industry or its organisational structure as
a whole, but particularly its culture and
value systems. Also important is to be able
to grasp what goes on immediately above and
below the "head" to be hunted, and
the potential dynamics at play. On a more
nitty-gritty level, compensation package levels
and opportunities for growth in an organisation
are vital areas that a head-hunter should
understood what he is looking for in the first
place, the successful head-hunter then begins
the process of profiling prospects with relevant
backgrounds. This may involve identifying
persons from the same industry where industry
specialisation is a basic requisite, say in
a technical area, or in production, or R&D.
For position that slant more towards a staff
function, one looks at appropriate incumbents
in similar positions in other organisations.
does the actual process of contact take place?
Is it all hush-hush, carried out in cloak-and-dagger
the basic premise that the head-hunter is
no mere match-maker in a situation where both
parties are in search of a partner, so to
speak, discretion is certainly the better
part of the task. What one is seeking to do,
after all, is not only to identify the appropriate
individual, but also to persuade him or her
to actually consider and to finally make the
the meeting continues in this manner?
is a delicate art. It is a tricky game that
is being played, and a tricky two-way game
at that. What the head-hunting consultant
is doing is simultaneously assessing the incumbent
and attempting to sell him the idea of a change.
about the identify of the company involved?
At what stage is this revealed?
in the initial stages. At this stage, the
head-hunter holds the information close to
himself. It would not pay to disclose this
too early. One other problem one faces in
India is, of course, the pressure from top
people to push their proteges.
the two parties finally meet?
the consultant usually arranges an initial
meeting on a neutral ground, say at the consultant's
office, or at a club or restaurant, where
the discussions are more general in nature.
This is usually followed by a formal meeting,
which, if anything, is more or less like a
formal interview. Discussion at this point
is specific: compensation to terms are negotiated,
job descriptions are fine-tuned, and the timing
is worked out.
might add here that the whole process that
has been described may take up to a year.
Discretion and diplomacy is the name of the