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Head Hunting Evolves
Contributed by:

Shena Parthab-Taylor, Managing Partner
euronet Search


Traditionally Head Hunting and Senior Search services have been reserved for highly paid, senior appointments. 

The reason for that was, in part, because the process of Head Hunting was surrounded by a certain air of mystery which allowed Head Hunters to charge very high levels of fees.  In truth, the greater part of Head Hunting was (is), in fact, good research - and that costs money.  It was also true that a good Head Hunter relied in no small measure on years of experience, esoteric knowledge and well developed instincts for which payment was deserved on completion of a successful assignment.

Search and head hunting businesses liked also to offer a global presence although in many cases that presence was pretty limited on the ground.  The economics of the business depended therefore on maximising utilisation of a good back office and an extensive research capability.

In effect a good head hunter was able, because of the exclusive relationship and because of the size of the fee, to focus time and resources laser-like on your needs.  Unlike traditional ad-hoc recruitment, you were guaranteed an outcome for which you would pay well and the Head Hunter would be guaranteed a good fee because he/she would undertake only very highly paid jobs. 

In a sense that seemed to us to be the wrong way around.  In the first place we felt that the allocation of resources should be based on how difficult the task was and how urgent was the requirement.  Secondly, it did not seem reasonable to deny our customers the level of service that their requirement needed simply because the salary was too low. 

The reason that, in keeping with recruitment and many other service and manufacturing businesses, head hunting can now move on is largely as a result of not just the technology  of the world wide web, but also of the openness and vast amounts of data that are now available. 


This means that research is somewhat easier and the amounts of information that are accessible would have been unimaginable up to only a few years ago. Coupled with the availability of improved data bases, search engines and bandwidth the effect has been to make possible the location of a new style of Resource Centre in places like India. 

In many cases Indian call centres do not enjoy the best of reputations.  There is no reason to look in-depth here at the reasons for that as our approach in no way involves call centres.  Suffice to say that sometimes expectations move ahead of what is realistically possible.  We know how hard we had to work to encourage our team to work together and to focus on problem solving and sharing information.  We were fortunate that amongst our team were Internationally experienced Consultants well versed in the true nature of Indian capabilities - but that others may not have been so blest.  It has been an interesting experience that whilst everyone was communicating in English – the meaning that was communicated was frequently interpreted differently.

What - in our terms - has made it possible for head hunting to move on is the availability of a dedicated back office and research facility which supports a virtual network of experienced consultants who work both as individuals and together whenever the need arises and there are good operational reasons to do so.

This means in turn that each Consultant can take on more assignments confident that the research will be managed on their behalf by a team that they will have trained and in which they will have inculcated the methodology they prefer.

In turn this means that not only can the cost of head hunting be reduced but also that head hunting and search methodology can now be applied realistically to a much wider range of jobs and that the salary range can be wider also.  Thus, and for the first time, Head Hunting can be utilised to find where the skill sets are.

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