Recruiting Agency vs. Headhunter or Executive Search Firm

Tue, June 11, 2019 08:58 PM Comment(s) By Personity

Luckily for you – a specialist on marketing, finance, retail, human resources, IT, banking, sales, logistics, etc. – we also have areas of expertise in the executive search industry, as it is not the same to recruit an entry level position than an executive one.

Companies often need help to recruit a huge variety of positions. They will call a recruitment agency and demand for immediate assistance. Although this is what everyone would think is the right way to go, I would like to emphasize the difference between a “Recruiting Agency” and a “Headhunter” or “Executive Search Firm”.




High demand and standard jobs

Difficult and unusual positions

Ideal for positions that do not require specific skills or expertise

Ideal for positions that require specific skills and expertise

Candidates will apply to a job posting

 Look for candidates that have not applied to a job post

They use data bases such as Indeed, Simply Hired, Monster, etc.

They use their own databases and such as LinkedIn

They will contact candidates from a database fill out by the candidate

They will contact candidates in specific sources and through recommendations

Technical Interviews will be made

Competencies Interviews will be made

Looking for Entry level positions or Tradespeople

Looking for Managers and Executives

They will usually look for unemployed candidates

They will usually look for employed candidates

They will look through technical characteristics and responsibilities in your Resume

They will look through your sound achievements and the paths you took to get there in your Resume

They might apply Psychometric tests and/or knowledge exams

They might apply an Assessment and/or A Daily Case Presentation

They will send the final candidates within 3 to 5 labor days

They will send the final candidates within 3 to 5 weeks

They might apply socioeconomic studies

They will call former bosses for recommendations

If you are a SME’s (Small to Medium Enterprise) you might consider the fees for headhunters to be high for a given budget. Your executive positions are most likely, not compensated as high as compared to those in a multinational corporation. Therefore, a Recruiting Agency in many cases will be the expert in those positions.


For the MNC’s (Multi National Corp), considering recruiting agencies and headhunters would suit you better, this will give you the opportunity to have a specialized search according to the position you need to hire.


It is very important for you as a Candidate to know the difference between this two recruiting industries in order to have your Resume up-to-date in the correct databases. But remember, neither one of them works for the candidate; they both focus on the company who is the customer. They will receive your resume, but they will not follow up with you.


Don’t get fooled! There are companies that will sell expertise in every area and level; now you have the tools to make the right questions to identify if it is a Recruiting Agency or a Headhunter/Executive Search.

Good Luck!

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