Step by step guide to getting headhunted

Take the right steps and get noticed by the right recruiters, headhunters and employers. (Shutterstock)

Make the recruiters and headhunters come to you in 5 easy steps.

Have you ever had a co-worker, friend or family member land a new job when they weren’t even looking? Even though here you are, applying left right and centre for a better job, and there they are, getting it handed to them like an unfair miracle on a silver platter. You must be wondering, how did they get it right? Easy: they were noticed and headhunted.

Getting headhunted isn't something you can induce since you would have found the job, not it you. However, you can up your chances - by employing these few tricks that your co-worker, friend or family member, already implemented.

Here’s how to increase your chances of getting headhunted.

Step One: Research the who's who in your industry

It shouldn’t be too hard to hop onto your favourite search engine and find local recruiters and industry leaders in your industry. You should start seeing the same names and companies that frequent blogs, industry news, and forums.

Read: The war for talent is over. Talent won.

These are the people you want to notice you and that you need to impress.

Step Two: Attend networking events

Immerse yourself in your industry. Each industry is a little community of people that share the same interests. You’ll be amazed at how many of the same people frequent these events. It should be your aim to become one of those people that everyone sees, notices and recognises at these events.

Step Three: Network!

You must get your name out there somehow. It’s not enough to just attend industry events. You need to identify the experts in your field and make their acquaintance in a way that doesn’t make you look like an overzealous fan. When connecting, rather ask a few thought provoking questions to ensure you’re remembered.

Once you’ve connected with a leading headhunter in your industry, it'd be a great idea to casually enquire who their competitors are. Then connect with them too. The wider your network, the wider your net, and the greater your chances are to catch a really great fish.

Step Four: Hand out business cards

Before exiting any conversation, be sure to hand over your business card. If you’ve relayed your expertise well enough, whomever you approached will think of you when encountering a similar conversation.

Your aim should be to approach leaders in your industry as well as recruiters in your industry. In a world where the importance of business cards are generally believed to be in a decline, this type of physical exchange will give you an added advantage.

Step Five: Build your brand

While you’re making a name for yourself in offline, you still have to ensure that your online reputation is impeccable too. Keep all your profiles up to date, and use relevant keywords that you think might searched for when looking for candidates. You can be assured that people will be scrutinising your online presence, especially to corroborate what they’ve seen after the face to face meeting.

Read: These management skills will get you hired

Up your chances by interacting on industry forums and various social networks to solidify yourself as a regular within the industry. Remember, it’s a constant game so keep yourself noticeable, relevant and familiar. Pretty soon you'll be in demand.

Bonus Tip:

If you are offered a job by one of your (newly made) headhunter friends and you’re not interested in the position for some reason, instead provide them with a suitable candidate in good faith to maintain a healthy relationship. By becoming an asset in this way, you’ll always know which firms and companies are hiring sooner than any other potential candidate.

Another great way to find the best executive positions, is by creating a Job Alert with Careers24. We'll send you an email every time a vacancy that matches your specific industry, location and/or salary requirements becomes available - for free.