Main content

How to Hire a Master

The mysterious world of the headhunter, searching for high-profile candidates for prestigious positions.

Head-hunters deal in high-value, high-profile appointments, charging an equally high fee. But few companies or individuals like to openly acknowledge their work. Why would a company need outside consultants to search its own backyard, as some do? These companies are often accused of such exclusivity that they neglect talented potential candidates - many of whom lie outside the so called inner circle, who may be female or from non-traditional backgrounds. What do they really do for the money aside from calling round a small group of the usual suspects?
Headhunting is often seen as expensive, manipulative and secretive - 'an unscrupulous business of networks and address books, lunches and cajolery'. This, in part, is because the hunting has to be imperceptible except to the hunted.

But this is not the whole picture. Are there wider benefits to be gained from a headhunter's research? Jolyon Jenkins follows academic headhunter Helen Yallop as she searches for a Master for an Oxbridge college, and gains a a fascinating insight into a hidden world.

(Photo: A job seeker shakes hands with a recruiter during the East Bay's HIREvent in Emeryville, California, 2013. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Sun 5 Jul 2015 11:32GMT

Broadcasts

Featured in...

Space

Space

Stargazing - from eclipses to the spacecraft changing our view of the Universe

Congo: A River Journey in binaural audio

Congo: A River Journey in binaural audio

Put your headphones on for an immersive journey along the mighty Congo River in the DRC

The Documentary Podcast

The Documentary Podcast

Every episode of The Documentary, on your mp3 player, to play wherever you are

The Compass

The Compass

The essential take on big ideas, issues and trends from the 21st century