What is the Expected Timeline for a Well Run Headhunting Campaign

Like anything, it takes planning and preparation to ensure that the necessary documentation, procedures, and timeline are in place to help everyone involved execute the campaign seamlessly. With a well-prepared headhunting campaign, you, as an employer, can send a strong message to potential employees that you are a professional, organised, and welcoming company that takes recruitment programs seriously.

CREATING A TIMELINE

Before diving into your campaign, you must set key dates and time frames. Developing a timeline will help you manage the range of tasks you need to accomplish during the recruiting phase and keep everything on track. A timeline is particularly useful for managing your prospective employees’ expectations as they will be keen to find out when they can start working if their application is successful.

THE HEADHUNTING PROCESS

A headhunting campaign involves a series of steps and activities that make up the headhunting process. While the majority of these tasks follows a logical sequence, a lot of the activities also happen concurrently.

Below is a rough timeline for a typical headhunting campaign.

Day 1 – The Initial Consultation

The first step is the get-to-know phase. During the initial meeting, the headhunter has the opportunity to learn about and understand your organisation’s culture, environment, and your human resource requirements. This will help determine your campaign’s direction, as well as define the candidate profile necessary to achieve your goals.

The headhunter will also cover how the prospective employee is expected to contribute to your success, what experience, skill set, and cultural fit are vital, as well as the level of compensation appropriate for the position considering the current market conditions.

It is also during the initial consultation that the headhunter prepares a proposal that illustrates his understanding of your organisation and the role of the ideal candidate.

Day 3 – Marketing, Outreach, and Strategy Development

Combining what the headhunting company learned from you with their own industry knowledge, they will then construct an effective assignment brief–a comprehensive search strategy that will cover two critical challenges in the job search:

  • Where the best candidates are likely to be
  • How they will present your opportunity in a way that attracts credible interest from job seekers

The search strategy will also detail the campaign costs, limitations of the search strategy, and timescales.

During marketing and outreach, the headhunter will write an ad copy that would appeal to the target candidates and have it approved by you before advertising the vacancy online and in the press. In the job posting, you can choose to incorporate your brand and logo or opt to remain anonymous for those tasks that require discretion.

Day 10 – Candidate Screening & Evaluation

Taking a thorough approach to research, the headhunting firm determines the viability of the applicants. Moreover, industry contacts are leveraged and competitor companies where potential candidates work are identified at this point. After days, perhaps weeks, of screening applications, the headhunter then comes up with a concise shortlist of the strongest prospects in the employment pool.

In evaluating the shortlisted candidates, the headhunter personally meets each individual to build interest in the opportunity you present while closely assessing the candidate’s professional experience and background. To conduct the assessment, the headhunter may use formal executive profiling or online psychometric tools.

After a thorough evaluation, assessment reports are created and the most qualified talents are chosen for an interview.

Because you are provided an overview of the prospective employee’s history and suitability and how these factors will impact your organisation, this part of the process adds a critical value. Ultimately, the screening and evaluation will give you an idea if the candidate is the right fit for the position and your company or otherwise.

Day 50 – Interviewing Candidates

Once the selection is made, interviews are scheduled and coordinated.

Working with your team, the headhunter will develop an interview process that meets your schedule. They will offer information about the location as well as conduct interviews among team members while making certain that the candidates fully understand the parameters of the role they are going to take on.

Day 62 – Reference Checks & Credentials

Following the interviews, the headhunter will spend days conducting background checks on the shortlisted candidates to allow for a more balanced perspective on the prospects. During this stage of the campaign, the firm learns more about the finalists, their qualifications, as well as their strengths and weaknesses.

Day 73 – Choosing the Winner

Up to this point, you, the headhunter, and the candidates have exchanged information extensively. The next step involves deciding which shortlisted candidate best qualifies to your requirements. The headhunting firm will closely work with you, discuss the merits of your chosen finalists, and help you identify the top candidate.

Day 76 – The Negotiation and On-Boarding Process

This is a crucial step that could mean the difference between a failed and a successful search process. Part of the headhunter’s responsibility is to determine what it will take to develop an irresistible offer in order to close the deal. Hence, it is imperative that they collaborate with your team to come up with an offer comprising of competitive compensation, equity, bonuses, and other benefits that will be acceptable to both parties.

During the negotiation, the headhunter acts as your representative and presents the offer on your behalf, allowing both you and the candidate to express your concerns about the offer candidly without placing your future relationship in jeopardy.

At this point, the start date is determined and the candidate begins to disengage with his current employer (if there is any) with the assistance of the headhunter.

Finally, the ideal candidate is ready to start with his new job and contribute to your organisation’s success. Assuming that the entire process goes as planned, you can expect the campaign to run for about 90 days.

Headhunting is more than just a process. It is a protocol.

A headhunting campaign is among the most powerful methods a company will ever have when it comes to job search. This, however, does not guarantee that you will get results as scheduled. Depending on the campaign and how it was executed, how long (or short) you will see positive turnouts may vary.


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