Home / Networking with headhunters? Four reasons why you shouldn’t forget the researchers

Networking with headhunters? Four reasons why you shouldn’t forget the researchers

By Charlotte Payne. Published on 12 July 2016

In my nearly seven years’ experience as a researcher in Executive Search, I’ve come to understand that there are many different models for how the consultants and researchers in any given team interact.

My (perhaps biased) opinion is that, in the best firms, researchers and their equivalents are given equal standing and have as much input into a search as the consultants – we just take a lead on different parts of the process. As far as I can see, there are several strong reasons to use this to your advantage:

1. We have a broad scope

Researchers tend to work across a number of assignments with different consultants – not always focused on one particular sector or function. This allows us great visibility of the big picture market trends. Useful data such as salary levels, organisational structures and change agendas are daily topics of conversation for us.

2. We speak to everyone

From the very first stages of a search, researchers are the initial point of candidate contact. We speak to everyone being considered for a role and decide, with the consultant, who should be progressed to the next stage. In short, we know what your competition looks like and how well you measure up.

3. We’re well informed

In the usual model of Exec Search, the consultant’s role is to develop new business and manage the search process with the client. This means researchers are often more immediately contactable than the consultant, while still knowing precisely what is going on with the search process.

4. We share, because we care

Researchers talk to one another, within our own organisations and also externally. We are usually very happy to refer high calibre candidates to our network of research friends – with your permission, of course.

It’s sad to say this but treating a researcher as equal to a consultant will really make you stand out from the crowd. And when the researcher likes you, you can be sure he or she is passing that feedback on to the consultant.

Ultimately, it can only work in your favour to speak to the people who are on the front line of the recruitment process, and as a researcher I love nothing more than having interesting, insightful conversations with candidates, where I feel I have really helped someone.

Just don’t forget it’s a two-way street, and it pays to show a little love in return.


Eton Bridge Partners assigns an experienced researcher to every assignment.

To find out more about how we can help you call +44 (0)1753 303 600 or email the relevant researcher directly – details below:

The Research Team:

Louise Franklin - blog
Louise Franklin – Head of Research – Executive Search – Board Practice

Phil Muggeridge blog
Philip Muggeridge – Associate Consultant – Executive Search – Finance

Charlotte Payne - blog
Charlotte Payne – Researcher – Executive Search – Human Resources

Tamara Harrison blog

Tamara Harrison- Researcher – Executive Search – Human Resources

Charlotte Payne


Charlotte is passionate about finding the right long-term solutions for senior level search assignments. Before joining Eton Bridge she spent five years as a senior researcher with a boutique executive search practice, working across a number of different international industries, but with particular expertise in consumer-focused sectors.