Definition: The act of using a personnel firm to locate potential candidates to fill open senior-level management or other critical positions in your company .
Looking to fill an important position but dreading the hassle of hunting for candidates? Executive recruitment firms, also known as "headhunters" or search firms, can find qualified professional, managerial or technical candidates for you. Hiring a headhunter relieves you of the time-consuming distraction of sifting through candidates, often at a considerable distance, while other work goes begging. It also gives you a contact who may already potential candidates for your available position.
Headhunters are not without problems, however; cost is the main one. Some work on a retainer basis, charging a fixed fee in advance for filling the position; others are paid a contingency fee when a successful hire is made. Many firms charge a percentage of the employee's first-year salary. Be warned, however: If you're looking to fill an executive level position, depending on your location, the type of manager you need and the time required to find candidates, a successful search could cost between $50,000 and $100,000.