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Head Hunter vs. Recruiter

In your job search, you may have thought of working with a staffing firm, temp agency or even a head hunter. When someone asks me what I do for a living, I explain and then often get the response, “Oh, so you’re a head hunter.” Well, no, actually I’m not. When polling around our office, all of our recruiters agree that our job is very different from that of a head hunter. Still, there are benefits to working with both in your job search but there are distinct differences. Check out this site for additional information.

Head Hunters are solely working for you. Typically, the opportunities they have are strictly direct hire and rarely contracts. They may know of jobs/openings that are not posted on job boards which will give you a leg up in your job search. However, since they’re not also working for the customer, they are less interested in finding “the right fit.” Part of this may be based on the fact that, typically, they are on a retainer and get paid commission regardless making them less inclined to go that extra mile to find your next employment opportunity.

Recruiters, on the other hand, are working for both the candidate and the customer. We tend to have inside relationships with customers/hiring managers which can give us an edge against competitors. We are able to get the “inside scoop” from managers. This allows us to make sure the opportunities we’re presenting to candidates are exactly what they’re looking for. Also, we’re in the business of making relationships . If we place you somewhere and your contract ends or it’s not the right fit, we are right there with you to find the next opportunity. It’s commonplace to have candidates following up saying, “Hey, we’ve worked together in the past and I’m in the market again. What jobs do you have available?” That is music to our ears. We love repeat customers. It means we’re doing our job and doing it well.


Ryan Campbell
Associate Recruiter
Author of Spicy Richmond