Executive recruiters are professionals who are hired by firms to locate top talent to fill open positions within their organizations. Executive recruiters may work in-house or be part of an outside recruiting agency hired by the firm. Executive recruiters specialize in industry specific job openings typically at the top end of the organizational spectrum. They are also commonly referred to as headhunters, executive headhunters, and recruiting consultants. Executive headhunters are generally very knowledgeable about the entire hiring process and work with their clients to find the best qualified applicants based upon the needs of the job and organization.
Executive recruiters generally have an extensive list of contacts they leverage to find qualified applicants. They generally have longstanding relationships with the clients that the work with. Many organizations use the services of executive headhunters to find applicants because they do not have the time or expertise. The headhunter is able to utilize their contacts, industry knowledge, client relationship, and hiring expertise to present the best possible candidates for the job opening.
Executive recruiters are paid in a variety of ways. Some recruiters are paid solely for the search process of finding a qualified list of applicants. Other recruiters are paid in installments based upon where at in the process of recruitment they are. For example, a recruiter may be paid 1/3 of their fee for developing an applicant pool, 1/3 for presenting the best applicants to the client, and 1/3 when the position is filled.
Individuals interested in becoming a recruiter should pursue post secondary education at least through the bachelor degree level. Common majors for recruiters include business, communications, and management. Many come from a background in sales. Recruiters must be very strong individual and group communicators who are willing to work independently without a lot of day to day guidance. Headhunters are typically very goal oriented, have a strong work ethic, and are not afraid to work on a commission type basis.
Recruiting positions are available in many private and public industries including government, education, and private business. The job outlook for recruiters is expected to be average through 2018 according to economists at the Bureau of labor Statistics. Job salary varies greatly according to industry, experience, education level, employer, and geographic location. The average recruiter earns approximately $60, 000 a year. Top recruiters who fill executive level positions with Fortune 500 firms earn well into the six-figure salary range.