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The Difference Between Headhunters, Recruiters and Sourcers By Sabrina Baker, PHR Human Resource Consultant and Recruiter ...
The Difference Between Headhunters, Recruiters and Sourcers                                                               ...
The Difference Between Headhunters, Recruiters and Sourcers                                                               ...
The Difference Between Headhunters, Recruiters and Sourcers                                                               ...
The Difference Between Headhunters, Recruiters and Sourcers                                                               ...
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The Difference Between Headhunters, Recruiters and Sourcers

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Adapted from a presentation given to job seekers, this paper helps individuals distinguish between a headhunter, recruiter and sourcer - the three most commonly used terms in the recruiting industry.

Published in: Career, Business
  • Great...! a helpful notes for a job seekers, but a small mistake in sourcer heading "instead of how job seekers can work with a candidate sourcer you mentioned how job seekers can work with a recruiter"
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  • Its really helpful..... thanks
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The Difference Between Headhunters, Recruiters and Sourcers

  1. 1. The Difference Between Headhunters, Recruiters and Sourcers By Sabrina Baker, PHR Human Resource Consultant and Recruiter In the recruiting industry there are several terms used to describe an individual that works with companies to fill open positions. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the different types of roles and how job seekers can and should work with each of them. The different types of roles are:  Headhunter  Recruiter  Sourcer In addition to understanding the different types of roles used within the recruiting industry, it is also important to understand the different places that they work. This paper will define and clarify differences between in-house, third-party and agency recruiters. Please note that the definitions used in this paper are the traditionally held beliefs by those inside the industry. Due to the fact that these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, it is imperative that job seekers clarify the role the individual plays before developing a strategy on how to work with them. Headhunters Definition: A headhunter is an individual hired by a corporation to locate a suitable candidate with a certain skill set. The skill sets are often harder to find or require a certain background. How They Work: Headhunters are typically independent consultants or work within a recruiting agency. They are hired and paid by a company and may be working with and for multiple companies at any given time. They may specialize in a certain industry or field. For Acacia HR Solutions www.acaciahrsolutions.com
  2. 2. The Difference Between Headhunters, Recruiters and Sourcers 2example, an IT Headhunter would specialize in tracking and locating IT professionals.Headhunters are typically not involved in the recruiting process beyond the point oflocating the candidate. The name and resume of the candidate is passed on to the companywho then handles the recruitment process. Headhunters typically take a proactive,aggressive approach to finding suitable candidates by reaching out to individuals they feelare qualified directly. This means that working individuals may get calls from headhuntersbecause they came across their profile or heard of the good work they were doing at theircurrent company.How Job Seekers Can Work With a Headhunter:Job seekers can search for headhunters by location or industry and reach out directly.Many headhunters are willing to add your information to their database should they everhave a need arise that you would fill. Asking questions about the types of positions theheadhunter handles will help the job seeker determine if their skill set could potentially bea match sometime down the road. It is important for job seekers to understand thatheadhunters work for companies and not the job seeker. While there are a fewheadhunters who do proactively contact companies to see if they are interested in speakingto a specific job seeker even if that company has not contracted them to fill open roles, thisis not the norm. This is why understanding the headhunters typical process is essential forthe job seeker. RecruitersDefinition:A recruiter is an individual hired by a corporation to fill open positions within thecompany. The recruiter may be directly employed by the company (meaning they are onthe companys payroll and work only for that company) or they may be a third partyrecruiter. Third party recruiters may work independently within their own business orthey may work as part of a larger staffing agency.How They Work:While the definition between headhunters and recruiters is not that different, how theywork can be. Recruiters are typically more involved in the entire recruitment process.They manage advertising and job board placement. They pre-screen and help with ormanage the internal interview process. They also serve as the single point of contact forthe candidate throughout the process in most cases. Some recruiters seek out and locatethe most skilled candidate proactively, but others rely on job postings or a companysapplicant tracking system and let the candidates come to them. Recruiters are often filling Acacia HR Solutions www.acaciahrsolutions.com
  3. 3. The Difference Between Headhunters, Recruiters and Sourcers 3multiple roles at once. If they are in-house recruiters they may also have other humanresource related responsibilities outside of recruiting that demand their time and attention.If they are third party or agency recruiters, they may be filling multiple roles for multipleclients. Some recruiters (typically independent or third party) specialize in specific roleslike sales or legal while others are open to filling various types of roles.How Job Seekers Can Work With a Recruiter:For job seekers the way to work with recruiters is defined greatly by the type of recruiterthey are. In-house recruiters work differently than independent or third party recruiters.In-house recruiters prefer that job seekers utilize job boards or the companys careers pageto indicate interest in a position and submit a resume. Connecting with in-house recruitersvia social media channels such as Linkedin may be an option but it is important for the jobseeker to observe the recruiters habits first to determine if they are open to direct contact.Independent third party recruiters or those who work with an agency may be more open todirect connections from job seekers. Since their goal is to fill open positions quickly(because it is only then that they get paid) they keep a large active database of job seekers.Just like with headhunters, it is important for the job seeker to understand the recruiterprocess and positions they typically fill to see if that recruiter may be a good partner. Inthe end, recruiters also work for companies, not job seekers so keeping a resume on filemay be the best option they can offer until a position opens up. SourcerDefinition:A candidate sourcer is an individual who is tasked with finding a specific name, title and/orcontact information of a person.How They Work:A candidate sourcer or researcher as they are sometimes called, uses the internet andtraditional networking and cold calling methods to find a certain individual. The sourcermay work within a defined parameter such as finding the name of the VP of Sales for XYZCompany or they may simply be asked to come up with a list of names for the top salesindividuals in the country. Once the names and contact information are given, the sourcersjob is complete. They have little to no actual contact with the candidate and work solely togenerate a list of names or other pertinent information on specific individuals. Acacia HR Solutions www.acaciahrsolutions.com
  4. 4. The Difference Between Headhunters, Recruiters and Sourcers 4How Job Seekers Can Work With a Recruiter:It is very difficult for job seekers to work directly with a candidate sourcer. A sourcer istypically more private about who and what they are searching for and do not necessarilykeep adatabase of resumes. They are interested in names and contact information and arevery good at getting what they need without a lot of outside help. If a job seeker interactswith a sourcer online, they can certainly ask how the sourcer works, but shouldnt besurprised if there really is no way to insert themselves into the process. ConclusionSearching for a job is harder than ever in todays tough job market. Job seekers whounderstand the difference between these roles and how to work with them will have adistinct advantage over their competitors. As stated in the opening, due to the fact thatthese terms can sometimes be used interchangeably, job seekers may have to ask clarifyingquestions to understand exactly how the process works. Connecting to headhunters andrecruiters is an important part of any job search strategy, but connecting with them in theright way and working with them in a way that makes sense for both parties is essential. Acacia HR Solutions www.acaciahrsolutions.com
  5. 5. The Difference Between Headhunters, Recruiters and Sourcers 5Acacia HR Solutions is a Human Resource consultancy and recruiting firm offering serviceswhich span the full employee life cycle. Sabrina Baker, PHR, founded the firm afterexperiencing her own lay off in 2010. She brings over 12 years of experience in corporatehuman resources and recruiting. Spending time on both sides of the unemployment linehas made her very passionate about bridging the gap between job seekers and employerslooking for skilled talent.Acacia HR Solutions works on a corporate level with employers and an individual level withemployees (both current and potential). The main services Acacia HR Solutions offers arebroken out into three categories.RecruitmentOn a retained basis, Acacia HR Solutions used the most advanced techniques to find theright candidate for your open role. Acting as both headhunter and recruiter, Acacia HRSolutions takes a proactive approach to finding the best person for the job.Human Resource ConsultingWe work with small business that may not have a full time HR staff or with businesses thatneed to supplement the experience of their HR staff. Acacia HR Solutions specializes inleadership training and development, succession planning and international HR strategies.OutplacementEmployers who need to reduce their force and would like to offer employees help withtheir transition may contract us to help each employee with all aspects of the job searchprocess. Typically contracted in number of months, outplacement services can includeresume writing, strategy development, weekly coaching and interview preparation. Theseservices are also offered to individuals wishing to obtain help in their job search efforts.sabrina@acaciahrsolutions.com847.893.9756 Acacia HR Solutions www.acaciahrsolutions.com

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