Time Kills All Deals

  • Post published:01/09/2009
  • Reading time:3 mins read

Headhunters – executive search firms – are the extended arm of your company and are your best connection to the outside world when it comes to finding top candidates. Headhunters are not magicians though and cannot present relevant candidates from one day to the other.

By definition their assignments are difficult-to-fill positions, but keep in mind that this is where headhunters excel. They have the capability of finding talented candidates and put them in front of you. It is going to be up to you to attract them to your firm. These candidates will typically be accomplishers, currently employed, with good futures where they are.

Candidates are a perishable commodity. It is the only product I know that can speak. They can say no to being “sold” to a client. The better ones are quickly turned off by unresponsiveness which is interpreted as a lack of initiative or seriousness on behalf of the hiring company. Resumes may look like a pile of paperwork on your desk but they really are not. Each resume is a real person that has been cultivated, screened, and convinced to meet with your company.

After you have interviewed the candidates discuss the outcome with the headhunter. Time kills all deals so you must respond quickly to resumes on the shortlist presented to you. It is vital that the candidates do not have to wait for weeks. Not knowing is the worst. We all know the feeling sitting in the aircraft 5 minutes after we should have left. No announcement by the captain and we start to speculate about what bad things have happened.

We have through our advanced search process matched your required profile with relevant candidates and we are already beyond the screening process. Saying that a candidate is not qualified and that you need to see more does not help a lot. Remember if we don’t receive feedback on why a candidate is not a fit, we will not be able to avoid passing the same type of candidate to you again in the future.

Headhunters understand that clients can change priorities. We understand that job profiles may change. It is important that you communicate these changes so the headhunter can alter their sourcing and screening techniques based on this new information. We can guard against wasting your time with unqualified candidates and our time with trying to source them. A few minutes of your time now are an investment that will save you a good deal of time down the road.

  • Headhunters handle many job offers and acceptances all the time.
    This requires documentation for everything and you should not take being asked for offer confirmations, start dates, or other written confirmations as a sign of distrust but view it as a sign of utmost professionalism.

Do not cut us out mid-stream, as you will only be preventing yourself from learning “inside knowledge” the candidate is inclined to share with the headhunter. Why short-circuit yourself from obtaining valuable information and consultation which can be incorporated into an offer?

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.