You need to be visible in order to attract the attention of a recruiter or headhunter. Networking, using social media (Twitter and Facebook) and using LinkedIn are very good ways for you to increase your presence and therefore become a potential target for a headhunter.
Becoming ‘famous’ in your field is important. You can offer to speak at industry conferences, or write interesting and informative articles in the national or trade press or in a blog. You need to build your profile to the point where you are perceived to be an authority in your particular field. It doesn’t matter what that field is, whether it’s banking and finance, information technology, law or sales and marketing, if you have something interesting to say then broadcast to as wide an audience as you can.
Headhunters tend to specialise in specific sectors or disciplines, so if you are a private banker then search out the headhunters who operate in that specific field. Once you have identified the few individuals who operate exclusively in your field, make contact and start building a relationship.
If you are currently employed and not looking to change your job immediately then there is a useful tactic to consider. Assuming you are in a position to recruit staff, think about giving the headhunter an assignment; ask them to recruit for you. This will certainly help you to build a professional relationship with the headhunter and when at some point in the future you start looking for another position you will already have a useful contact.
Another possibility would be to try to find out what sort of candidates the headhunter is looking for currently. If you are well connected in your field then offer to provide the names of individuals who you know are capable and could be suitable. Headhunters talk on a daily basis to their contacts and listen in to the latest news. Who is the star performer at that particular bank? Who is rumoured to be looking for another job? Become one of those contacts and the likelihood is that the next time the headhunter has a job that might be suitable, you will be the first person that they will call.