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How to Find a Headhunter or Recruiter to Land Your Dream Candidate Quickly

The best talent is out there but finding them continues to be challenging for most employers. You see, a single job post can generate hundreds or even millions of applications, which you need to review and find the best talent. This procedure can be overwhelming for organizations, considering that other essential business matters require attention. For this reason, many employers are partnering with recruiters or headhunters to handle the recruitment process. However, how do they identify the best that streamline the hiring process and find top candidates fast? Keep reading for this and more. 

How do Headhunters Work?

You must be wondering what’s the difference between a recruiter and a headhunter. Well, both recruiters and headhunters work with staffing agencies or organizations to find suitable talent for various positions. The main difference between the two is that while recruiters manage all the hiring procedures, from writing job descriptions to sourcing job seekers, headhunters only approach passive candidates who are already employed. However, headhunters still need to identify your business requirements to identify suitable talent.

The best headhunters should have excellent communication and marketing skills to convince a potential candidate to accept a job invite and apply. On top of that, headhunters get paid on contingency, meaning that a candidate must be fully placed to receive compensation. This makes them work hard to find the right talent for their clients. Simply put, headhunters are the go-to personnel when searching for hard-to-find candidates. 

How to Find a Headhunter or Recruiter

The best recruiter or headhunter is challenging to find. Business owners must consider individuals with the right knowledge, skills, and extensive experience in the jobs they are recruiting for. If they are flexible enough to work with your internal recruiters, that’s a bonus. However, how do you find a recruiter or headhunter right for your business needs? Take a look below. 

1. Social Media

Most headhunters have subscribed to different social media platforms to market themselves. By just typing “headhunters required,” you will get positive feedback from qualified recruiters who need the job. Social Media can also give a direct link to recruiting agencies that can deliver quality services.

2. Use a Directory

There are plenty of online directories to help you identify the best recruiter or headhunter. The best element about online directories is that you can find the best candidate based on geographical region or industry. In addition, most of these websites connect you to recruiters free of charge. Good examples of such platforms include Online Recruiters Directory, HR LineUp, and Recruiters LineUp. 

3. Contact Recruiting Companies

Another option to find the best candidate for the recruiter post, especially if it’s urgent, is by inquiring from recruiting companies. Such recruiters can speed up your hiring process by hosting interviews and assessing the candidates. However, you just don’t pick any recruiter. Instead, select one who is knowledgeable about your company’s specialties. 

4. Use Your Networks

The more you stay in business, the more your networking circle grows. In this regard, do not overlook business associates since you never know who has the right connections. You can ask someone who knows an excellent recruiter to introduce you to them since their work has been tested before. However, ensure the recruiter can deliver according to your company’s requirements.

5. Google Search

Google can be an excellent platform for finding qualified recruiters since it’s fast and efficient. Apart from that, it gives links on how to connect with a job recruiter. Through Google, you can search on niche job boards that strictly convey candidates directly linked to your area of specialty. This saves time lost in interviews and sometimes training the headhunters.

How to Identify a Good Recruiter or Headhunter

Let’s now get into how to choose a recruiter or headhunter that will find the best candidate for your vacant position. You see, finding a recruiter or headhunter might be one thing, but how sure are you that they are the best in the market? Below, we list some of the elements you must consider in a recruiter before partnering with them. 

Success Reviews

It is essential that you review other employers’ ratings and comments regarding headhunters’ and recruiters’ performances. Their success rate will determine their potential to deliver the best talent. The last thing you want is to spend your money on incompetent individuals and hire unsuitable candidates. 

Good Communication Skills

As mentioned earlier, the best headhunter or recruiter must possess excellent communication skills. They should create a good rapport with both colleagues and candidates during and after the recruiting process. A good communication skill markets a recruiter since it promotes high levels of understanding and improves the chances of finding the best talent.

Strong Networking

Whether you are looking for a recruiter or headhunter, ensure they have well-established networks and connections. This also means that they need extensive work experience within the field you are recruiting. With such headhunters, you are guaranteed top talent that will also complement your business culture.

Marketing Skills

To find the best talent, a recruiter or headhunter must convince potential candidates why working for your organization is the best option. This means that the recruiters must possess marketing skills since they will also be your company’s brand ambassadors. Without this skill, luring the best talent to your company will be an uphill climb. 

Critical Thinking

The ability to think critically boost the chances of making better decisions. It ensures that decisions are made based on facts presented in the data collected from candidates.

How Much Does a Headhunter Cost?

We mentioned earlier that headhunters are paid on a contingency basis, meaning that all payments are made once the job is done and a candidate is successfully placed. However, note that headhunters’ payments are also made on a retained basis whereby they get paid in installments. For instance, if you are paying a headhunter 30% of a candidate’s first year’s salary. In this case, you will pay 10% when they begin their search, another 10% while shortlisting candidates, and the final 10% once a candidate is hired. All in all, headhunters receive payment on a commission basis, ranging from 20% to 30% of a new hire’s first year’s salary. 


It’s a no-brainer that the best recruiters or headhunters are not easy to come by. Therefore, once you meet one and hire quality talent, do not lose your connection with them since you may require their services in the future. You can also refer your fellow employers to them, thus boosting excellent relationships with the surrounding community. Note that recruiters and headhunters differ based on their roles in the recruitment field. Therefore, identify your hiring needs and decide whether you want to work with a recruiter or a headhunter.

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executive search firms, headhunters, staffing firms and other recruiting services.