What is headhunting?

• Focused on executives on £75K and goes right through to the very top boards in UK.

• Used when there is a very defined background from which the recruiting company is looking for. It’s ideal for when someone wants a person ‘who is from a competitor’ or where that particular expertise is employed in similar, but not competitive organisations. It is not generally used for generic type positions which are generally advertised instead.

• Headhunting is a direct and personalised approach that is made to the individual with a high degree of discretion where particular expertise is sought. It is not large campaign management, database mining or social networking as you would see for example on LinkedIn connections.

• A typical headhunt would involve commissioning an executive search firm to help define and advise on the role to be recruited, pull together a target list of companies (anything from 20 - 50, usually competitors) to headhunt into, identifying people in posts through research, seeking recommendations and tracking high performance individuals. The search organisation will then contact these individuals. This could involve contacting potentially hundreds of people. The list of individuals is usually supplemented by the headhunter's own network of contacts often developed over years of relationship building. Harvey Nash's Executive Search & Leadership Services division provides headhunting, assessment and a broad range of HR services and skills development for clients.A more detailed explanation of the process can be found here.

• Headhunting is more than a process though – it’s also a protocol. Very few companies would recruit a senior exec without using an external headhunter.