For Applicants only

You want to send us a job application?

Then, first of all, we have to explain what we do.

Have you ever been called by a Headhunter? That is exactly what a Headhunter does, he calls you to find out, if an application is worth to be sent.

We are searching people through direct search, that means, we have a target list of companies and people to speak to and to find out if their profile (experiences, education, skills) is required by our client. We are not using long lasting databases, we are searching the right talent in time.

So please, if you are not answering on a call or an advertisement of us, you should be very sure, that your time and work’s worth the trouble. Please feel free to read through this site to learn more about the work of HSH+S Headhunters.

What will we be looking for in the future?

Some ideas to prepare yourself.

For a new generation association to survive and thrive in the new markets, executives must have a strong business focus and very good leadership skills. We all know that associations compete. They’re competing amongst themselves, they’re competing with other associations and they’re competing with the private sector and government. They’re all competing for customers, for members, for funding, and for relevance. And a number of them are competing for a fee for service.

Being just a good administrator and being in a worthwhile cause may be admirable but the performers of the future will need very strong business competencies and principles. So what should applicants need to know when looking for new employment opportunities?


When we are recruiting people it is not difficult for us to find out what level of education a candidate has. We can check with the relevant educational institution to make sure that information given on a resume is correct. But, as recruiters, we need to be able to get to the inner core of who you are and what you do, and particularly what are your key competencies and behaviors, what is your motivation.© HSH+S, FT, Germany

We believe that performers have the following key competencies to varying degrees of ability:

  • Entrepreneurial Spirit
  • Achievement Motivation
  • Listening and Responding
  • Experience and Strategic View
  • Adaptability and Endurance
  • Motivation and Persuasiveness
  • Customer-service Orientation
  • Self-confidence and Initiative
  • Problem and Process Solving skills
  • Managing and Relationship skills and sometimes also
  • Networking skills.

Understanding what makes people tick, and particularly understanding their competencies and behaviors, helps us to determine who is going to be the best person for the job.

There have been many occasions where we have a short-list of more than three people who, either on paper or face-to-face, have all the skills, all the experience and all the education. At the end of the day we have to make a judgment based on their competencies and fit with the client organization.

Advertised Recruitment and Executive Search

What are the differences between advertised recruitment and executive search? © HSH+S, FT, Germany

Utilizing an advertised recruitment practice entails obtaining a brief from the client, writing a position description and person specification. We ensure the client signs off on it so that the client and we are very clear on the type of candidate that we’re looking for. Communication is of paramount importance, so we spend the time up front to get a really good briefing.

The next step is to write a concise and factual advertisement that is strategically placed in the appropriate media. We believe applicants have the right to speak to the consultant handling that position, who can not only answer some intelligent questions, but also carry out some probing in a very short interview over the telephone, to determine applicant suitability. © HSH+S, FT, Germany

Even if an advertisement calls for written applications only, we recommend that you find out who is handling that assignment and make a phone call – for sales jobs this is almost a must. As soon as you apply you are in the mode of selling yourself. After applying, the process involves an initial interview, short-listing, possible psychological appraisal and behavioral interviewing, a panel interview with the client, reference checking, negotiating an offer and for one fortunate person an offer of employment.

Executive Search (in our example the same as headhunting), on the other hand, is a lot more targeted. We only sometimes advertise. We do go through the same process of obtaining a thorough briefing, but we then are in close co-operation with researchers who assist our consultants in identifying the organizations where these people may be located, finding out who those people are, cross-referencing with networks and people to find out what they’re like in their roles. This process is time consuming, very clandestine and confidential. Well then the consultant makes approaches to relevant candidates.© HSH+S, FT, Germany

Almost all people are at least happy to have an discussion with a third-party intermediary like us, where none of that information will go back to the client unless that individual wants it to, and vice versa.

Behavioral event interviewing

With our clients we are developing a ideal competency profile, then we identify which of the competencies are more important for the role. We also graph experiences or behaviors, which the client indicates would make a candidate suitable or outstanding in the role. Next we go to interviewing. Then, probably at the second interview we either tape or transcribe the candidate’s responses with their permission giving examples of his or her competencies and behaviors.

We then go through all of the transcribed information on candidates, checking them against the ideal profile and identify where they fit. Past behavior is a great predictor of future behavior and this enables us to compare in a positive sense between the candidates who have applied.© HSH+S, FT, Germany

Resumes and presentation

All a CV is designed to do, is get you in the door for an interview with either the executive recruiter or the client. We like to see a resume of a few pages only. Included in the resume should be any relevant and voluntary personal details, education (starting with most recent qualification and working back chronologically), experience including titles of roles, some major achievements during the last 5-10 years and, at the end, a list of competencies and possibly interests. Please avoid to list pages of your own presumed soft skills. And don’t include references at this early stage. An unscrupulous or unthinking consultant or employer could jeopardize your current position. Written references are not given much attention as we want to talk to the individual. For highly important positions we even sometimes meet a referee face to face because body language can tell you a whole lot more.

We have seen business plans, lists of competencies and many academic papers attached to resumes as examples of work completed. No recruiter is going to read through such documents. Supplementary material can be taken along as examples or work later if necessary, but it’s a paper nightmare out there with candidates applying through the Internet.

Some tips on presenting yourself: As mentioned before, ring and find out about the job to see whether it’s worth your while applying. Apply online by all means if you are interested in the role, but you need to be selective in the jobs you are targeting. You need to research the firm you are interested in. In interviews you need to be able to ask searching questions; you need to be as selective as we are about you. © HSH+S, FT, Germany

We are pleased to say that there is a huge candidate shortage in highly developed countries and that shortage will intensify as we all get older. There will be less and less available talent in the marketplace. So as an experienced and straight candidate you are in a strong position. If you can send your resume via e-mail, do so. But be selective on who you send it to. For recruiters, it’s an administrative nightmare. Headhunter like us handle not only one assignment at the same time but we read every single application personally. Be aware – nowadays, particularly with some of the larger recruiters, resumes are arriving via e-mail and are scanned electronically for key words and competencies and then are automatically short-listed. Some recruiters aren’t even reading them. That is why you should ring the consultant – especially with big recruiters and recruiting departments of huge giants.

Selection processes for associations

Expect the unexpected! When you apply, you may talk to the consultant or to the recruiting association directly. Send your application in and follow it up some days later to make sure they received it. Be up-front and visible but without overdoing it, even if it’s verbally, it’s better than not, otherwise you may not be considered seriously. But if you do so, be sure, that your experiences are really fitting to the profile. © HSH+S, FT, Germany

You’ll have at least one consultant interview for maybe an hour, which will probably concentrate on skills and experience. You then may have to go through a psychological assessment. During this time, they may want to talk to your referees. If the association is diligent, it should be conducting a behavioral event interview with the three to six short-listed candidates. Also if it’s a large organization, you may have to go before the entire board and committee to have your position ratified, associations like to have consensus. Finally, you need to negotiate the offer.

So, how will you present yourself in the future?

We wish you good luck! This is necessary, too.
HSH+S Headhunters