nothing untoward to be found. Social media is one of the main tools headhunters use to find out more about potential recruits.

On this note, it is in your interest to grow your online presence in order to show off your expertise. There are many ways to do this, from writing blogs to recording podcasts and getting involved in industry discussions or forums.

Using the platforms available to you effectively will demonstrate that you are an expert in your field, which is one of the most effective ways of getting headhunted. Build some valuable personal relationships, starting with your current and former colleagues. You should also make the effort to develop new business contacts. Go to events and make sure your name, title and company are on the list.

Simply put, to get headhunted, an executive-level recruiter needs to know who you are, what you have to offer, and where to find you. In following the above advice, you will increase your chances of this happening, but remember, discretion is the key on both sides.


This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Be the hunted.