Self-employment and working from home has never been more popular than it is today. Redundancy and a general shortage of job opportunities has meant that more and more skilled people are looking to start their own businesses and home working means low overheads and convenience, especially for those with children.
An increasingly popular field to get into is headhunting. It’s a challenging but potentially very profitable sector that requires a particular skillset to guarantee success.
What the work entails
Your work would involve:
- contacting companies to generate new business
- finding and approaching candidates for specialist or executive roles
- matching candidates to suitable vacancies
- interviewing candidates
- liaising with employers and cultivating good relationships with them
- promoting your business
- networking to build up a strong network of industry contacts
- keeping records of employers and clients
- negotiating commissions
Skills, interests and abilities
To succeed in this competitive and challenging sector you will need:
- Self-confidence and a good sales technique
- Strong communication and customer service skills
- Good persuading and influencing skills
- Computer skills
- Administrative and organisational skills
- Strong business acumen
- The ability to work under pressure
- Motivation and the drive to succeed
Hours and working environment
As a self-employed homeworker, you could choose your hours to fit your circumstances and those of your clients, although these would generally equate to a standard 9am to 5pm working day.
You would be based in your home office, although you would also spend time visiting client companies and candidates.
Up to £20,000 per annum
In excess of £40,000 once established
Your income will be dependent on the rate of commission you have negotiated with your various clients, the industry you work in and the calibre of candidate you are placing. Highly paid executive placements clearly pay more in commissions.
Source: National Careers Service
There is no fixed entry route to becoming a work from home headhunter. Experience is extremely important to allow you to build up a good network of contacts to give your own agency every chance of success. It is useful to have an industry-relevant degree such as:
- human resources
- public relations
It is usual for self-employed headhunters to have acquired an amount of experience by working for an established headhunting firm before starting up on their own. You could gain valuable experience through taking up an internship, undertaking work experience or finding some temporary work with a suitable agency.
It might be worthwhile exploring the possibility of getting a relevant apprenticeship. What’s available will depend on the jobs market in your area and what employers are looking for.
Also, see the Institute of Recruitment Professionals for some useful more general information about careers in recruitment.
Training and development
Much of your training and development in your experience-gathering roles will take place on-the-job and the IRP also offer some further useful training courses you might be interested in.
Throughout your career, you will need to keep up to date with developments within your chosen industry and keep abreast of changes within the companies for whom you work. Learning how to utilise social media to establish and develop useful industry connections is extremely important as is maintaining an active website and wider media presence.
These days, more and more companies are moving towards selective recruitment to fill executive roles within their organisations. If you have the drive and determination to succeed, together with the necessary skillset, there has never been a better time to get into this career.