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Headhunting Vs Recruitment

Headhunting vs Recruitment: What is the Difference?

Companies use different processes to find and recruit  employees depending on the position the company is trying to fill. Headhunting and recruiting are two processes that a company would follow to source the right fit. Understanding the differences and how each process follows a pattern would help one to understand the selection and hiring process for a career.

Let’s discuss head hunting and understand the main differences between this and recruiting candidates.

What is headhunting?

Headhunting is described as the process of finding the best possible candidate for a position within the organization. Few companies use this strategy to recruit executive positions, or the head roles of the company, such as chief executive officer. A headhunter is a professional recruiter who finds highly qualified individuals to fill up vacant roles through the recruitment process. They work along with agencies, consultancies and firms, when they need to hire for executive positions in a rapid time. A unique characteristic of this process is that once you hire a lead then they headhunt to form a team that they know of and understand what will be best suited for the job roles and mutually for the organization as well. It is a great method in finding professionals with the right qualifications and talents.

So now let us understand what is Recruiting –

Recruiting is a process organisations use to find candidates and fill open positions. Recruiters and human resource professionals under this process attend job fairs and make job posts online, to attract applicants. They review candidates who are seeking jobs or approach professionals who may want to make a change in their career prospective.

What purpose does headhunting and recruiting serve?

Headhunting and recruiting serve the purpose, as to employ a professional, executive or a resource in order to fill an open position with the best candidate. The approach to each of these processes differ in several ways, including: Headhunters search for the best person to fill the position. They may seek referrals from other high-level employees in the company or find candidates through their extensive network who once formed to be part of the organization will start sourcing the right team going forward. While recruiters typically only work with candidates who are looking for a new position. Recruiters typically post open job positions online and generally find candidates by attending career portals and forums or through consulting with others in their professional network.

Where does Head hunting or Recruiting fit right

To fill Senior executive positions, companies use headhunting because these roles often require higher qualifications and finding the best candidate requires more effort. For these reasons, it can be challenging to fill upper-level management or more specialised roles than it is to fill other company positions. It also has certain advantages where the risk in finding a right fit in organising a right team is mitigated since this person assembles his own team whilst knowing their strengths and weaknesses.

On the other hand, Recruiters can help find candidates to fill these executive positions, but most often, the recruiting process seeks to fill open positions at the mid and entry-levels of the company.

It typically costs an organisation more to headhunt than it would to recruit candidates for a job. This is because headhunting requires more investigative work to look at active and passive candidates, while the recruiting process involves looking at only active candidates.

Since headhunting is to fill high-level and specialized positions, this can also cost more than recruiting for entry and mid-level positions.

Choose that fit best for your requirements – Headhunting and recruitment are poles apart in their scope and functions, cost, purpose and feasibility. While headhunting is one where the right head for that particular function or department is hired and the hiring of the team members reporting directly to that position is handled having them as a part of the sourcing team, while recruitment is more functional in nature. The recruitment activity may be handled by a team of in-house recruiters or by professional recruiting firms, whereas headhunting needs the active involvement of directors, top team leads or managers who actively form their own team in the company, including the top management, as the job positions are more to do with the top level roles and is more dynamic.



A seasoned professional with more than 2 decades of experience in collectively working with various ministries of the Government and well networked amongst various Government departments and the officials in various sectors. With the urge to streamline processes for organisations founded Versutus management services Private Limited, an organisation growing tremendously in the fields of compliance and management services with its clientele across manufacturing, logistics, Warehousing, IT & ITES. The confidence and trust of their clientele speak volumes about "Versutus" under the leadership of "Ramji"

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