Skip to main content

The Art of Headhunting: How Aged Care Recruiters Find Hidden Talent

In the world of aged care, finding the right talent is much more than a simple search. It’s a fine art, practiced by skilled aged care recruiters who combine the science of strategic, a talent mapped search, with the art of human intuition. You can’t have one without the other in successful aged care recruitment. Aged care recruiters don’t just fill positions, we unearth gems of hidden talent (those who aren’t even job-hunting) who are capable of enhancing the lives of residents and elevating the standards of care.

In this blog, we’ll uncover the strategies and skills behind successful headhunting in aged care.

Networks and Relationships: The Interconnected Web of Talent

As seasoned aged care recruiters. we know that the most valuable resources are people. The aged care industry and our relationships within it, are an interconnected web, woven through years of building relationships and networks. Good people often know other good people, and we tap into these networks to find candidates who may not be actively looking but are the perfect fit for a role. It’s about knowing who is excelling in their current role, who is ready for a new challenge, and who possesses the ethos, resilience and a positive attitude that aged care demands.

The importance of these relationships cannot be overstated. They provide us with insights into who is making a difference within their organisations. It’s these insights that enable us to strategically identify and approach individuals who are not just good on paper but are proven in action.

Strategic Talent Mapping: Going Beyond the Visible

Aged care recruiters engage in strategic talent mapping, we do this before we even take a job brief with a client. Our thinking caps go in as soon as a client says, ‘we want you to recruit a job’. Then after a comprehensive job brief with the client, we strategically talent map – a process that involves identifying which aged care providers may already have individuals excelling in the required role. This means looking at organisations known for their outstanding care and considering the talents that contribute to their success. It’s about recognising which providers are doing ‘that stuff’ really well and understanding that within those teams lie individuals who are excelling in their roles—individuals who could bring their expertise and passion to another team.

We data mine our database (we have over 6500 contacts), we tap into LinkedIn data which informs us each month where the greatest candidate mobility is in Australia – we target those areas, and we couple this with the networks and relationships we have forged in the aged care sector (as mentioned above).

This method is akin to a farmer knowing exactly when to harvest: It’s about timing, understanding the seasonality of roles, and knowing when someone is ripe for transition. The key is in the subtle art of the ‘tap on the shoulder’— the quiet invitation to consider a new opportunity.

The Science of Search: Boolean and Beyond

The modern headhunter’s toolkit includes Boolean searches, a method that goes beyond job titles to target specific skill sets. This is where the art of identifying key priority skills comes into play. We know as aged care recruiters that a job title doesn’t always capture the essence of essential job-specific capabilities. Instead, we craft searches that isolate the skills most crucial to the role, whether it be leadership, financial acumen or people management. We’ve identified a matrix of skills that we Boolean search for, specific to each job we recruit to.

Using a combination of Boolean logic and a deep understanding of the sector, we can sift through the digital haystack to find the needle that is not just a match but the perfect fit. It’s a skill that blends technical savvy, data and skill sets with an in-depth knowledge of what makes aged care such a unique field.

The Persistence of Headhunting: When All Else Fails

There are moments in aged care recruitment when it feels like every stone has been turned, every avenue explored, candidates have let you down and yet the perfect candidate remains elusive. It’s in these moments that the true art of headhunting shines. I believe as aged care recruiters, our team is known for their tenacity and their ‘never say die’ attitude. When you think everything has been tried, we step up to the challenge.

This persistence is often what separates a good recruiter from a great one. It’s the understanding that somewhere out there is the person who will not just fill the role but will bring something special to it. After 20 years in aged care recruitment, I know now that for every challenging job we recruit, there is always a solution, always another strategy we can adopt because there is always talent waiting to be discovered.

The Support System: Guiding Candidates with Predictive Psychology

In the delicate tapestry of aged care recruitment, the support provided to candidates by us, during the recruitment process, is pivotal. It’s not just about finding talent; it’s about nurturing it through the intricate psychological journey of a career change and ‘selling it’ to those people who were ‘closed’ to exploring a new job. Here, can employ predictive psychology to anticipate the decision-making processes of candidates, aiming to facilitate a smooth transition without surprises. This psychological support is rooted in over two decades of experience, enabling us to adeptly navigate and guide candidates through the emotional and rational considerations of a new job opportunity.

Predictive psychology in recruitment serves as a compass to help candidates evaluate whether the new role presents a better value proposition than their current position. It’s about aligning the role’s offerings with the candidate’s aspirations, needs, and life situation. As specialist aged care executive recruiters, we utilise this nuanced understanding to create an environment where candidates can confidently weigh their options, knowing they’re supported each step of the way. We often get told, after we’ve placed someone who we head hunted into a job, that they felt wholly supported by us. I guess that makes candidates feel safe walking side by side with us, through a recruitment process. There’s real magic in that, when you connect with a candidate at a psychological career defining moment in their lives. The goal is to ensure that when a candidate says ‘yes’ to a job, it’s with the certainty that this new path truly enhances their professional journey and personal fulfillment.

The Human Touch: The Essence of Aged Care Recruiting

At the heart of all these methods lies the human touch. Aged care is about people, and so is aged care recruitment. It’s a sector where empathy, compassion, and interpersonal skills are just as important as technical abilities. Recruiters in this space understand this balance and seek it in their candidates. I think what is also essential is authenticity.

We know that the best candidates are often those who are not actively looking, who are content but might be curious to change for the right job opportunity.


The art of headhunting in aged care recruitment is complex, requiring a blend of strategic acumen, technical skill, and human intuition. It’s about knowing the intricate web of relationships, understanding the industry’s rhythms, candidate decision making needs and behaviours and having the ability to see beyond the obvious. Aged care recruiters are the unsung artists of the recruitment world, creating masterpieces of teams that provide exceptional care. With every successful placement, we don’t just fill a vacancy; we contribute to a legacy of care that lasts well beyond our involvement. In the end, the true measure of their success is the improved quality of life for the elderly, the enrichment of the aged care community as a whole, not to mention positive commercial gain for our clients – you get a good leader or manager at the top and your bottom line is going to improve.