A headhunter is a private contractor hired to search for the best candidate for a particular position—these positions are usually executive-level. And although they aid in recruitment, they have quite a few differences from recruiters.
For one, they are not a part of the company that employs their service. Headhunters are a sort of outsourced talent. They are paid via commission only when they find suitable candidates. Headhunters are also not involved in the hiring process. Their job is to locate suitable candidates and then pass on those candidates to the company they work with (their client). The HR department of the company employing the services of said headhunter then handles interviews and recruitments.
So why hire headhunters if a company already has recruitment staff and an HR department available? Headhunters bring new benefits to the table.
Headhunters Are Masters Of Specialization
Headhunters rarely operate in several industries simultaneously, if ever. They usually specialize in one industry. The result of this is that they gain extensive knowledge of that industry. They learn the ins and outs and trade secrets. They follow current trends and generally know what is required to succeed.
Having an operative with such knowledge and experience results in higher efficiency during the candidate selection process. Established headhunters like those at Gated Talent already know what is required of candidates at different levels of management, and they know what to look out for. In many cases, these headhunters find candidates with exceptional, not-easily-found skills and expertise. They go through resumes and profiles faster and more effectively, and only choose the best possible candidates.
They Have Access
Headhunters have a peculiar method of operation that grants them access to potential candidates that regular recruiters in the HR department just can’t reach. Headhunters, in their search for candidates, are not limited to active job seekers, job boards, or ads. A candidate doesn’t even have to indicate interest to be approached by a headhunter. What’s more, headhunters can also approach candidates who already have jobs, something the HR department just cannot do.
The absence of such limitations comes in handy in a headhunter’s search for candidates for C-suite level positions. These positions require special skills that may not be available in any available applicant. This is a possible occurrence as it is not far-fetched that highly trained executives with special skills are quickly scooped up by firms. But headhunters can approach executives who are already working with competitive firms to pitch the idea of working with yours. If they are interested and end up coming to work for you, you just won over a new, important member of your firm, something your HR would not be able to pull off.
Best Of All, They’re Discreet
Headhunters can carry out executive searches discreetly as companies may not want to advertise vacant top-level positions or might be planning to replace an executive. For example, if the CEO of a company is being replaced or is retiring, the board of directors may not want to publicize their search for a successor as this may invite negative PR. In a case like this, the company is in need of a candidate for the top-level position and requires a way to vet and select a possible replacement without alerting the general public or the CEO, as the case may be. This is where a headhunter’s skills are most needed. Only the headhunter can search for, locate and approach possible candidates while maintaining an air of secrecy.
A bonus reason is that headhunters only get paid when the candidate they find accepts the job offer. So until then, they will work tirelessly to ensure they their client (you) are satisfied.