Understanding the Role of an IT Headhunter


In the employment market, there are a few common terms that one will often hear flying around. One of these is “headhunter”. Others include recruiter, hiring manger and hiring agency. All these terms have one common denominator in that they are all aimed at one thing and that is filling a position.

Though they are all working towards the same goal, they do not exactly mean the same thing. There are a few differences that set each apart from the other. For the purpose of this article we will focus solely on the headhunter.

Who is a Headhunter?

We’ve already noted above that headhunters, recruiters and hiring agencies play the same general role which is to help an organization fill a role. There are however two major points that distinguishes a headhunter from the rest.

The first is that they do not work for the organization that needs to have a position filled. They will either work on their own or for a hiring agency. Secondly, they are also only called in for senior level or very critical positions. You are not likely going to find a headhunter being called in for a low to mid-level job opening.

Their task is focused on finding a specific fit for a role. Usually, they will only get paid when the role is filled. This usually means they will turn every stone to find that right fit. This may include sourcing for the right candidate from competitor companies or even overseas.

This is like calling in the special forces of recruitment.

Benefits of Working with an IT Headhunter

With our focus on IT, there are distinct benefits that an IT focused headhunter can bring to the table. These benefits are two-way so we will look at them from each perspective.

For the organization looking for an IT specialist, an IT headhunter will make it easier for them to have access to top experts. The reason for this is simply the aggressiveness with which they go about their task. Hunters generally go for their prey which is why the name is very apt for what they do.

Since they are in a specialized industry, they make it their business to keep in touch with the best, knowing what is happening and who is where. Once an opening arises, it will simply be a question of reaching within their network to see who is open to take on the position.

The organization is therefore able to take advantage of their network of experts that they have cultivated over the years from individuals to other companies that have years of experience and unique approaches. This most certainly cuts down the time it takes to fill these sensitive positions. If you have specifications, your headhunter will be able to find a suitable candidate, but remember they are experts in this and will know what the best result is for you. They may suggest that actually you would be better off hiring the services of an IT support company instead of just one person. They can guarantee how good they are and why you need to consider them. Without their advice and help, you may go the wrong route.

For the IT expert, a lot of the high-end jobs that they will love to take on are not widely advertised. Some are not even advertised at all. If they’ve been in touch with an IT headhunter, they are automatically brought into the loop regarding the pulse of the top echelons of IT hiring.

This means they can compete favorably at the highest levels where the big boys play. It is therefore a win-win situation for both the organizations and the IT experts.

Choosing a Headhunter to work with

Choosing a headhunter to work with requires that you first assess two major factors. These are track record and industry.


If you are in the IT industry and you are working with an expert at headhunting for business managers, you can be sure that you will never get the job of your dreams. Make sure you work with someone in your industry to ensure you get the job offers you want to get. This is the very first thing you should consider.

Track Record

Next, you should look at the track record of the person you are considering. Headhunting requires a solid network of employers and applicants. As a company and as applicants, you need to know what placements s/he has facilitated in the past.

You can easily measure how successful a headhunter is by looking at the profile of the roles s/he has helped fill. The higher the profile of the roles, the more you can trust his or her ability to link you to top professionals as an employer or top positions as an applicant.

So, on whichever side of the divide you are, with the right connection, you can get the right role or get the role filled with the right candidate. It boils down to who’s hunting for you.

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About the Author: Ranjit Ranjan

More than 15 years of experience in web development projects in countries such as US, UK and India. Blogger by passion and SEO expert by profession.

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