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Headhunting means searching for and attracting suitable candidates to participate in a competition. It is a time-consuming process, requiring several specific skills.

The first step is to identify the perfect candidate in terms of personality, competencies, skills, experiences, etc.

The organisation and the team are also important (team and manager originality; rules and regulations; values and principles). Knowledge of the business and its particulars are extremely useful. The result will depend on every little detail.

Sourcing means searching for suitable candidates using many possible channels. For example, when searching for salespeople, candidates can be found on company home pages, construction workers can be found on Estonian Qualification Authority and school graduates lists, while IT workers can be found on LinkedIn, GitHub, FB and StuckOverflow. It is sensible to grow your network because someone in your network might be the perfect candidate for future recruitment.

Sourcing is a creative process, because it is not possible to know exactly where suitable candidates will be found. There are no rules. Usually you are given the name of a possible suitable candidate first, and then you must search for their contact information. The next step is to contact this person and, if you are lucky, you can have a pleasant conversation with them.

The easiest way to search for suitable candidates is to use databases from job portals.

You do not have to search for candidates’ contact information in this case and you do not need to have specialist sourcing knowledge to use those databases, as you can find all the information you need there, such as contact information and even CVs.

Communicate with the candidates you have found and share information. The aim is to discern whether there is a match between the candidate found and the company.

All the information about the company and position must be shared in a way that positively supports a company’s employer brand, is genuine and helps to attracts candidates at the same time. Having knowledge of psychology and active sales is useful while headhunting. It is important not to be too aggressive and to remember the final target: to find the candidate who matches perfectly with the company and the position and who would love the job. One of the saddest scenarios would be recruiting a person who does the work only because of a high salary. This is the situation every recruiter must avoid because it causes dissatisfaction to both sides in the long term.

It is easy to create reliable relationships and to grow your network with every recruitment project based on good faith and satisfaction of all parties. This also simplifies sourcing during future recruitment drives.

While conducting the latter stages of the competition (interviews, tests, background studies etc.), it is wise to bear in mind that the candidates did not send their applications themselves but were found via headhunting. Maintaining a candidate’s interest in the company and the job is important. For example, using laptops or mobile phones or taking a phone call during an interview might ruin all previous efforts by making the candidate feel insignificant. The candidate may also withdraw his candidature.

Detail is important to both sides during the recruitment process. It is important to follow everything mentioned above during every recruitment drive regardless of whether you headhunt or not. A positive candidate experience is the easiest and least expensive option when it comes to distributing your company’s positive reputation as an employer.

Annika Melsas