Executive Search or Headhunting

Executive Search and / or Headhunting?

I have noticed that the term “Executive Search” still puzzles people, while “Headhunting” sounds more understandable and meaningful. Personally I prefer the term “Executive Search” for our business, therefore I would like to herewith briefly clarify these terms.

Full image | Copyright / Artist: Daniel Balanescu

Executive Search is a recruitment method that refers to:

  • The direct search of candidates for top management and first line management (NO advertising, NO database)
  • The existence of a Research department/function which is in charge of drafting assignment-specific target lists of companies where appropriate candidates could be working at present; drafting target lists of positions within those companies – identifying possible target positions, identifying individuals holding that positions; directly approaching identified individuals
  • Presenting job opportunities to managers who are most probably NOT in an active job-search at present
  • A retained fee service – Executive Search companies are NOT working on contingency / on success

The term Headhunting describes the same as above, you can view it as a synonymous for Executive Search. Let’s say it is a more popular and show-off word to describe Executive Search. This is the reason why many Executive Search consultants dislike being called headhunters. They feel like you would call them “matchmakers”.

Please feel free to ask any questions on the above or add your related comments!

Posted in Truth and tagged , , .

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