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The 7 Steps of Hiring the Right Recruiter

Are you working with the recruiter best suited to solve your hiring challenges?

Working with the best recruiter dramatically improves your odds of quickly finding and hiring the right talents. This is common knowledge, but how can you be sure that you’re working with the headhunter best suited to solve your unique hiring challenge?

92% of all leaders Avollon Research has asked say it’s critical to find the right recruiters. 72% say it’s difficult to find the right consultant in their own market and 92% say it’s even more difficult cross-border.

The recruitment market is complex and dynamic with low transparency. No regulations and a low barrier to entry makes it possible for anyone to start a recruitment business today. With more than 100.000 recruiters worldwide it’s easy to find a headhunter, but hard to find a great headhunter.

You can let Avollon connect you to the right recruiter for free and with a guarantee. But if you want to invest the time and develop your own process to gather insights on  consultants, we’ll share some inside tips with you:

1. Set the right budget and expectations
Define what you expect from a great recruiter and how much you want to invest. You can work with recruiters on all levels in your organization – and they should be the best within the specific talent market of choice. If they do not have much experience in your specific market you should talk with experts to set your expectations right. External recruiting is not cheap, but it is far more expensive to hire the wrong people.

2. Begin with a comprehensive target list for the market
Selecting the right headhunter starts with having relevant alternatives to choose from. You need to carefully do your research and build a target list over all companies providing services within your budget and field of expertise. Source and structure data so you get the right target list and necessary overview of the most successful recruitment companies in your specific market.

3. Select the most successful firms in the market
Executive search often depends on the local context; a firm with the right experience and a great reputation will provide you with access to the right network. Language, local knowledge, cultural awareness, and the ability to challenge the status quo to ensure success are topics you should be able to explore when working with local experts.

4. Evaluate the company’s method, values and position
Work with recruitment companies which use fact-based methods, own the right values and have a great position in the market. The best consultants and firms work with retained arrangements. They will work as teams and have a competitive advantage by virtue of teamwork and complimentary skills. They are known and admired as premiere firms among peers, clients, and candidates.

5. Select experience and success
Great recruitment is labor intensive, complex, and requires a rare set of people skills and business expertise. Only a fraction of recruiters have these skills and really succeed in their market. Do not let a senior recruiter pitch for your assignment to then hand it over to a junior recruiter once the deal is signed. Insist on working with your selected senior recruiter all the way.

6. Select in-depth expertise
Work with recruiters with deep industrial and functional expertise relevant for your unique assignment. Your headhunter must know the language, culture and history of the industry and function in question. They must have a network to enable a connection with the movers and shakers in the relevant industry and for the relevant function – and on the right level.

7. Get the right references
Insist on personal and relevant references for every assignment. Old references and references from colleagues are not relevant. Also collect references confirming the methods, values and position of the firm in which the consultant is working. Working with the right recruiter from the right company will dramatically improve your odds of quickly finding and hiring the right talents.



Avollon is a platform for better external recruitment. Avollon helps companies hire by connecting them to the best recruiters in the market. Our data and insights enable you to hire better, while saving both time and costs. Faster. Worldwide. For free and with extended guarantees.

Great companies need great leaders. 


For more information, please contact: 

Henning von Borcke, COO at Avollon

Tel:+47 452 90 020

Email: hb@avollon.com

Henning von Borcke

COO