Many people have fears or anxiety about headhunters to fill positions. However, for a quality organization, a good headhunter can be your best ally and assist your company in many excellent ways

Once the decision has been made to bring in a headhunter, lots of employers restrict the ability of the headhunter to succeed. They do this by requiring the recruiter to work exclusively with human resources (HR), and they refuse to allow them to speak to the actual hiring manager or hiring authority. This may be due to many reasons such as ego, wanting to keep a sense of control, or a fear that the headhunter will keep them out of the loop. These fears are not useful because they are counter-productive to the success of your organization.

In light of these negative concerns, here are five reasons your headhunter should have access to the hiring authority:

1. Information is Power and Influence

When we, as headhunters, are being tasked with filling a position, we need all the information we can get our hands on to be successful. We can’t sell the job if we don’t know it. Most of the time the candidates sourced are either not looking (who tend to be the better candidates) or if they are, they are looking at multiple jobs.

In many cases, we will need detailed notes and the best way to get that information is direct from the source. Just like the whisper game from grammar school, the more times information is passed down to other people, the easier it is often changed or lost.  Although HR means well and attempts to give the right information, there is no way HR knows all the subtle nuances about the role, unit, or team dynamics as well as the hiring manager. 


2. Increase Candidate Insight

For a candidate, job searching is very complicated. It is often harder than most people realize to gather all of the correct information. If a candidate is not looking for a new job, they won’t decide to make a job change if all we have to share with them about the job is a generic job posting (which is typically what HR sends us).

If they are looking at multiple jobs already, they may choose not to use a headhunter because they are already so busy juggling their responsibilities.  They are very possibly hurting themselves because our job might be the best job for them, but they decline. However, if we can demonstrate to them this job is at (or very near) the top of their wish list, they will typically make room for one more. The change does not happen without the right information for the candidate, and without this detailed information, we (as headhunters) cannot conclusively show how this job is better.

3. Ease the Load on Human Resources

HR is a very busy department; if they are tasked with filling numerous positions for various managers (Why are NNP Job Openings so Hard to Fill?) it may take them several days to get back to us with an answer to a key question because they do not have “the pain” of that open position bearing down. The “pain,” however, is felt by the hiring authority if that job does not get filled. It could have numerous impacts on them, such as an increase in budgetary expenses due to more overtime hours paid, a drop of morale or production, or overworked staff may resign.

There is a strong need to keep the process moving along in a timely manner because if the process loses momentum, the candidate could quickly lose interest.

4. Change the Humpty Dumpty Effect

As seen in the children’s rhyme, Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall / Humpty Dumpty had a great fall / All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.  However, when everyone works together in the right way, the Humpty Dumpty effect can be stopped. One of the benefits of working through a headhunter (when we have hiring authority access) is that we get feedback directly between the candidate and the hiring manager. Quality information is so crucial because without it so many deals would have fallen apart without this being in place.

Let’s look at how this works in a real setting. When a candidate has an interview with the hiring manager, sometimes there is some miscommunication. As a result, the hiring authority or candidate decides to bail on the process. This is where the headhunter, who is directly involved and effectively debriefing both sides, can help gather the information and clear up the miscommunication. Instead of having “a great fall” and lose a quality client, we can work to change the Humpty Dumpty effect and put the candidate and hiring authority back together again. 

5. Create a Quality Process for Future Hires

If you had found a great service provider such as a plumber, electrician, or landscaper to fix some problems around the house, and they accomplished that goal, you would definitely be more inclined to have the same contractor deal with your brother, or cousin, or neighbor.  The same thought is true for recruiting to fill an open position to use a quality headhunter.

Here are three additional informational tips that headhunters can find out:

  • We may find out that what the manager seeks in a candidate, with the money they are looking to pay, is not possible.
  • If we know what turns a candidate on (or off), we can share that with the hiring authority so they can effectively sell the candidate during the interviews.
  • If we need to alter their “typical” interview process (maybe include a spouse on the site interview, arrange for a realtor, or bring specific people or roles into the interview process), then we can help bridge the knowledge gap.


In summary, it is possible that some of these things can still be done if channeled through HR, but if the decision has been made to spend the money to bring in an executive recruiter, make an effort to give them the proper amount of information necessary to effectively do their job. The more access that they can be granted to the hiring authority, without excluding HR from the process, the better job they can do. Remember, you have the power to change the Humpty Dumpty effect. Human resources, hiring authorities, and headhunters can work as a collaborative team to get the job filled in the most timely manner and with the best possible candidate.


Have you ever given your hiring authority access to a headhunter? How did it go? We’d love to hear your success stories in the comments below!