Headhunter vs. Recruiter: How They Differ

What is considered a headhunter?

Headhunter is a term for people who work in the human resource (HR) industry group specializing in hunting for gray matter, talent according to orders from customer companies or for their own company. Headhunt is also an ''outsourced HR department'' or ''senior recruiter'' hired by companies wishing to recruit to find candidates. Depending on the characteristics, strengths, and company structure, each Headhunt will focus on an in-depth segment of its own. A headhunter's workflow begins with a business manager or HR officer writing a job description and requirements for the candidate to look for. These usually include both hard skills, and soft skills and describe the types of personality types who will fit into their unit. In addition to the large and professional staff, what makes headhunt companies strong is the network and database. Headhunters always have their database of candidates along with market knowledge in the field of operations, when requested by customers, they will have to shape the minds of candidates corresponding to that position, making the customer support process fastest and most quality. As a result, headhunters always get a panoramic view of the personnel transition in the market and know exactly where they need to go to find the right people.

Who is the recruiter?

The recruiter will work directly for the company in the Human Resources Department, also known as the "internal personnel of the company". Recruiter understands all activities of businesses from products, organizational structure, work as well as working personnel in the company.

The difference between Headhunter and Recruiter?

We often confuse the concepts of headhunter and records and think they are one. The only common point of the recorder and headhunter is that they select candidates for the business. However, these two positions have a clear difference, the Recruiter will recruit all possible positions, while Headhunter will hunt for candidates for high-class positions. Normally, these positions are usually the first positions, management, CEO, director ... Instead of working for a company, headhunters will often be independent advisors for many different companies. At the same time, they will often be human resources recruiting experts in a certain field, such as IT, Finance - Banking, Engineering ... in each of their professional fields, experts There must be widespread networking networks so that they can find candidates suitable for high skilled positions.

Unlike headhunters, employers who directly work in the company will be responsible for other personnel, while third-party people just find the right talent for the position that the company requires. This will make their recruitment scope wider because they can hire experts in other fields. The recruiter will not have an overview like a headhunter. Recruiter's working environment is the company's internal so they will often pay little attention to other companies or companies operating in other fields. Therefore, it can be said that the current Data potential of a Recruiter is hard to compare with a headhunter. The simple reason is that candidates in a senior position when they quit their jobs or want to find a new job position will contact Headhunter, not to contact the Human Resources Department. One thing that a Recruiter will not achieve is the speed of searching for candidates. Due to some limitations such as data and networks, the Recruiter's processing and search speed is also much more limited than the headhunter.

Differentiate headhunter/recruiter





Activity by customer segmentation.

Activity based on company requirements


Select candidates according to requirements, do not make final decisions

Directly deal with salary and offer for candidates


Commission is revenue

Get a fixed salary


Large data and network system

Only work within the company


Form of operation: company or freelancer

Mode of operation: HR department of a specific company


Headhunter and Recruiter are both occupations that are receiving a lot of attention and acceptance today, each position has its own strengths and disadvantages. Hopefully, through the above article, we can distinguish two basic concepts in the Human Resources industry as well as find a suitable orientation for ourselves.


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