Welcome, fellow headhunter. I’ve been one/called myself one since 1979, before some reading this were born. Sorry if you’re uncomfortable with the handle –– That’s what everyone else calls you; I suggest you get used to the name. It just might add to your longevity in the business.
Since 1980, I have written about executive search and for executive search consultants. In the search community, I am best known for the Executive Search Research Directory, the industry standard directory of freelance search research assistants, published since 1985, now available as a web-based reference. (See Products & Resources; also click here for the Introduction to ESRD.)
You cannot be a search consultant or astronaut, or POTUS, or heart surgeon) without a jumbo ego; I learned long ago there’s no payoff for you or me by challenging yours. On the other hand, I’ve made a number of your colleagues a lot of money with several little “inventions” that have come out of my “laboratory.”
Reciprocal Arrangements. Think: The real estate model. Successful brokers share fees. Some are better at creating listing than they are at finding buyers. Others have more buyers than listings. While it’s great to our listing to our buyer, the successful business model is built on fee splits –– All of nothing is nothing, but half is half. (I’ve done at least my share of “splits” over the years. As a wise old headhunter once coached me –– “The ‘trick’ is to take half of someone else’s fee, instead of giving up half of yours.”)
Want to know who in your area of expertise will “consider” reciprocal arrangements? I’ve kept track of this for 30+ years. WE provide this info to search consultants, but not to job hunters or corporate buyers. Click Search Consultants By Expertise, Arranged Geographically to order and download your data, then call me for the “code.”
Search Research Assistants. Imagine you are a senior consultant, managing director, or partner in a major search firm (If you are one of those, stand by; I’ll get to you next). After you’ve consulted with your client, you have settled on the “search specifications” –– the description of the successful candidate (among other things). Then, you turn your specs over to a highly-qualified research assistant for candidate locating, screening, and development. She (about 95% are female) works the problem and her magic; after a week or two, she presents you with a slate of qualified candidates for your detailed interviewing and consideration.
Interesting? I have some important news for solo retainer search consultants and smaller firms that cannot afford to employ this sort of research talent:
The best researchers –– most of whom started with a major retainer firm –– are available to assist you as freelancers on a project/hourly basis.
We published our first ESRD/Executive Search Research Directory in 1985. Through eleven (11) editions, ESRD became the “industry standard” reference, classifying all known freelance search research assistants available for candidate locating, screening, qualifying, candidate development, etc. In 2010, we converted from hard-copy to a yearly subscription web-based product ($125).
For a hard copy ESRD sample (old edition of our choice), send $10 (cash/check) to Executive Search Research Directory, P.O. Box 9433, Panama City Beach, FL 32417.