How to get headhunted

A legal industry recruiter reveals the tricks of the trade when it comes to getting poached.

How to get headhunted
Getting headhunted can be easier than you think, according to legal recruiter Jason Elias.
Headhunters use a targeted approach to finding the best legal industry talent, meticulously researching candidates before deciding who might be a good fit.  According to Elias, there are six things you should be doing to make sure in making sure you’re noticed.

1. Building a profile
“You’ll never be headhunted if no one’s ever heard of you,” Elias wrote.  “So if you’re not already building a profile for yourself, start now.”

Elias has a couple of simple tips for building a profile. 

When writing on hot topics for your firm’s newsletter, share it with your contacts on LinkedIn and start putting yourself forward to speak on your areas of expertise at industry events. 

2. Update your LinkedIn
Keeping your LinkedIn profile up-to-date is an important one.  Adding specific examples of projects you have worked on will make you stand out from the crowd.

“Headhunters want to know you have worked on the same kind of matters the client has briefed them about. So don’t be shy about blowing your own horn,” he wrote.

3. Subtle signals
While changing your status to ‘currently seeking new opportunities’ might give off the wrong impression when you are still currently employed, Elias said there are still subtle things you can do with your profile to indicate that you are open to having the conversation.

“All good head-hunters will have software telling them when their contacts make certain changes to their profile,” wrote Elias.  “You should consider updating your experience, adding new projects and changing In mail settings to notify users that you are open to career opportunities.”

4. Make yourself contactable
“Make yourself easy to contact by including your mobile number and personal email address on your LinkedIn profile.  If a headhunter struggles to reach you, they may bypass you and run the opportunity by the next person on their list,” he wrote.

Setting a time to talk when you’re outside of the office also gives you a chance to check out who they are before deciding whether or not you want to work with them.

5. Don’t breach etiquette
“If the headhunting process isn’t handled discreetly, you’re likely to jeopardise your current position as well as any new one,” wrote Elias.

In his opinion, you shouldn’t tell anyone about your plans to leave your current role even once you have been approached.  Bypassing the headhunter and contacting a new employer directly is also a strict ‘don’t’, as you’ll be seen as disloyal.

6. Use their expertise
“If a headhunter does reach out to you, don’t be afraid to milk them for their expertise,” wrote Elias.  “It never hurts to know the state of the market and have a trusted source of intelligence, especially around salary review time.”

If a headhunter has been perusing your LinkedIn, there is no harm in dropping them a quick line to find out why.  According to Elias, if you’re open to a move, make sure you keep up your end of the process.

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