Strategic hiring means finding those critical hires essential to growing your business. They are the key individuals who create the strategic roadmap for achieving your company’s goals. But the most qualified candidates for your upper-level sales positions might be driving growth elsewhere, not seeking a new opportunity. How can you find the best sales candidates who are not currently looking to make a move? You work with an experienced sales headhunter.
A headhunter connects employers with highly qualified, executive-level professionals who are best suited for your company’s open sales positions. They find individuals who might not be actively looking for a new role. Often, headhunters specialize in a particular industry sector or business function, like software or sales. Working with an agency headhunter takes the stress and uncertainty out of searching through thousands of profiles and shortens the hiring cycle for bringing on a fully vetted executive with the right credentials.
Not all sales headhunters are created equal. When you partner with DANA Associates, you get seasoned experts adept at finding and convincing top sales talent to consider a new role. Our extensive network and referral base also enable employers to tap highly qualified candidates exclusively for sales roles.
Here are some hard-working benefits of using a headhunter for making a strategic hire. First, let’s clarify some differences between headhunters and recruiters.
Understand Agency Headhunters versus Staff Recruiters
What is the difference between a sales headhunter and a staff recruiter? Businesses often use the terms headhunter and recruiter interchangeably, but there are some critical differences between the two. While both are tasked with finding potential employees, their methods, and their expertise, can be very different. A few of the key distinctions between agency headhunters and staff recruiters are:
- How they connect with candidates: Staff recruiters work in-house with a single company. They find candidates by posting open roles on job boards and their company website. The process is often inbound, meaning internal recruiters typically collect and process resumes rather than actively seek individuals for a role. Agency headhunters are outsourced partners who leverage their existing networks to fill a position and proactively identify and approach “passive” candidates (i.e., recruit) specifically for a strategic hire. One way to compare the two is to say that headhunters hunt for candidates while staff recruiters gather or farm them.
- What types of roles they hire for: Generally, an in-house staff recruiter works directly with the hiring manager and finds employees for any and all positions at a company. Headhunters are usually much more specialized. They focus on specific industries or an area of expertise, such as technology or executive-level sales positions. Headhunters with targeted expertise typically fill roles faster.
- Who they work for: While a recruiter is likely a company employee or at least a temporary in-house freelancer, a headhunter is always an outsourced partner. Headhunters work for executive recruiting agencies or are independent executive search professionals. Headhunters maintain a degree of autonomy from the companies with which they partner. Like any external partner, their independence allows them to bring advice and guidance from a reservoir of recruiting experience as well as bring a larger, more diverse pool of candidates compared to an in-house recruiter. They also can play an instrumental role in building consensus with senior hiring decision-makers.
Why Should I Hire an Agency Headhunter?
You cannot hire the right person for a role if you do not know where to look for them. When you work with an agency headhunter, you tap into a headhunter’s extensive network and capitalize on their rich communication skills and expertise. Learn more about why sales headhunting is beneficial to your company:
1. Take Advantage of Market Knowledge
Ideally, the headhunter you partner with possesses in-depth knowledge about your specific industry, market, and functional area. The more experienced and specialized the headhunter, the greater your confidence in their ability to identify a candidate who is the best all-around strategic fit for your company.
Pay attention to how a headhunter collects information about your business, your history, your goals, and your open positions. They should go beyond gathering basic job description information and focus on learning about your company’s competitive landscape, current needs, and growth objectives. They should understand your current organizational structure and what is working or where changes need to be made. The headhunter can directly connect you to a candidate who not only meets the requirements for the role but has the qualities and personality traits to successfully align with your organization and culture.
DANA’s approach goes well beyond standard resume matching to recruit for the ideal sales candidates. It starts with getting an in-depth understanding of our client’s business and bringing a grounded perspective to your specific sales hiring objectives. Then, we recruit for the right sales candidates and conduct several in-person interviews to uncover their strongest qualities and accomplishments. Our expertise extends to examining your other roles on your sales team and evaluating whether an individual will integrate well with your sales organization.
The best headhunters use their market knowledge and expertise to provide you with a powerful capability to build a cohesive sales team, enhance your company culture, and ensure you meet your business goals.
2. Leverage an Extensive Professional Network
When your company works with a headhunter, you not only tap into their market expertise but vast professional network. Headhunters specialize in building relationships based on respect, intelligence, and caring. The really good ones know how to get to what lies beneath standard questions. A headhunter’s desire for making meaningful connections continuously fuels the expansion of their network, ever-growing their cadre of trusted business professionals.
Think of a headhunter as your primary networker for your company, nurturing relationships in order to bring you the strongest, most qualified group of talent they know—not volume resume pushers, but hiring experts introducing you to the right people.
One distinct advantage of leveraging a headhunter is their ability to connect you with candidates who otherwise are unknowable or unavailable—particularly those currently employed. If a headhunter knows someone who is a strong match for an open position at your company, they will actively reach out to the prospect rather than waiting (or hoping) for that person to apply.
3. Maximize Strategic ROI
The longer you leave an open position vacant the more it costs your company. The COV (cost of vacancy) for difficult positions to fill, particularly critical Senior Executive and C-Level leadership and management roles can have serious financial impact on your business. Depending on the size of the company and the level of the role, key leadership positions that remain open can cost as much as a million dollars per week. This may seem shocking, but there are simple calculations to determine the economic and cultural consequences to your business.
There is a trickle-down effect of the negative impact a vacant role has on an organization. Vacant sales positions stall top and bottom line revenue, reduce your company’s productivity, and continually erode your market opportunity as potential customers choose to do business elsewhere. If someone in your organization is currently trying to pick up the slack and do the work of two people, money is certainly falling through the cracks.
Partnering with an agency headhunter to fill a critical open role with a highly qualified hire means minimizing the hit your business could take. Finding skilled and fully vetted talent can also mean these individuals will likely remain with the company longer, reducing turnover costs and boosting employee retention rates. This also has the downstream cost savings benefit of higher employee referrals.
4. Capitalize on Immense Experience
Why use a sales headhunter? Their experience and expertise in matching the strongest candidates with the most suitable positions will expedite fulfilling your hiring needs. The best headhunters at the top of their game have decades of knowledge and know-how. They are experts at finding the best potential employees and uncovering essential insights about candidates during interviews and through reference checks. Headhunters know they have successfully delivered when clients name them trusted advisors and return time and again for additional executive hiring. So, ask about their track records and client retention rates.
DANA has more than 35 years of experience building sales teams that drive company growth. When businesses partner with us, they gain a highly effective and efficient sales headhunter to find the ideal candidate faster.
Discover the DANA Difference for Yourself
Is it worth getting a headhunter? If you want to speed up the recruitment process, save money and increase the likelihood of hiring the right person the first time, the answer is a resounding yes.
DANA has been building long-lasting business relationships for over three decades. Our personal, holistic approach to curating sales leaders sets us apart from staff recruiters and other hiring agencies. If you are ready to discover the DANA difference and build your sales team to power growth, contact us today to schedule an introductory call.