The success of your company depends directly on the talent you have working for you. In order to make sure you get the best and most talented employees you need to know some head hunting techniques. If you are have enough means than you should probably hire a head hunter, but most of the times, when starting a small business you find yourself in a position to look for great employees yourself, and this is when knowing a bit about how to spot talent may prove to make a real difference. There are many head hunting techniques, but in the paragraphs below I will focus only on some of the most basic methods you need to use in order to spot real talent. One of the most important rules you should take into consideration is to never rely only on hearsay. Don’t trust that someone is good even though everybody around him tells you that he is. Always do your background check and look for anything that might seem out of place. Most of the time the final decision of whether to offer a job or not is made on gut instinct, which I believe can prove to be wise, but only corroborated with a thorough understanding of the candidates skills, qualities and defects.

1.    Look for talent at college level. One of the most important head hunting techniques is to get to the candidate you want before anybody else. This is why you need to start your search for great talent by trying to spot exceptional qualities at students at college level. If you manage to spot somebody who seems like a real asset faster than any competitor than you can make your move and explain how important he or she would be in the new company. Spotting great talent at this level can be pretty tricky because after all you will be hiring somebody with no experience, so you need to be a great judge of character in order to make sure that they will live up to their potential.

2.    Always look for success in any domain. As a head hunter you should never doubt the methods that anyone employees in order to be successful. One of the most important head hunting techniques is to not be critical about any means of obtaining success. So, even though you believe that it’s a very bad idea, if it has had a lot of success, than you should consider the person who came up with it as big talent, who manages to think outside the box, and do your best to convince him or her to work for you.

3.    Look at the whole portfolio of the candidate. Another of the basic head hunting techniques you should employ is to never be swept away by a portfolio that you haven’t researched. In my opinion, any candidate is as good as his worst project, which he or she will never show in a portfolio. That is why you need to do a thorough research of all the work the potential candidate has done, in order to have a bigger picture about his skills.

4.    Rely on facts, not on hearsay. The only way to be sure that you have the right picture about a potential candidate is to always focus your research in the way of facts. I doesn’t matter what people say, because people lie, while cold hard facts will always tell the truth about the quality of work the potential candidate is capable of.

5.    Try to get to know the person. The next step you should take after going through the ones I have mentioned is to try to get a better feel for the character of the candidate. This is very subjective and it basically boils down to whether you like the person or not.

6.    Look for untapped potential. A good head hunter will be able to spot potential in the most unlikely people. A good tip for a head hunter is to never be prejudice. Always have a keen observation for anybody who might have a lot of untapped potential.

7.    Trust your gut instinct. This is the final step in the process, and I believe it is one that we should never skip. Sometimes your gut instinct expresses something that you can’t put into words, is non-quantifiable; it’s a feeling that you either feel comfortable or not working with that person.

Head hunting techniques have been around for years now, form the invention of the free market, which spawned competition between businesses. Learning some basic elements of these techniques might give you the edge you were looking for over your competition. The ideas I have expressed in this article should serve only as an introduction in the vast chapter of methods to judge talent and character.