9 tips to work with the headhunters in Switzerland

When arriving in a new country, one of the very first things you may want to do is send your resume to recruiting firms.

They are the professionals of recruitment, have the connections, know the job market and therefore are an indispensable pillar in your job search.
To understand how to work effectively with headhunters, it’s important to know the differences between retained and contingency headhunters, employment agencies, job board and career management firms.

“Contingency firms” work predominantly on placing candidates at companies where they feel they could add value, and the “retained search” company’s work on an exclusive mandate by a company to truly “hunt” that very specific person to fit the role.
An employment agency is an organization which matches employers to employees, often offering temporary job solutions.
Job boards are the place where jobs are advertised by the recruiting companies or the recruiting firms.
Career management firms, are companies which like job4U2 support companies and employees to manage careers at various stages (change management, transition, relocation, etc)

hunt-theNow that we know what we are talking about I would like to share a few recommendations on how you could best work with Head Hunters:

1. You should always keep in mind that the job of a headhunter is not to find you a job: Their job is to satisfy their customers by finding them the right profile for a specific open position.
Reverse recruiting (process of identifying the best job vacancy for a candidate) is almost unheard of in Switzerland.

2. Working with the Headhunters also requires thorough preparation. You cannot expect a headhunter to take care of your career orientation, you should know where you are going and how you’re getting there. Knowing your unique selling points, the strength of your profile, the market will be greatly appreciated. Be prepared to be asked for which companies you would like to work within.

3. As you are going to team up with headhunters, you should chose them carefully according to the area/roles/level of specialization.
Check their areas of operation, be sure they have connection in the industry you are interested in and verify if they are specialized in the function that you are targeting. It’s also important that their client is mandating them to staff at your seniority level.
Do not spread yourself too widely. An ideal maximum would be 10.

4. Keep the leadership of your job search: make sure you know at all time where your application is and if your file has been considered.

5- Be personal: A headhunter will be more receptive to your application file if, to some extended, they already connected you.
You can come with a recommendation from someone who has been placed by this headhunter at a position similar to the one you are considering yourself. You can also try to meet the headhunters in person; fairs are good places for that purpose.

6- Connecting with Headhunters is an important part of your networking activities and you should not forget to treat them as VIP in your newly developed network which means you should also feed them with information valuable from their perspectives: Think about their needs. Provide information about people around you, about your industry, your previous companies, etc. If you help them they are far more likely to help you in return.

7- Do not neglect Social media: more and more, headhunters are using this tool to search their candidates. Also do not forget that when you connect with a headhunter on LinkedIn you get access to his contacts portfolio!

8- The limits: If you are considering a career turn, Head hunters may not be the most receptive partners in your job search. You cannot expect them to understand how a good performing marketing director could be a good finance director!
Your best option is to understand their challenges and to make the job easy for them by making your strengths and transferable expertise very obvious.

9- The last but maybe the most important tip is to not forget to follow up with headhunters, update them once you have find a job, provide information on your new position, team, company and keep them as active members of your network.

At job4U2 we developed and maintain strong relationships with a selection of headhunters into a very specific Win/Win/Win situation. Working with job4U2, headhunters are insure to receive well prepared candidates with a clear career path, an application file in line with Swiss recruitment expectation, knowing their unique selling value and deploying a comprehensive communication around it.
Our clients are always considered carefully for on-going mandates and thus increase their exposure to the job market while we increase our service level and satisfaction rate by providing a unique and preferred access to one of the most important channel towards finding a job in Switzerland.

If you found this blog useful, you will also like the resources I put online on the job4U2 circle on LinkedIn, a group specifically created for spouses and partners relocated to Switzerland and wishing to pursue their career in their new country. For information about the 4U2 JOB SEARCH coaching and consulting offer for dual career partners, contact us directly.

Sandrine van den Oudenhoven
job4U2, “relocation is a project for both”

Interested in the topic. Read also Reaching to the recruiters: Dos & Don’ts

About the author:
sandrinepicture_contactSandrine van den Oudenhoven helps dual career couples to make their relocation in Switzerland a project for both. With the job4U2 programs, she is supporting the accompanying partners’ professional integration by sharing her knowledge of the Swiss economic network, of the recruiters’ expectations and custom, but also by deploying her ability to nurture individuals’ motivation and positive energy during this period of major changes. Read more article from Sandrine on the blog