Why Companies Use Headhunters: Insight From An Executive Headhunters Case Study

20/07/2017 < Return to blog

When a company has a position that they need filling urgently, they generally have two choices; Search for candidates themselves, or hire a headhunting agency to do it for them. Obviously, there are advantages to conducting the search process independently.

For example, some companies would rather save money and let their in house recruiters or HR department handle it. Some companies prefer to be in complete control from beginning to end, to make sure that they get to look over every potential candidate. And that’s completely understandable. However, other companies choose to hire executive recruitment firms to handle the work for them.

But why exactly? Why do businesses choose to use headhunters to find a suitable candidate for their role? To answer this, let’s look at one of our previous case studies here at Executive Headhunters.

If you take a look at our collection of case studies, you can see that numerous companies and businesses approach us here at Executive Headhunters with positions they are looking to fill. As an example, let’s talk about our experience with award-winning engineering practice Fluid Structures.

First, some background. Formed in 1999, London-based Fluid Structures specialises in working closely with architects and designers in the process of making, fabricating, and sequencing unique and innovative structures. They are involved in various projects including, but not limited to, the engineering of structures such as staircases, housing, and high-rise hotels. They cover a range of projects with budgets from £50,000 all the way up to £100 million.

When Fluid Structures approached us, they were looking to hire an Associate Director with an ideal deadline of the end of 2018. This was important because they are a rapidly growing business and were urgently looking for a new executive recruit to meet their needs.

Their vision was that the new recruit would have the opportunity to advance to the position of Equity Director within 3 years. As such the role offered fantastic career advancement for potential candidates.

The ideal candidate would have several vital qualities including:

  • Strong engineering background
  • Passionate to work as a part of the senior management team
  • Proven leadership of teams of senior engineers / architects
  • Extensive experience in producing structural engineering solutions, taking into consideration project stage and type
  • Able to inspire and motivate others
  • Outgoing, able to fit with company dynamic

In response to this challenge, Executive Headhunters conducted a talent search across various sectors in order to find the ideal candidate who met every specified requirement.

Our attention was primarily directed at senior engineers and top performers around the area of London, where Fluid Structures is based. We carried this search out using our access to excellent resources and contacts.

Amongst a shortlist of potential suited candidates, there was one individual who was perfectly suited to the role. This candidate had expertise in managing big budget projects with large teams of engineers, as well as an excellent client-orientated focus on business development. They also possessed 10 years’ experience in the industry.

However, perhaps the most significant aspect of this was that this candidate wasn’t actively looking for a new role. This means that it is unlikely that they would have been found without the use of a headhunter, as many companies mainly look at applicants who come to them, or are marked as seeking work.

Fluid Structures were impressed with our shortlist of prospects. So much so that they decided to hire not one but two candidates. In fact, they were so satisfied with our service that they later hired us to fill another position for them.

So what can we take from this?

Well, as you can see, headhunters are experts at identifying prospects who are a perfect fit for the desired role. Often several of the candidates who are shortlisted are ideal, as seen by our experience with Fluid Structures. This means that the company is able to be involved in the crucial selection process, and select from a shortlist of only the most ideal candidates.

The truth is that many companies think that they’ve tried everything. That they’ve looked everywhere worth looking and found everyone worth finding. This is often not the case. One of the main reasons that clients use headhunting firms such as Executive Headhunters is the ability to find talent that aren’t actively searching, as was the case with Fluid Structures. This is largely appealing for businesses as most simply don’t have the time or the resources to conduct such thorough talent searches.

We are delighted that Fluid Structures were pleased enough with our headhunting service that they decided to use us again. And this is not a rare occurrence, many companies simply need to use a headhunting service before they understand how useful they can be.

There’s a reason businesses continue to use headhunting services, as they can help your firm save time and effort whilst finding the perfect candidates for the job. This often results in a very rewarding and satisfying experience for both the company and the headhunter.