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.
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"Headhunters" 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. 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. 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.