What to Look for When Hiring a Headhunter

By   |   December 20th, 2016   |   0 Comments

hiring a headhunterOnce you have determined that you need the help of a headhunter to fill a critical role, you may find yourself deliberating how to find the right one. You obviously want the recruiter you select to have an upper hand over your competition in finding the right candidate for your role. So you may wonder what important qualities should a recruiter possess, what reputation they should have, or what questions to ask them.


Trusted peers within your industry can recommend headhunters they have worked with, and you can easily find a list of them by conducting an internet search. Most headhunters have websites that tell about their process for finding and screening talent, but each is unique in some way and their techniques and philosophies on discovering and assessing candidates is most important. Have a conversation with them – by phone, but preferably in person – to learn the following:



What to Look for When Hiring a Headhunter


  • Knowledge – How long have they been in the business? Are they familiar with your industry? Do they have experience recruiting for a similar role as yours? Do they mention key players within the industry and know your competition?
  • Timeframe – How many staff members will be working to fill your role? What is a typical timeframe from start to finish?
  • Process – What is their process? How do they source candidates? What does their screening process entail? How many viable candidates do they expect to present to you? How often will you get progress updates from them? Will they stay involved in the process through salary negotiations and final offer acceptance?
  • Policies – What is their policy for replacement or refund if a candidate they place does not work out? What is their policy on recruiting out of your organization? What requirements do they ask of you?
  • Reputation – What do they state is their reputation in the industry? Do their claims resonate with the knowledge you have gained about them so far?
  • Referrals – Who are some of the companies they have assisted recently? Would any of them be willing to speak with you to make a recommendation?
  • Inquiries – Are they asking you the right questions? Do they want to know your internal procedure for hiring? Do they seek to get to know your company and fully understand the role? Are they truly listening?


The best headhunters already have a pipeline of strong talent and are constantly working to build it. They should be able to submit to you the very best, most closely-matched candidates for your role, which typically means that you are only presented with 3-5 candidates. Headhunters have the uncanny knack to weed out job hoppers and find the best passive job seekers. The recruitment process should be highly efficient and keep hiring managers from getting bogged down – frequently making the cost of the hire less than typical.


Are you searching for a reputable headhunter that specializes in agriculture? Click here to view AgCareers.com’s list of Recruiter partners.

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