International headhunters are those executive search professionals who work on assignments across multiple countries, and often outside of their domestic market.
With the rise of the internet and videoconferencing technology, its never been easier to contact candidates abroad. Furthermore, many international markets don’t have the local talent that a particular company or industry might require. A new bank in Bahrain might need experienced talent from the US or Europe, whilst a high growth Estonian technology business might not find enough experienced CTOs in its local market.
Companies in less-developed markets within their industry might not have local headhunting firms with the sector or geographic experience that they need to attract the right talent. These firms might well turn to an American or European firm to help them with a particular hire. They might choose to work with a smaller, sector-specialist firm or a larger alternative.
Whenever an international headhunting assignment requires a candidate to relocate, this naturally massively reduces the percentage of interested candidates. Family situations often make it impossible for candidates to relocate, and therefore the headhunter will need to contact more candidates in order to build a suitable shortlist of candidates.
An international headhunter will often have to research multiple international markets to find enough talent to ensure they have enough candidates who can potentially relocate. This could involve trying to persuade people to move from a very well established hub (e.g. New York for finance, or San Francisco for technology) to a much more emerging location. Because international headhunting assignments are by their nature more challenging than domestic ones, they often require higher fees as the headhunting firm needs to spend more resources on executing them successfully.
If you are a candidate looking to change geographies, as well as looking for local headhunting firms in your desired geography, target executive search firms that specialize in your sector outside of that region too – they might well be working on relevant assignments and be grateful for a candidate who wants to relocate.