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“Every time a company selects a candidate, it takes on a risk, which we try to minimize with the help of headhunters”

On 31st May 2017, at its Madrid Campus, EAE Business School organized a new webinar session entitled “Headhunters: trends and opportunities”, the key objective of which was to give students access to the tools required to enhance their employability and networking opportunities.

Tuesday, 6 de June, 2017

New technologies are revolutionizing the way in which companies take on new recruits on their workforce. The profiles in the highest demand are sought out on the internet with the help of a headhunter, demoting the hopeful candidates to a passive role on some occasions. During the webinar “Headhunters: trends and opportunities”, we were given some valuable tips with respect to employability with the help of four experts on the topic.

The video conference started live at 19:00, led by José Díaz Canseco, a lecturer on the Executive MBA, MBA and Master in Human Resources Management at EAE Business School. He was joined by Alfredo Santos, the Managing Director of Recruitment Solutions at Hudson; Rafael Puerto, the Business Director at Wyser Spain; Carlos Gómez-Arnau, the Managing Consultant at Korn Felly Company, and Yann Rambousek,  CFO at Catenon Worldwide.

Over the course of the session, the experts shared the key information on the new employment paradigm in Spain in relation to looking for new opportunities and professional profiles with the now widely available help of headhunters. The experts analysed the guidelines required to enable both candidates and companies to identify where and how to contact them.

Digitization generates unemployment in the very short term but, in the medium and long term, it generates opportunities that do not currently exist”, explained José Díaz by way of an introduction to the session. After this, the round table of guest speakers was organized around four key questions.

Competences that headhunters consider essential for a senior profile

Alfredo Santos highlighted the competences that are currently demanded and will be demanded in our country over the next ten years. “In terms of leaders or senior profiles, the aspects that will be most valued will be their capacity to transform things, having strategic and global vision, the ability to move teams, influence and persuasion, but above all ambition and the capacity to develop”.

As well as conducting an analysis of the company looking to recruit new employees, the round table underlined the great importance of analysing the economic situation of the country in which the company operates. In addition, they emphasized the need to define the scope and scale of the position in order to identify the competences required of the candidate. “There are some general competences that enable an executive to be successful, but there are other specific competences that each company is looking for in a different way”, explained Yann Rambousek.

“Every time a company selects a candidate, it takes on a risk, which we try to minimize with the help of headhunters”, added the CFO at Catenon as he continued his explanation. Headhunters take charge of presented the company with the profiles that they have performed successfully in the past in a similar role, ensuring that the candidate knows how to perform the tasks related to their future position. “You cannot eliminate risk completely. As such, the headhunter has to take on the role of consultant, guiding the client with respect to the risk and value that each profile presents”, concluded Rambousek.

Strategies and critical factors that headhunters have to manage

If is essential that we conduct an internal analysis from two key points of view. The first is having perfect knowledge of “who we are and what we know how to do”, while the second is knowing “what we want”.

Carlos Gómez-Arnau explained that “managing your own professional career is one of the hardest things to achieve”. After losing their jobs because of the recession, many candidates find it really hard to regain their professional momentum. It is crucial to focus on our professional career from the perspective of two factors. The first is related to employability, for which continuous training is fundamental, as well as keeping up-to-date with the demands of the labour market.

Meanwhile, the other element that we must not lose sight of is networking. Having a network of professional contacts, relationships with experts in our sector or even with the competence in question are essential factors. “It gives us an effective framework within which we can navigate the labour market”, emphasized Gómez-Arnau.

Contacting a headhunter

Finding the right headhunter is not as easy as it may sound. We often have to follow certain guidelines. “Networking is the key. If we try to contact a headhunter on our own initiative, it is often very complicated”, underlined Rafael Puerto.

It is important to ‘cultivate’ the relationship with them through our network of contacts, being friendly and always answering their calls. Another crucial guideline when contacting a headhunter is ensuring that their clients are related to our sector. There are headhunters who specialize in certain in sectors or functions. As such, it is vital that we know beforehand which headhunter we are contacting.

Deadly sins in our relationship with a headhunter

The first deadly sin, without a doubt, is template messages. The experts talked about instantly rejecting professionals who contact headhunters using unpersonalized messages. “When you are going to write to a headhunter, write to them with a proper e-mail, personalized, explaining why you are contacting them”, said Puerto, who assured us that he responded to everybody who followed these guidelines.

Being overly insistent is the other factor that could damage our relationship with a headhunter. Time management is a tool that can help us in our communication. “After the initial contact, the headhunter will give us set timings in a schedule, to set out the pace of the process”, explained Yann Rambousek.

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