Have you often been told by recruitment consultants that they are 'headhunting' for a particular role?  In fact on Linkedin you will find that about 1 out of 2 recruiters will mention Headhunting on their profile... as a skill or something that they regularly do

The free online dictionary says:

1. The custom of cutting off and preserving the heads of enemies as trophies. ( As much as what I believe I would like to do this sometimes, I don't mean this one)
2. Slang The process of attempting to remove influence and power from enemies, especially political enemies. (Don't get too excited - this sounds more interesting than it is)
3. Informal
a. The business of recruiting personnel, especially executive personnel, as for a corporation. ( I mean this one - but only the middle part)
b. The act or an instance of such recruiting. (Nah that's not it either)
When you're interviewing a candidate and you ask why they left their job in a previous employer; and you get this answer 'I was headhunted'.  Please let them know that unless they changed careers and went from CEO to software developer ( it is possible) this recruiting process did not happen to them.
Our job as recruiters is often partly an education role and many recruiters believe that headhunting is the process of identifying a candidate, and then approaching them.  This process is actually called sourcing (or, just doing our jobs right?)  There are many interchangeable synonyms used in the industry for sourcing, but headhunting is not one of them.
Headhunting is the process of gaining a recquisition from a client to identify, approach and negotiate exit contracts with C-level executives in order for them to join your client.  It's often a more complicated public relations nightmare than it sounds.  To be involved in even just one of these arrangements in your recruitment career will create utter admiration and respect for the professionals who undertake this as their main source of business.  It is a lengthy process that takes many months and is always an exclusively retained service by the client.
So whilst it's great to see that recruiters with less than 6 months experience in the industry know the following terminology like 'headhunting' 'extensive experience' and 'executive recruitment' they do not understand what these words really mean and are not furthering our cause to be regarded as professionals. 
Next time you hear this expression being used loosely, please take the young person by the ear and tell them how important it is in a people industry - to listen and act professionally
Thats my rant for the day - what's your view?

Views: 763

Comment by Sandra McCartt on July 3, 2012 at 1:41pm
How would you feel about any of us calling ourselves a "body snatcher"? :)


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