Who's Who in Recruiting? Learn the job search lingo. See below.
A Headhunter is an independent recruiter whose client is a company that’s searching for candidates for a certain job. Some Headhunters specialize in searches for high-level executives, while others specialize in specific professions or industries.
A Headhunter working for a “contingency fee” only gets paid by the client company when the search is completed and the candidate is hired by the company. There may be many Headhunters involved in the search for a candidate to fill that position, but only the Headhunter who finds the candidate that’s hired will be paid. A Headhunter working on “retainer” is usually the only Headhunter involved in the search and gets part of their payment from the client company at the beginning of the search. Contingency or retained fees may range from 25–50% of the hired candidate’s first annual salary. A Headhunter may recruit at job fairs but usually relies on other methods. It’s important to remember that the Headhunter is working for the company—not for the candidate.
A Recruiter works for the company that’s hiring, usually in the Human Resources office. He or she is responsible for identifying and recruiting candidates for certain positions within that company and receives a regular salary—though they may receive bonuses for filling positions, that’s not their only compensation. Recruiters often work at career/job fairs. Many Headhunters call themselves Recruiters, so it’s important to ask who they work for and how they’re compensated.
A Career Counselor helps their Client to assess their professional abilities, identify their career goals, and explore their career options. Counseling usually requires face-to-face interaction, and the work is directed internally at the Client. Counseling often involves several sessions, with the cost ranging from $50–$150 per hour. The Counselor may encourage and support the Client during his job search, but the Counselor doesn’t aid in the actual search.
A Career Coach helps their Client attain their career goals. Like a mentor, the Coach motivates and challenges the Client, urging them to action. Coaching focuses on the Client’s external goals and may require more time than counseling. The Coach helps the Client create an action plan to achieve their goals. Sometimes coaching doesn’t require personal interaction between the Coach and the Client and can be done by telephone or e-mail. While a Coach may ask their Client to sign a contract, they’re usually paid hourly, and may charge from $100 to $200 per hour.
The Coach may teach résumé writing and interview techniques, as well as other job search skills, but the Coach doesn’t usually aid in the actual search.