At the heart of the role of a Head Hunter is helping companies to achieve their objectives whilst simultaneously supporting people in making decisions which have a significant impact on their life and, very often, their family’s lives. This process takes place in the face of what can be intense pressure for a company to make a critical hire. Very often the budgets and plans have been committed to, the clock is ticking and these hires are central to achieving these objectives. As a result there are people across the business who are heavily invested and dependent on the success of these processes. This means that the breadth of close interpersonal relationships that are managed in any one executive search campaign can be enormous and must be given the utmost level of respect.
The competition is very high for individuals with high quality leadership skills, specialist market or functional expertise and who possess the appetite and drive required to be successful. When these aspects all collide, not to mention the importance of cultural fit and personal circumstance, there are a number of areas of risk that need to be tackled and unfortunately some can only be resolved when a process has run its course. This causes very real pressure to deliver.
The truth is that you either thrive on the pressure and the complexity of the interpersonal engagements and the problem solving that is required or you don’t. Very few people grow up wanting to be a Head Hunter (other than my kids…), but this profession requires a unique set of skills and personal drivers which can be a relatively rare combination.
Head Hunters are in an incredibly privileged position to be able to support people through life changing decisions and to deliver projects that have a material impact on the companies’ business. The trust that our clients invest in us is very hard earned but is a significant reward in it’s own right. In my experience, the greatest Head Hunters CARE DEEPLY about the impact of their work. They care about the people in the process. They care about their clients’ reputation and their success and they care about ensuring that the process has genuine integrity and delivers a hugely positive outcome for all involved. None of this is simple but it is incredibly rewarding.
The negative reputation that has been caused by poor behaviour’s in our industry over the years is not lost on me. It motivates me every day to change that perception and deliver on the potential of the sector to deliver very real value to the companies and the people who we support.