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Recruiters: The Challenges of Executive Head Hunters
(and how the Internet is solving them)
By David Leonhardt
Once upon a time, head hunters were no more than common cannibals.
Some people still view them that way, but executive recruiters
are a vital link in a chain that keeps major enterprises functioning
The top positions at any organization dictate the fortunes of
the company, the shareholders and the employees ... and often
the communities in which they are located. A good executive head
hunter can ensure that new company executives have the skills
required for the position and the challenges ahead. He can also
ensure that the right executive is chosen, one whose style will
flourish in the specific environment of that company.
However, modern executive recruiters face challenges to be effective.
I caught up with Esther Barzel, co-owner of the Online Recruiter
Directory ( http://www.onlinerecruitersdirectory.com ).
Q: What are the main challenges of executive head hunters in today's
A: To start with, the geographic net has become much wider. A
head hunter in , say, New York City or Toronto, can no longer
rely on finding the right candidate right in town. In fact, the
ideal candidate might be just minutes away by Internet, but he
might be located in another country or even on another continent.
We are looking at a new breed of executive recruiter.
Q: The Internet should make his job easier, right?
A: Yes...and no. He has to post requirements in more places and
sift through more potential candidates to find the jewel he seeks.
So his workload has actually increased.
Q: Plus, I presume, he still faces the challenges of yesteryear?
A: That's right. He still has to make contact with potential candidates,
conduct preliminary interviews, set up meetings with the company,
attend to minute details, brief the interviewer, etc.
Q: What about follow-up?
A: Yes, there is, of course, follow-up required after every interview,
both with the client and with the prospect. It's a busy job.
Q: So how does the Internet make life easier for an executive
A: Now you have online communities and bulletin boards, such as
Monster.com, where you can place ads for positions. This makes
it somewhat easier to cast one's net. Directories like ours help
head hunters attract clients, so they can spend more recruiting
and less time on business development.
Q: Don't online bulletin boards and directories just mean the
head hunter has to spend more time in more places?
A: Yes and no. Online resources are more easily searched than,
say, paper. Our recruiter directory gives employers the chance
to search by geography or by vocation, or by the type of position.
This means they can find a recruiter that specializes in pharmaceutical
sales, or who specializes in accounting, or whatever field. The
head hunter spends less time answering questions from people who
will never be their clients.
Q: And I assume it works both ways?
A: Yes, the recruiter gets resumes from only those people who
are likely candidates for the types of positions he works on.
The pharmaceutical recruiter, for example will not get a resume
from someone whose background is in aeronautical engineering.
Q: Wow, that's a mouthful. I don't know if I could even repeat
A: Many executive recruiters could not repeat it, either. So the
Internet is making it easier for them to receive resumes targeted
to their field of expertise, saving them time...not to mention
overexertion of their tongues.
On that humorous note, we thank Esther for taking the time to
explain how the Internet is making life both more complex and
easier for executive recruiters and head hunters.
About the author:
David Leonhardt is a freelance writer:
More about head hunter challenges:
More about executive recruiter challenges:
More about Esther Barzel's recruiting services
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