The difference between a recruiter and a headhunter

The difference between a recruiter and a headhunter
When you think of a recruiter, a cold call salesperson comes to mind. But when you think of a headhunter, a combination private investigator plus matchmaker is more in line with their objectives. The differences, however, centre more around the position to be filled more so than anything else. Keep in mind that you can, technically, headhunt for any career level position. However, if it’s not one where the decisions the role makes would significantly impact the company’s bottom line, then all of that headhunting would have involved a large sum of wasted funds. In short, a recruiter deals with an almost innumerable pool of people per open position. A completely different scenario than that of the headhunter.

The nature of job roles that one headhunts for require a well-polished professional. This candidate is one who is already dedicated to a company and invests in the relationships of those around them as a matter of course. The level of interaction with upper management factors heavily in regards to mere recruitment efforts versus headhunting.

A headhunter obtains leads from media announcements of promotions, official SEC paperwork submissions, and other headlining activity. Whereas, a recruiter collects possible associates from a myriad of large volume collectives such as the local unemployment office. Headhunters pursue those who current and successfully hold a similar position, already. Usually, the position will constitute responsibilities that represent a lateral move.

There are a number of reasons why a headhunter may seek out a particular individual. Paramount to all rationale is their undeniable prowess. When a headhunter trails, they are pursuing someone who is typically content with their current duties. The headhunter may work on behalf of a competitor company that wants to entice excellence from the competition and bring them over to their enterprise. When a headhunter is associated with or hired by an executive search firm, they are referred to as Executive Search Consultants. In this capacity, the hiring company has retained the headhunter’s firm with a formal agreement toward finding a suitable match.

Because of the nature of this pursuit, the headhunter researches the lifestyle of the individual to try to ascertain what incentives would satisfactorily move the candidate away from their current place onto the other. Sometimes a room with a window might fit the bill, especially if the headhunter has discovered some related office politics regarding room assignments in the current company. Some other incentives might include premium housing or relocation assistance to another country, or coverage for full -time nursing for a chronically disabled child, or, of course, a significant increase in salary with more assustants at the candidates disposal.

Meanwhile, a recruiter may be found processing piles of resumes to weed out the ones that the automated parse server failed to discard or uncover. The recruiter rarely garners any negotiation power but simply reiterates the details of a job advertisement already available to the public.

A recruiter rounds up groups and hopes some will fit. A headhunter pursues a well established completion to the puzzle.

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