Negotiation: the role of the headhunter

LinkedIn has changed the face of recruitment – with many businesses now using it as a tool to find candidates.

But finding candidates is one thing. Landing them is another.

Regardless of the courtship process that has taken place, things can start getting tricky when there is an offer and package to negotiate.

Who has the time and, more importantly, the skills to get to a place where both parties are happy?

Negotiation is the where the headhunter steps in.

Making offers directly can work, but as well as being time-consuming, the process can create friction or end in a stalemate?

It’s easier for the client and the candidate to work through a professional negotiator who wants the best for both parties.

The negotiation is a dance, but it can also be a battle.

An ex-management consultant that I worked with had got negotiating down to an art form. I was lucky enough to share an office with Rachelle, to witness and absorb some of her finesse.

In the negotiation dance, each person has a part to play and there is an unwritten rule that they must wait their turn. The role of the headhunter is to deliver the offer, relay feedback and to listen, advise, offer solutions and coach both parties to find a happy compromise. That's called consulting.

I’ll end this post with details of a battle, where the client simply refused to dance. 

Three excellent shortlisted candidates had been selected as potential Fashion Directors and presented to the company CEO. This CEO played by his own rules. He offered the role to the candidates directly which is fine but he objected strongly to any negotiation or 'time to think about it'!

The only solution was to be very transparent with the third candidate so there were no surprises!

The new rules saved the day.

The moral of the story?

Practise your dancing with care and negotiate your battles wisely.

Tracy Short & Co Negotiation the art of the headhunter.jpg