3 Main Differences Between a Headhunter Company and a Recruiter

Some people might not be familiar with a headhunter company. Is it different from a recruiter? Both are working to find the right candidate for a job, but both can be completely different at the same time.

Employment Status

To understand the difference between a headhunter company and a recruiter company, we need to see the employment status first. A recruiter is usually employed by the hiring company. It means that you will hire a recruiter in the HR department of your company. The recruiter from the HR department will post the job and conduct interviews. The candidates will be narrowed down then. Last but not least, the recruiter will hire the best candidate for the position.

Meanwhile, you will not hire an in-house headhunter at all because the payment will be based on a contingency basis. The headhunter will be paid once your company hires the best candidates. Instead of getting involved completely in the hiring process, a headhunter will deliver the top talent, instead.


The scope will be different, as well, between both. The headhunter company usually will have a specialization in a specific field or area. The recruiter will be more general across the available positions in your company. You might want to hire a headhunter to help you find the best candidates for an industry professional in a specific subject or role. On the other hand, you hire a recruiter because you want to have someone who can fill any position from a part-time job position to a full-time one from different departments.

Urgency Level

You might also need to involve different considerations for using a headhunter or a recruiter based on the urgency level. Anytime your company has an urgent need to fill a vacant position, using a headhunter will be an ideal choice. It means that the headhunter will also be perfect when your company does not have the time or ability to do a candidate search that can be very exhausting. The interview process with so many different candidates can be tough but you can skip this hard process by using a headhunter.

It will be completely different from a recruiter who will always have more time since he or she is part of your company’s staff. They will have enough time to process many applicants and resumes. Of course, the recruiter will also involve in the interview process for the narrowed down candidates from start to finish. The headhunter company will not have more time at its disposal, after all.

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