I love tacos: The art to headhunting is human-centered design

A gifted headhunter recruits the human being behind a role. They represent a client in the market. Acting as an arm to your business by providing a personal and proactive touch. When the acceleration of your startup depends on a tech team in hiding, a headhunter is a perfect handle to help. They know where the wizards hang out and how to approach them.

This approach was tested on A Senior Javascript Engineer – a man who loves tacos.

While recruiting for a tech role in Melbourne I found the perfect candidate on Linkedin, let’s call him Tom. Tom’s profile stated that he ‘loved tacos’, had a great set of technical skills and lived in Brisbane. I approached Tom with a Linkedin request-  “I love tacos too, have you tried the tacos in Melbourne?” to which I received an immediate response.

Tom expressed that his standard response to recruiters is a frustrated “f-off”. Yet, this personalised request had picked up on an obvious topic of interest and offered an original, creative approach. Not generic, not boring and not spam. A common love of Mexican food had presented an opportunity to identify with a human experience.

Low and behold  – Tom took the role and joined a well known Tech business in Melbourne. We celebrated over a Margarita.

It always pays to speak to the interests of an individual and not only their set of skills. A headhunter’s job is to get intimate with both your business and the candidate. To best align value; beyond the CV and the position description.

If you are a startup, chances are that your next hire is chasing purpose, rather than money. To find this purpose you must look beyond a skill set. Beyond professional experience and into the community where individuals choose to belong.

This community reveals a love of other things outside of work… like tacos.

Great talent lives in these circles; at events; co-working spaces and meet ups. They are hard to find if you’re not willing to get involved on a personal level. If you want to attract people like Tom, you must speak to their lingo. Adopting the language of those you wish to attract is as important as the perks of the role.

My role is to be personal; to understand the motivations of employable individuals.  To find the talent and connect them to a startup like you who are providing a job with a purpose.