Headhunters are “let’s get it done” type of people. Afterall, headhunters are only paid after they make a placement. Headhunters work for agencies, and only account for 4.52% of hires. That’s not a lot. But it’s important to understand the role of headhunters before you learn how to find headhunters on LinkedIn.
Headhunters are called in as a last resort to find that perfect match. This is only after the company has performed an exhaustive search for the right person. By this time, the company is usually desperate for help and they need that help NOW!
The good news for you is that a headhunter is not going to waste their time if you are not uniquely qualified for that particular position they are trying to fill.
What does this mean? If you make the cut, there’s a good change you’re getting an interview. But if you don’t fit the bill, the headhunter will, in the most diplomatic way possible, tell you that you’re not qualified. Headhunters’ reputations rely on successfully matching candidates with roles. Always remember that headhunters work for the client – the hiring organization – not the candidate.
On the other hand, recruiters often work internally – they recruit for the company they work for. Medium to large companies often have their own internal recruiters. Before a job description hits Indeed or LinkedIn, internal recruiters know about the position and have already started narrowing their search from previous applicants, LinkedIn profiles, or persons they know.
You want to “wow” headhunters and recruiters!
Make your LinkedIn profile attractive. Headhunters will spend a whopping 6 seconds scanning your profile/resume. Optimize your profile by writing for the position you want not the position you have. Use these 5 steps to optimize your LinkedIn profile before you find headhunters on LinkedIn.
- Research the skills required for your dream job/role.
- Identify search terms used by headhunters.
- Build your LinkedIn profile using those search terms, keywords and phrases.
- Use descriptive writing to describe your skills, i.e.: Collaborated with a team of scientists to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) before initiating the market launch.
- Engage – grow your network, share content on your news feed, and join groups. Spend an hour a week engaging on LinkedIn.
Once you’ve become active on LinkedIn and your profile is up to speed, only then is it time to search for headhunters on LinkedIn.
Follow these 3 steps to find headhunters on LinkedIn.
- Find an External Headhunter. External headhunters work independently or for an agency. Most work within a particular industry, job function, professional level or geographic area.
Search for headhunters by geography, industry or keywords. Use “recruiter,” “recruitment” or “headhunter.” Search using the People dropdown tag in LinkedIn. Narrow your search by industry or keywords related to the job functions.
Pro tip: A lot of headhunters work for an agency. If the person you contact can’t help you, ask if someone on their team or in their agency might be a better fit. Thank your initial contact or, better yet, ask for an introduction.
- Find an Internal Recruiter. Internal recruiters work for a specific company and hire for that company. Their job is to find and pre-qualify candidates before presenting them to hiring managers.
You have a couple of options here. From your wish-list of the companies you want to work for, research the company website for contact names. Use the names you find to pull up their profiles on LinkedIn. Verify you’re targeting the right person before reaching out.
Another option is searching the companies on your wish-list directly on LinkedIn. Make sure to change the dropdown in the search feature to “Companies.” Once the company page pulls up, click the “People” tab on the company’s page to search for who works in recruiting or human resources. Learn about their role in the company by visiting their LinkedIn profile.
Pro tip: When you’re searching your dream company on LinkedIn, look for people you already know or have a connection with that work for your dream company. Ask your connection for an introduction or to whom you should address your request to specifically.
- Send a Connection Request. This is the most crucial step! You need to send a personalized connection request. Be authentic and intentional. Include why you’re reaching out to this specific headhunter or recruiter. Tell them specifically what you’re looking for in your next role.
Pro tip: Follow-up! A staggering 42% of candidates don’t return phone calls or emails. Maintain contact by engaging with their posts or send follow-up emails. If the company is featured in the news, let the recruiter know you saw the feature.
All relationships need to be cultivated – even those with headhunters and recruiters. When you hear back, follow-up with a thank you. If you don’t hear back, follow-up to your initial request.
Chances are, that whoever you contact, they won’t have a job for you right away. You’ll need to keep your name at the top of their list in an un-annoying way. Follow headhunters and recruiters on LinkedIn. Engage with their posts. Stay in-tune with the companies on your wish-list for changes in their human resources departments or job postings on their websites.
Follow these tips and when your dream job comes up, you’ll be on the top of the list.