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4 Biggest Differences Between Headhunters and Recruiters

Both headhunters and recruiters are important players in finding employment, but they play different roles. While headhunters focus exclusively on executive-level positions, recruiters cast a wider net, seeking candidates for various jobs. There are also some key differences in how the two types of professionals operate. Here are four of the most important distinctions.

Hiring Process

The first biggest difference between headhunters and recruiters that is worth noting is the hiring process that each undertakes. In terms of what a recruiter does, they will often receive a document of positions open within a company. Once they have received this list, they will write various job descriptions, after which they will post these job openings on websites and various job boards. Usually, it will be up to the potential candidate to engage with the recruiter, and interviews will be set up.

On the other hand, the process for a headhunter is quite different. First, the company will find a headhunting agency and will tell the headhunter which positions are open and need to be filled. After that, the headhunter and the company will work together to determine a list of qualities, skills, education, qualifications, and other job requirements for the position that must be filled. After that, the headhunter will go out to find talent in Italy that will be a good match for the position and company.

How They Find People

The next biggest difference between recruiters and headhunters lies in the methods they use to find people for the job. As mentioned above, when it comes to recruiters, they will often post about the job opening on various websites and job boards. The recruiting agency might also depend on anyone using their services; employees often use recruiting agencies to let them know when a position has been made available.

In contrast, the methods that a headhunter would use are completely different. Headhunters will typically approach candidates they think will be a good match for the position and the company. Some of the other methods they might use would be attending a professional networking event or even reviewing companies’ rosters to find staff members that are currently employed which would be a good match.

Method of Compensation

Another big difference between headhunters and recruiters is the method of compensation used. When it comes to headhunters, there are two methods of compensation that can be used, which is contingency and retainer. If a headhunter is being paid on contingency, they will only get paid once the candidate has been hired. If they get paid with a retainer, they get paid a small fee upfront to locate a potential applicant and will get paid the rest after the candidate has signed a contract.

In terms of using a recruiting agency, the payment method is usually a set fee sent directly to the agency. It’s also fairly common for a recruitment agency to charge a percentage of the employee’s salary as a fee or even for the agency to charge by the hour. In terms of the actual recruitment agent, they will typically get paid a set salary since they work for the company.

The Positions Filled

One of the biggest differences between recruiters and headhunters is the positions that they fill. When a company hires the services of a headhunter, it is because they are trying to fill an executive position or a high-level position. This is, of course, where headhunters flourish and where you will see much better results compared to recruiters.

When it comes to recruiters, they are often hired to fill pretty much any position within a company. Sometimes they will be recruited to also fill a higher-level position. However, because they don’t approach candidates directly, it might often take much longer. Recruiting agencies are far better used for filling lower-level positions since many people who fill those positions actively use the websites and job boards where recruiters post.

In other words, the bottom line is if you are considering choosing between a headhunter and a recruiter, you should first consider the position you are trying to fill. More importantly, you should also consider the method of compensation that is going to be used, how quickly you need to fill the position, and if you need it to be discreet or not.

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