In a recent discussion with a CTO of a leading US security vendor the topic arose; ‘the valid need for a well networked headhunter when LinkedIn provides direct access’. Interesting point since many key vendors are using this approach, approaching candidates directly instead of adopting a wider search.
In his explanation below, this CTO (who will remain anonymous) makes some good points, such as; top flying technical evangelists prefer to be ‘under the radar’, and are often not on social media. When companies are looking for the top 2% they often overlook these eagles. Headhunters who’ve worked the market and built relationships over two to three decades, are considered trusted advisors to call on the top flyers when opportunities arise. They’re simply not replaceable with LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a valuable tool or database; but it can’t replace years of local, hands on trusted market relationships.
LinkedIn vs Recruiter: A CTO/Technical Evangelist Viewpoint
There are times when looking for the right person for a position needs someone who knows who’s who. Often it’s not what a person puts on their LinkedIn profile, but rather insights gained over many conversations. Accessing the best people needs a recruiting team full of relationships that go beyond professional, built over time and backed by success, not just a LinkedIn search or two. To tap into this talent, which may not like recruiters or don’t want their information publically searchable, requires trust built over many years or even decades. And, an understanding of what motivates each person and where each person sees the opportunity to progress. These insights must be earned.
The hardest to find people end up being the most sought after, since they are “off grid”. They are experts in their space, provide insights into their industry, identify trends before others and *trust* their recruiters with this information. This makes it more a partnership than a transaction. Some might think this is a rather “old school” way of doing things, but it’s how some of the most valuable people work and a critical piece of any professional network.