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4 Common Questions About Headhunting


Were you laid off recently and now you’re searching for another job to pay the bills? Or maybe you are sick of your current day job and dream of pursuing a career in a different field? If so, headhunting is a great solution for people who want some assistance with their job search. They are independent, third-party recruiters who match job candidates with available positions that match the person’s skills. Headhunters typically have a vast network of connections and know about many private or unlisted job opportunities. Here are some four common questions we receive about the headhunting process what job seekers should know.

1. Are Headhunters More Loyal to Employers or Job Candidates?

While headhunters are contractually obligated to perform a candidate search for an employer, they must also look out for the job candidate’s interests. After all, their reputation will suffer if they are irresponsible and try to place a worker in a position that does not suit their skills. Their duty is to find the best candidate for the employer.

2. How are Headhunters Paid For Their Work?

Headhunters are usually compensated with a percentage of the job candidate’s first year salary. Depending on the agreement, some headhunters earn 25-33% percentage of the job candidate’s starting salary. They may also be able to earn extra money of the person earns bonuses during the year. This is why it is in the best interest of headhunters to place a highly qualified job candidate that can command a higher salary.

3. What is the Difference Between Retained and Contingent Headhunters?

There are two different types of headhunters: retained and contingent. A retained headhunter is someone who only focuses on recruiting workers who are at the top of their field. This could be C-level and other senior level executives. They charge a retainer upfront and typically have an exclusive agreement with the employer, meaning they won’t go to another headhunting firm to find candidates. Meanwhile, contingent headhunters receive compensation only when they successfully find someone to fill the open position.

4. Should I Tell Headhunters My Salary History and Other Personal Information?

Trust is important in business, and it’s especially important when you are thinking about working with a headhunter. You should only agree to work with one after you’ve talked with them and understand what skills and traits they are looking for in a job candidate. You should also feel comfortable sharing your salary and other personal information. If you don’t feel comfortable or don’t get the feeling you can trust them, move on to another company. It’s important to only work with a headhunter you can trust. They will be advocating on your behalf to employers.

Headhunters may ask about your salary history during the job placing process. Although you may be hesitant to disclose your salary history at first, it can definitely benefit your situation later. Headhunters are extremely motivated to help you get the highest starting salary since they will take a percentage of the money you earn during the first year on the job. A talented headhunter can use your salary history as leverage when talking with employers to negotiate a higher salary. You can also ask the headhunter not to disclose your information with anyone else without your permission.

If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us today to learn more about headhunting. We can happily discuss the headhunting process and patiently answer your questions during a consultation. At Boutique Recruiting, we specialize in developing meaningful connections with both employers and job seekers. We specialize in placing skilled finance, accounting and administrative professionals throughout Southern California.