DO you know that the most important and highest-paying jobs with multinational companies in the Philippines are already farmed out to headhunters?
I am sure your understanding is multinational companies have their own human resource departments who hire their executives and employees. The truth is, yes, multinational companies have their own human resource department. But decision-makers of companies have realized that "recruitment, selection and hiring" is not among their core competencies. It is the specialization of a headhunter. Why bother performing a function that could lead to a wrong selection of candidates and at the same time risk one's position as a human resource manager. In the Philippines, headhunting was born only in the '70s. Executive search began after World War II when some firms sought executives and professionals to fill jobs.
Headhunters are different from employment agencies, which are basically clearing houses. Employment agencies screen job applicants who fill out applications and refer the applicants to employers who have listed jobs with the agency. In most cases, the employment agency charges the employee a fee.
Executive search recruiters or headhunters never charge the employee. They are paid by companies to go out and find the qualified candidates. This distinction between a search firm and an employment agency is still not clear to many people today. In fact when I started my headhunting business 18 years ago, executives and professionals thought I was selling guns or was a member of some primitive group when I introduced myself as a headhunter. Their next question is "How much will I take out from their salaries."
The mission of the executive search professional is reflected in the term "recruiter." The searcher not only locates the candidate but also helps to source/recruit that candidate. In the early days, this function was loudly denounced as "pirating." The word "headhunter" was associated with a person who ruthlessly stole employees from their employers. Today "headhunter" is a generic term for executive recruiter. Some people have a hard time getting a job. Others are offered well-paying jobs without even looking. Some get more than three job offers a year. Not many of you can confidently say that your job is secure these days. Some executives are sure that in the event that they lose their jobs they will still be in demand.
These are the executives/professionals who stand out in their fields. They are the ones headhunters target. They won't remain without any offer because of their experience, talents and attitude. But there are those who are just as experienced and capable who are overlooked. The difference between the two is their visibility in the market. In these uncertain times, it pays to get noticed.
To get noticed, you have to make yourself visible. You have to participate actively in interest groups, industry associations and professional organizations.
As you become better known in the industry, chances are your name will be mentioned when a candidate is being sought.
Try to know the headhunters who specialize in your field in informal settings. Personal contact is always better than a phone call. And if a headhunter calls you up and you are not ready to move, be polite. Get his number. You may not need him today but you may need him tomorrow. Search firms do not advertise. As a headhunter, we target executives who are not looking for jobs.