In the last weeks, two candidates told me that they heard that chances to find a new job through a headhunter are only 15%. I am in this business since 2001 but when I heard this number, I was surprised.
Let’s do the maths: there are two possiblities to meet a recruiter:
- We meet you for a specific job: In this case, I would invite no more than 8 candidates to meet me and present a short-list of 3-4. One of these will usually be hired. Once we have decided together to continue on this job, your chances are thus 25-33%
- We invite you for a generic interview (and hopefully say this as of the first contact): I always meet interesting candidates in finance. Even if I do not have a job for them today, this can change tomorrow. At the end of these interviews, I often say that I find a new job for 2 out of 10 candidates. This is not particularly good or bad but industry average. Your chances are thus 20%
This was for the science, here is for the art:
It is difficult and dangerous to break down everything into KPIs, ratios and percentages. If your personal ratio is 9 or 90% depends on many factors: the recruiter, the job, many internal and external, known and unknown factors – and most importantly on you.
The question is not if 15% of the candidates find a job through a headhunter or not but rather what do YOU have to do to one of the candidates who gets the job?
Our job is to put a hiring manager and a candidate together into one room. This is where our job ends and yours is starting. At the end of the day, the most appropriate candidate will be hired – and not the headhunter.