What role will executive recruiters play in my job search?


Executive recruiters work for recruiting search firms that are hired by employers to help the company’s internal human resources department fill specific job vacancies where the employer has struggled to find qualified candidates.

Executive recruiters are tasked with sourcing candidates that meet their client’s detailed requirements. Executive recruiters are nicknamed ‘headhunters’ because they are actively seeking or hunting for the ideal candidates for the client companies they represent.

In the past, executive recruiters were strictly used for senior-level positions, which is why they were called “executive” recruiters.  Although the term “executive recruiter” is still used for recruiters in search firms, these recruiters are now used to fill positions at all levels within an organization, not just the executive-level.

There are two types of executive recruiters – contingency-based recruiters and retained recruiters.

Contingency-based executive recruiters only get paid by an employer when they successfully place a candidate with an employer.

Retained recruiters are paid on an assignment basis, but to maintain a long-term relationship with a client they also need to produce results.

Both types of recruiters are constantly on the lookout for candidates who will make a strong impression with their clients.

Although you will want to include working with executive recruiters in your job search, you shouldn’t rely on an executive recruiter to find you a job, since that isn’t their responsibility.

Executive recruiters spend their time finding candidates to fill job vacancies, not finding a job for a job seeker. The client they serve is not you, but rather the company that pays their fees.

Once you understand the role executive recruiters play, you can use them as an avenue for finding job opportunities, but they can’t be relied upon as your sole resource for job opportunities. Headhunters work for who pays them – employers. You are the one who is ultimately responsible for your job search.

Addition Job Search Resources

Executive Recruiter Cover Letter Example

The Ideal Candidate for an Executive Recruiter

How to Be Successful with Executive Recruiters

How to Build a List of Executive Recruiters to Contact


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