What Is Headhunting and How Is It Different From Recruiting ?

The hiring manner in today’s enterprise world makes use of countless phrases and strategies interchangeably. For example, headhunting and recruiting produce the identical result, however they use distinctive tactics. Understanding the nuances of the hiring system can assist you higher navigate your job search. In this article, we outline headhunting, describe how it differs from recruiting and provide an explanation for how the headhunting and recruiting procedures work.
Related: How To Find a Headhunter

What is headhunting?

Headhunting, additionally recognised as an government search, is the manner of discovering the pleasant viable candidate for a position. In most cases, groups use a headhunting strategy, instead than common recruitment, to perceive and employ high-level personnel or the “head” of a company, like a chief government officer.
Headhunters typically work for an employer employed to fill a company’s top-level, specialised or technical positions. Headhunters usually solely strategy authorities who are employed and now not actively searching for every other job, recognised as passive candidates, who would be best concerns for the job. Headhunters existing job gives to these centered candidates, normally leaders in their discipline or industry, to entice them to depart their present day positions.
Related: thirteen Smart Questions To Ask a Headhunter

What is recruiting?

Recruiting is the manner of discovering the fantastic feasible candidate for a function by way of attractive with these who are open to switching jobs or actively looking for employment. These candidates would possibly follow immediately for the position, or the recruiter might also talk with them at a job truthful or meet them thru a expert contact. Recruiters can also work for an agency, but they can frequently work in human assets for the enterprise with open positions.

What’s the distinction between headhunting and recruiting?

Headhunting and recruiting searching for to remedy the equal problem—employing the most especially certified candidate in the open position. While the two methods have the equal goal, their techniques are quite different.


Headhunting is frequently reserved for hard-to-fill, top-level positions. Headhunting differs from recruiting in these necessary ways:
Activity: Headhunters search for the best-targeted character to fill the position. They might also are seeking for referrals from different high-level personnel in the employer or locate candidates thru their sizable network.
Position: In most cases, organizations use a headhunting method to fill C-suite or equal positions. A organization would not often use headhunting to fill lower-level roles in their business enterprise on the grounds that it normally takes extra time and effort.
Methodology: Headhunters use a “proactive” technique because they are the ones coming near a non-job seeker. They use a range of sources and strategies to discover appropriate candidates, which include expert connections and shut research of competitor’s worker rosters to become aware of leads.
Cost: Headhunting is commonly greater high-priced than recruiting due to the fact headhunters have to take extra measures to become aware of passive candidates that recruiters do not.


Recruiting is the most frequent exercise for figuring out plausible candidates and hiring new employees. 
Activity: Recruiters commonly solely work with candidates who are searching for a new position. Recruiters generally submit open job positions online. In many cases, recruiters locate attainable candidates by using attending profession festivals or consulting with others in their expert network.
Position: Recruiting is the most frequent exercise for discovering conceivable employees. Most businesses use a recruiting approach to fill the majority of their open roles. Some agencies solely use recruiters, even to fill their executive-level positions.
Methodology: Recruiters use a “reactive” technique seeing that workable candidates commonly come to them. They use various equipment to locate their candidates, however the most frequent is posting job descriptions on job boards, typically online, and gathering purposes from involved attainable personnel for review.
Cost: Recruiting is almost usually a much less steeply-priced recreation than headhunting. Since recruiters are solely searching for energetic applicants, they can do a long way much less investigative work when searching for candidates and as a substitute commit their efforts to reviewing the plausible of these who have submitted their applications.

How does the headhunting procedure work?

Every enterprise may control the specifics of their headhunting method differently, however in most cases, the hiring technique with a headhunter follows these steps:

  • Determine the want for a new employee
  • Usually, the CEO or different business enterprise chief will method the hiring and headhunting group about the want for a new employee. Occasionally, the transition between the present day worker and the new worker is confidential, specially in the case of high-level executives in massive corporations. Sometimes, the headhunters concerned in the search technique need to use big discretion when searching for candidates.

Establish the quintessential competencies and experience

The headhunters work with different individuals of the hiring team of workers and govt group to pick out the integral education, training, ride and capabilities for the hire. They may create an professional job description or a candidate profile to assist information their headhunting efforts.

Identify passive candidates

Depending on the role, the headhunting group may additionally start their candidate search by using searching at passive candidates who ought to be satisfied to go away their modern function for the proper offer. Usually, the crew creates a listing of practicable candidates and techniques them to gauge pastime in the open job.

Consider lively candidates

In some cases, the headhunting group appears for lively job seekers in tandem with their passive candidate search. They may additionally put up the job to job boards or attend conferences or hiring gala’s to appear for certified possible applicants. They’ll ask these candidates for utility substances like resumes, cowl letters and reference lists to higher overview their qualifications.

Review and vet

Once the headhunting group has gathered a determination of candidates, they may work with the relaxation of the hiring group to evaluation and at first vet the group. At this stage, they will regularly slender the discipline to a few super candidates to proceed thru the headhunting and hiring process.

Interview and assess

For high-level government positions, candidates can frequently anticipate a collection of interviews with more than one agencies of business enterprise stakeholders. Following all the interviews, the hiring crew gathers to talk about who ought to acquire the position.

Extend job offer

After making a hiring decision, the employer extends a job provide and completes any negotiations as wished to finish the headhunting and hiring process.

How does the recruiting procedure work?

Recruiters regularly use a rather formulaic manner to discover and vet achievable candidates. These are the most frequent steps for recruiters:

Identify open positions

Recruiters commence the hiring manner by way of receiving a listing of open or new positions to fill. In many cases, the head of the enterprise or the HR branch shares this data with the recruiting team.

Create a job description

Once the recruiters be aware of which job or jobs they’re filling, they set up thorough job descriptions. They may meet with different personnel in the equal role, the direct supervisor of the open role or HR representatives to acquire the records they want to write clear and complete job descriptions. Usually, the job description consists of these elements:

  • Job title
  • Key job obligations and responsibilities
  • Necessary education
  • Necessary experience
  • Applicable skills
  • Steps for how to apply

Post on job boards

Most recruiters use the web as their important useful resource for recruiting doable candidates. Many use job boards, like Indeed, to share the small print of their open role or positions with these searching for employment.

Seek different applicant

Some recruiters interact in extra recruiting strategies to expand their brain search. They may attend job fairs, industry-specific conferences or networking events, or evaluate previous purposes for workable candidates.

Interview and assess

After gathering a pool of workable employees, the recruiting and hiring groups create a listing for interviews. In most cases, these candidates interview a single time. After the interviews, the recruiting and hiring groups talk about the candidates and make a hiring decision.

Extend job offer

The employer makes an employment provide to the chosen candidate. They enter into revenue negotiations and entire the recruiting and hiring system as soon as each events agree on a ultimate contract.

Leave a Comment