headhunters vs recruiters

Headhunters vs. Recruiters: What’s the difference?

“Hi Mark, I hope you’re doing great! I am a recruitment headhunter from Asia Select Inc. I came across your profile here on LinkedIn and I wanted to know if you’re currently looking for new opportunities?”

If you receive such a message from a headhunter, you are actually in the enviable position of being pre-selected for a career opportunity!

Headhunters are specialized recruiters. They are known to locate, select, and place quality professionals in organizations. With hundreds of resumes and CVs they receive on a daily basis, they are well-equipped in spotting talents who best fit the client’s job vacancies.

You may have received a message and connected with a headhunter in the past or you are planning to collaborate with one as you plan your next career move. Either way, it is best to be equipped with knowledge about recruitment headhunters and how you can work productively with them.

What is headhunting in recruitment?

Headhunting is a “proactive recruitment process wherein specialized recruiters target passive candidates, explain the client business in a brief, have a personal discussion, and convince them to become open-minded for a career change,” as defined by Asia Select Sr. Headhunter and Team Leader Cess Rañola.

Recruitment headhunters are the skilled third-party recruiters and talent scouts who are always on the lookout for top and quality job candidates to be placed in client companies. Working with headhunters is free of charge, and in fact, it can be beneficial for professionals like you.

The differences between headhunters and company HR recruiters

In the field of human resources, there is a saying that goes, “All headhunters are recruiters, but not all recruiters are headhunters.” Professionals who have worked with recruitment headhunters in past would have an idea how different they are from company recruiters. To give you a better view, here are the differences and similarities of both HR professionals:


Why partner with a headhunter in your job search or career advancement

Working with a headhunter in your career will give you the upper hand in successfully landing on job roles you have always dreamed of getting. Here are the top 6 reasons why working with a recruitment headhunter will help you in your job search or career advancement in the Philippines:


1. Thorough communication during the hiring process

As soon as a headhunter matches your profile to an available career opportunity, he or she will be with you all throughout the recruitment process. Top-notch headhunters are knowledgeable of the client company’s culture, therefore they can share job interview tips and even conduct mock interviews with you prior to the scheduled job interview with the Hiring Manager.


2. Negotiate your salary and benefits for you

Even though some professionals know how to work out their asking salary and benefits, some are hesitant to negotiate because they are not sure how to. While headhunters can provide you a ballpark figure of what you can expect, they can also negotiate your asking salary and benefits with the client company on your behalf.


3. Spend less time checking all jobs from different companies

Allotting your time in applying via company websites and job boards can be tedious and time-consuming. It can also be disheartening especially if you do not receive any updates on whether you are qualified for the role or not. Headhunters can help you avoid the tedious job application experience by checking all the available career opportunities on-hand, and review your profile if you are the right fit for the job vacancy.


4. Access to unpublished or confidential jobs

Not all jobs are publicly posted on company websites and job boards. Some jobs are tagged as confidential due to the sensitivities of the role. Headhunters may be hired by the organization to find a quality job candidate who best fits the role.


5. More opportunities are in store for you

If an opportunity does not work out for you, there are more jobs from other companies that can match your experience and expertise. Headhunters can connect you with these roles given the list of available jobs and connections they have.

How to work with Philippine recruitment headhunters

Before you reach out to them on your next career move, ensure that you have updated your resume or CV to make a good first impression. Crafting a quality resume or informational CV will help them further understand your professional journey. In turn, they give time and effort in guiding you towards your career goals.

To begin your collaboration or partnership with a headhunter, here are four things to keep in mind:


1. Consider the headhunters who specialize in your field

Not every headhunter fills every type of job. Most of them specialize in specific industries and job functions. Connecting with career experts in your job function will likely yield a more productive relationship.


2. Make yourself easy to find online

It is highly advisable that you make yourself visible to headhunters so they know a talented gem, like you, exists. You can increase your visibility online by writing articles, sharing your expertise through webinars, updating your LinkedIn profile and posting content, or by creating your portfolio site.


3. Trust your headhunter

With the experience and industry knowledge a recruitment headhunter has, collaborating with them requires you to have an open mind especially with the insights and career advice they will be imparting. Remember, headhunters are there to guide you not only during the hiring process but all throughout your career journey.


4. Maintain a positive relationship

You will never know when a better opportunity for you is available unless you regularly check every company’s job vacancies. Having a good relationship with headhunters bounds to endless support and job openings that will help you climb the career ladder, so make sure you keep in touch with them from time to time.

Headhunters are strong allies in your career progression. They are also career consultants who possess specific industry knowledge that help in your career growth and succession. Their ability to analyze job profiles and identify skills give them leverage in giving you relevant career advice.

So, if you’re ready for your next career move, connect with trustworthy and credible headhunters today.


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