When hiring people for highly specialised roles, you may quickly find that standard recruitment methods don’t cut it. Finding niche or senior automotive engineering talent is much more complex than advertising a vacant position and hoping great candidates will respond (also known as ‘post and pray’).
Headhunters are typically engaged to find and attract top talent for specialist, senior or executive-level positions – and their method is perfectly suited to automotive engineering recruitment, where the gap between talent supply and demand is persistently wide.
Not all automotive engineering recruitment specialists use headhunting as their main approach, but market conditions indicate more employers will benefit from headhunting as competition for senior talent gets tougher. About 77% of employers found it difficult to attract candidates in 2022, up from 49% the year prior.
We’ll delve into the nuts and bolts of automotive engineering executive search and the benefits of working with a headhunter.
Wide Talent Networks
One of the key benefits of working with a headhunter is gaining access to their sizeable network of qualified candidates, many of whom are not actively searching and applying for positions.
Headhunters do a considerable amount of homework before tapping potential candidates on the shoulder about a new opportunity. To grow their networks, headhunters spend years cultivating talent with in-depth industry research, face-to-face networking, referrals and other approaches.
The number of potential candidates who are ‘passive’ can outweigh those who are actively looking for a new job, making headhunting the ideal approach for targeting this untouched reserve of talent.
When organisations exhaust their current candidate networks – which can happen quickly for niche positions – headhunters can help them search further and deeper to fill the position. For employers, this presents an immense competitive advantage when hiring for roles that are especially hard to fill.
Premium Quality Candidates
The goal for headhunters is to discover and approach candidates who are exceptional in their field. These candidates are not always the same people who are actively searching for new positions, which is why engaging with a headhunter can substantially increase the quality of candidates on your shortlist.
Professionals with a proven track record in automotive engineering, who can demonstrate leadership, innovation and other essential qualities, are the types of candidates that headhunters will identify and approach on behalf of their clients.
Access to Market Expertise
The work of an automotive engineering executive search specialist involves market intelligence. Senior and niche roles often require extensive market research and mapping to identify talent, which can be complex and time-consuming for Hiring Managers.
With a broad contact list of industry leaders, headhunters know the inner workings of the sectors they recruit for – economic trends, operational challenges, regulatory impacts and technological advancements that all affect how companies hire and where the talent is going.
When an organisation has created a new role or division, Hiring Managers may not have the market knowledge required to find the candidates they need. When you’re recruiting outside of your domain, using a headhunter’s expertise can help you speak the candidates’ language.
Headhunters conduct their searches discreetly and without advertising, with client privacy paramount to their work.
If you’re about to launch a new product or expand into a new market, publicly advertising roles can attract unwanted attention from competitors. When you need to replace someone in a senior role, confidentiality is just as essential. Advertising the position can cause all sorts of problems, which you can avoid by using a headhunter.
Automotive engineering recruitment can be challenging when the hire is time-critical. When an organisation needs to deliver results for a specific project, boost revenue, launch a product – or has been hampered by delays – headhunters can act fast to speed up the hiring process.
Delays in hiring can be sinkholes from an expense standpoint. Leaving niche and senior roles unfilled can be a drag on productivity, while a protracted recruitment process will usually leave organisations missing out on the best candidates.
Sudden executive resignations can also strike at any time, leaving companies scrambling to hire a replacement with an adequate handover period. The ability to hire quickly in response to sudden internal or external events is among the major benefits of working with a headhunter.
Talk to an Executive Search Specialist
Headhunters provide personalised attention to each search and are able to leverage their networks and industry knowledge to find the best candidates for a given position. It’s no mystery that companies angling for automotive engineering talent will engage a headhunter to reach their hiring goals faster, without sacrificing quality or confidentiality.
If you’re ready to partner with a headhunter to get results, we’re happy to help. As specialists in automotive engineering executive search and recruitment, our focus is on the essential aspects of providing a quality and bespoke service. Please contact us to make your next successful senior hire.