Headhunting and Outplacement are often two terms conceptually located in the environment of Human Resources and more specifically in the area of executive search. However not a few misunderstandings occur when attempting to discern the key features that distinguish one from another service.
Headhunting is a service that comes in most cases at the request of the Company who needs to incorporate a new professional. Ideally, this company has made an accurate job description. The more detailed is this information, the smaller the search range and therefore more restricted and efficient the identification of suitable candidates. Within this information is not only critical that the headhunter is aware of the technical and functional skills required for job performance but also about the strategic environment. How comes that need, what is organizational strategy and who will be their interlocutors, both vertical and horizontal. In this regard knowledge of the culture of the Organization is essential to consider suitability of personal values of candidates. A good headhunter will know how to obtain this information from this client, moreover he will know to help him to define when necessary. So headhunters must be professionals with high knowledge of Business and Organziational Behaviour.
In the case of Outplacement the process flow is the inverse to the previous. Here, the initiative arises from the professional´s environment . Either privately or by decision of the Company to which the candidate leaves. In this latter case it´s the company who offers his former employee a support as part of negotiation. This does not exempt from the headhunter to receive a fee by the contractor company if it was a position that certainly It needed to satisfy. Here, the headhunter guides the professional in new steps revealing his/her stregnths and objectives.
Obviously, the first movement of headhunter is completely different in each case. In both cases it´s required a high level of confidence and trust, however although missions are different still reamains the same ultimate Goal, which is simply speaking, to make a nice couple.
The input data and research information is reversed both cases. In the first case, the headhunter knows the needs of the company and its mission is to investigate and seduce similar profiles. In the second, thoroughly known the candidate, the research is aimed to discover in which firms the professional may bring a great value to its strategy, who are the ideal interlocutors and which the network of contacts that surrounds them.
Anyway a fantastic and enriching challenge.