There are three categories of headhunters in the UK: Search, Agency (or Contingency), and Selection.
But, even if you assiduously cover all three channels, there will still be quite a few Asset Managers that you will not be reaching. This is because quite of the few of the larger Fund Management firms have internalised the headhunting function by hiring former headhunters into the Talent Management role.
Hence this is an important new channel that job seekers need to cover if they want to cover the larger global investment firms.
What they do
Talent Managers are in-house headhunters. Over the last five or six years, some of the larger Asset Management firms have internalised the headhunting function, and they usually sit within the Talent Management team.
In the early days, companies tended to use Talent Management on less senior roles. So they hired former Agency recruiters, who ran selection campaigns and did low level Search to hire people. Because they can from an Agency background, they struggled to perform Searches effectively, so companies tended still to mandate more senior roles to Search firms.
But in more recent years, there has been a steady stream of former Executive Search headhunters moving in-house. And, equipped with a ‘Recruiter’ LinkedIn Licence, they now have the knowledge base they need to conduct effective searches. Nowadays, most of the largest asset managers have Talent Management teams who undertake the lion’s share of senior level hiring.
This means that, even if you spoke to every asset management headhunter in the market, there would still be some companies that you are missing, as they don’t use headhunters for many senior roles.
Which means that, if you are actively looking for a job, you need to make sure you speak to the Talent Managers as well.
Talent Managers are readily visible: unlikely HR Managers, they want to be seen and are open to being contacted. You can look them up easily on LinkedIn by doing an advanced search on the Company, and using the term ‘Talent’ in the keyword search box. Or else Google “Talent Manager” or “Talent Acquisition” and the company name.
Because they they are directly employed by companies, you should engage with them if you wish to explore opportunities with that company. Being former headhunters, they are much more open to direct approaches than HR Managers. You can usually get hold of them through LinkedIn or through company switchboards.