Want help with your hiring? It's easy. Enter your information below, and we'll quickly reach out to discuss your hiring needs.
Headhunters play an important role in the recruitment of professionals into new jobs. Recruiting professionals that are informally called "headhunters" work at agencies and are paid to recruit qualified personnel for their clients.

headhunter recruiting job candidates

What is a Headhunter

Headhunter is an informal term for individuals or companies that are hired by companies who need employees, usually in key or highly specialized positions. Headhunters have various payment arrangements with the employer seeking a candidate.

How are headhunters paid

Headhunters for executive positions (also called executive search firms if they are a company) are paid a flat fee up-front by the employer, while headhunters for mid-level positions usually work on a contingency fee, where the headhunter only gets paid if he or she finds a candidate that the company hires. Payment rates vary, but typically involve a percentage of the hired employee's base salary. Some payment contracts also include adding in a percentage for any bonus the employee is expected to receive. It is highly unusual for a headhunter to receive payment from the individual being hired; most headhunters will receive their payment from the company. If you are being hired through a headhunter, be sure that the company is paying any fees involved.

How headhunters interact with job candidates

A headhunter often makes contact with individuals and tries to follow them throughout their working life in order to have a pool of candidates on which he or she can draw when needed. Persons seeking jobs who have had contact with a headhunter in the past can often call upon that headhunter for their current situation. In addition, a headhunter who has helped an individual with a job hunt before may also call that individual to see if that person is aware of potential candidates for positions the headhunter needs to fill, even if the individual is not actively looking for him or herself.
  • Top Headhunters

    Given the multifarious possible criteria for selecting a headhunter or for allowing oneself to be headhunted, which are the most critical? Find out about how to judge headhunters and recruiters, and find them through our easy directory service.

  • Certification Program

    Master the art of closing deals and making placements. Take our Recruiter Certification Program today. We're SHRM certified. Learn at your own pace during this 12-week program. Access over 20 courses. Great for those who want to break into recruiting, or recruiters who want to further their career.

    Take Program Today
  • Career Research Tool

    Use our career research tool to find more than just a list of careers - find the right long term career for you. Explore salary trends for each type of profession, read sample job descriptions, and find the professional and educational requirements for specific careers.

    Use it Now