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Frequently Asked Questions
Please use the links below to open and close the answers to each frequently asked question.
1. What makes headhunting so successful?
There are two types of potential candidates, Active and Passive. Active candidates are proactively looking for a new role, responding to advertisements and registering with agencies. Typically 1 in 5 potential candidates, or 15-20% of the talent pool are actively looking at any one time.

Passive candidates are people who could be open to a new opportunity but are not proactively seeking to leave their current employers. These candidates make up the remaining 80% of the candidate talent pool and tend to be the most successful, often being too busy to apply for other positions.

Headhunting is effective as it targets both the active and passive candidates, thus maximising the exposure of the vacancy to the relevant individuals.

In addition, not only do we have access to the passive candidates who are likely to be the best in the marketplace, when we do identify them, by definition these candidates will not be considering any other opportunities, and therefore have a greater commitment to the opportunity that we have approached them about.

Finally as our approach is entirely confidential, it is easier for us to overcome any initial objections that a candidate could have about a potential employer by communicating directly with them.
2. What makes Bluefire Executive different from other search firms?
As a business we are committed to delivery on every assignment we work on.

We ensure that the research process is transparent to our clients providing detailed feedback at every stage of the process, building trust and ensuring long term relationships with our clients.

It is our headhunting expertise and enthusiasm for the research process that sets us apart from our competitors and gives us an unsurpassed completion rate.
3. Why should we consider using an Executive Headhunter?
Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the role require a very specific set of skills to enable the right person to hit the ground running?

  • Do you require a successful candidate with a proven track record?

  • Has the vacancy been advertised / put out to agencies and failed to attract someone of the right calibre?

  • Is this vacancy business critical to the company and causing a financial loss while it remains unfilled?

  • Is the role to be based in an unusual location?

  • Would it be beneficial to attract someone from a competitive company or allied industry?

  • Is the vacancy confidential?

  • If the answer to several of these questions is “yes” then it is likely a search approach will be the most effective means of candidate attraction.
4. Why should we pay a retainer?
Our services are retained as we invest a considerable amount of dedicated resource within the team to each assignment.

The retained fee not only ensures our full commitment to the assignment, but equally demonstrates a commitment from our clients to utilising our research services.
5. How long will an assignment take?
Time scales we work to are:

Week 1:
Agree Specification Name gathering and departmental mapping
Week 2:
Initial approaches to target individuals Telephone Interviewing
Week 3/4:
Bluefire Interviews Ongoing research
Week 5/6:
Presentation of Shortlist Client Interviews
Week 6 Onwards:
Offer management Post placement Control

Using these timescales as a guideline we would aim to reach the short listing stage within approximately 6 weeks of commencing the assignment.

On a typical assignment we may speak to between 60 and 80 candidates to achieve a suitable shortlist, but this could be considerably more depending on the nature of the assignment.

Our dedicated researchers work on a per assignment basis and are retained to work for the duration of an assignment until a successful shortlist is achieved.
6. Why is the approach confidential?
The search process is designed to open an individuals mind to new opportunities and by using a confidential approach we can identify what would motivate that person to change roles without any preconceived ideas they may have about a clients business effecting their judgement.

In addition, whilst we speak to a great many people within a given industry, by using a confidential approach the reputation of our clients business is not compromised in any way.

We disclose the company details only on meeting a candidate at a face to face interview once we have gained their commitment to the opportunity.
7. How will we know what progress is being made?
The beauty of a retained assignment is in its accountability.

We document every conversation with every individual we are in contact with, and provide regular updates and detailed reports to our clients, which can also provide invaluable market information.
8. What happens if you can’t find anybody?
The commitment we make when we start an assignment is that we will achieve a shortlist of candidates that the client agrees match the specification and can do the role that they are recruiting.

In some cases if the role is very difficult to fill then the research can take longer, and in rare cases we may have to re-evaluate the specification in order to attract the right candidate.

This would only be done once we could demonstrate to the client that we had spoken to each key individual in the marketplace through a detailed report on the research so far. The feedback from these candidates is then used to assist the client to re-evaluate their requirement, and possibly to examine why the position is not appealing to any potential "ideal candidate".
9. Headhunting or recruitment agency?
Headhunting is a completely different approach to that of a recruitment agency, and whether a role is suitable for a headhunting exercise is determined by the role itself.

At any one time only 15-20% of potential candidates are actively on the marketplace and responding to job advertisements, and it is these candidates that are likely to be identified through advertising, or an agency database.

If however a vacancy requires a very specific skill set, then it is unlikely that an advertised response or agency will elicit a candidate with the necessary skills.

A headhunting approach enables a client to have access to 100% of available candidates, and therefore increases greatly the chances of securing the right candidate.

Bluefire Contingency
10. What additional services do you offer?
In addition to our headhunting capability and at the specific request of our clients we are also able to offer the following additional services:
  • Managed Advertising
  • Compensation reviews
  • Bespoke Market Research
  • Psychometric profiling
  • Training
Please contact us for further information regarding any of these services.



For more information about Executive Search and for additional professional career advice, please see our Useful Links page which we regularly update with sites that we think may be useful to both clients and candidates.