In the course of my professional career, I have been approached several times by so-called headhunters. The translation is a bit martial, you could just say recruiter. In any case, these contacts gave me a little insight into the industry. It turned out that the profession can offer good prospects. Especially because the salary is virtually unlimited and because career changers also have a chance. The only question is how to become a successful headhunter?
What is a headhunter?
No, it´s not the guy, who wears a hidden gun in his Concealed carry holster, trying to catch a fugitive criminal. A headhunter in the world of business is someone, who serarches for extraordinary good employees and tries to persuade them to change their employer.
Why is the job as a headhunter so attractive?
A recruiter is hired by companies to find suitable candidates for a vacant position. To do this, they go on a search. If a placement takes place, the headhunter receives a commission. This is usually 25-33% of an annual salary. This means that those who fill high-ranking positions for their clients receive even more money for it.
This is interesting because even with normal employees, an amount of 20,000 to 30,000 euros can change hands. Two to three placements a year and you can make a good living. In itself, not exactly a massive challenge. It should also be mentioned that the job title is not protected. Almost anyone can do this job from one day to the next.
What is necessary for the job?
My experience showed that most headhunters worked independently of a specific location. They called me, did an interview and then they sent me as a candidate for an appointment. So their job was very simple. When I looked into it I found that the equipment was really minimal. Most of them just use a special executive search software for recruiters. You can see it here in the video:
With the help of such programmes, they scour the internet and social media for suitable profiles. Then they create a database of suitable candidates and save them to the respective jobs. In this way, they build up lists by industry and by skills, which they then also use for other job advertisements.
In the end, I saw that even in 2005, headhunters only needed a PC, a DSL connection and, apart from that, access to LinkedIn and Xing. It was not much more than that. So minimal costs and only minimal requirements for technical equipment.
How do you get orders and customers?
Simply setting up an office and creating a website won’t get you clients, of course. As I have noticed, many headhunters simply call the companies that place an advertisement in the newspaper or on the web. They always ask if the company would be willing to pay the premium in case of success. This is how they get their first corporate clients and then build up a network that gets bigger and bigger.