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Employment Services – Executive Recruiter (Headhunter)

An executive recruiter for an employment service often goes by the name of a headhunter. These individuals recruit high level executives or business managers and other specialized professionals to fill vacancies for clients, or find current employees that are looking for specialized careers in other places. The key roll of the executive recruiter is to find the right job opportunity for the right person and be able to make the match. Most headhunters or executive recruiters focus on working with one of a few different types of professionals rather than trying to represent all the possible careers. This means that they can specialize and focus on the skill sets needed for these careers and can also make contacts with the appropriate companies.

Executive recruiters get a fee for matching professionals with jobs. This fee depends on the salary and the understanding between the headhunter and the company or professional. Sometimes a company will contract with a headhunter to find a specific individual for a job which means the executive recruiter must do some research and must contact all potential candidates to see if they would be interested in leaving their current employer to work for someone new. This involves both negotiation skills and an ability to work with individuals in sometimes stressful and emotional decisions.

Executive recruiters spend a great deal of time in talking with current clients and expanding their contacts in business organizations. Many executive recruiters work for larger agencies that are national or even international whereas others work as self-employed individuals. Maintaining accurate information on companies, professionals and other market factors usually involves managing databases, spreadsheets and keeping in contact with others by email and phone.

Common work activities include:

  • Networking with human resource managers, employers and companies to find out what professionals they are looking for.
  • Contacting and meeting with potential candidates for open positions or meet with employees that want to find a new position.
  • Entering into contracts with both companies and private individuals to match jobs with employees or employees with jobs based on specific criteria.
  • Monitoring market trends, business economies and even companies that are closing or opening.
  • Establishing databases or other information systems that provide immediate job market information from a business as well as an employee perspective.

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