Difference between Headhunters & Recruiters

When it comes to searching for candidates to fill in a vacant position the first thought that crosses an employer’s mind is to employ either headhunters or recruiters to achieve this objective.  Although these terms are generally used interchangeably, one can’t help but wonder about them hence the main question that keeps cropping up is whether or not there is any “Difference between Headhunters & Recruiters?”

In general conversation or while socialising these terms are use quite often interchangeably in a room filled with , but there is a difference so using these terms loosely may not be right. Put simply this difference lies in the work they are engaged in and the manner in which they earn their wages. So let’s find out more about these differences that come in to play when selecting the right terminology to use.

Tasks Engaged

As a recruiter your job profile involves screening candidates for the vacancies that keep cropping up regularly. This means you’re constantly looking for new recruits that meet the requirement. Then you make a list of candidates that meet your criteria. After that you then get in touch with them and so the selection process begins. Once you’ve selected them you then arrange for a one on one interaction session i.e. a personal interview and based on the job profile that you’re recruiting for you then organise group interviews. Once you’ve found the right candidate you then offer the position and if they accept it you welcome them to the company.

While a Headhunters job requires them to make cold calls to candidates that they find are perfect matches for the job profile in question. They usually are more proactive in their approach to sourcing candidates. They usually make surprise visits to these candidates in their favourite places like a restaurant that they like or more accurately land up at the company they are currently working with.

Manner of Earnings

A recruiter is usually approached by employers or works at consultancies. They earn by working with one or more companies to help them fill positions that are vacant. Sometimes they work for employment firms on a contractual bases and don’t get paid for the position if filled. So you won’t find recruiters asking for a fee for their services.

Headhunters on the other hand work on a contingency bases, this means that they only get paid if they find an acceptable candidate. They work on a commission bases and thus they also receive incentives for their work. The incentives they receive are a result of them finding placements easily for their client base as against recruiters per say.  They are paid usually by both parties i.e. hiring companies or job seekers alike when a candidate is selected by the company or if a job seeker finds employment. So don’t be surprised if you encounter a headhunter asking for a fee for their services the next time you are searching for a candidate or seeking employment.

Remember the next time you’re in a room full of individuals make sure to use the right terminology and if you find someone using these terms loosely be sure to correct them and avid using or developing the habit of using these terms interchangeably. If you have any more pointers to add do let us know via the comments section.

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