Head hunting firms are involved in employment recruitment on behalf of an employer. They are often tasked with finding individuals with specific skills and talents that meet specific requirements for a given role.

Headhunters in these firms are sometimes referred to as executive recruiters and their function as executive search. Many firms in this business maintain a database of candidates for specific roles but may also act aggressively to find potential employees by canvassing competitors’ employees and asking whether they are would consider moving to a new company. Employers use these firms when they urgently need to fill a position or where it is difficult to find suitably qualified candidates.

Headhunters are usually remunerated on a contingency basis where they are only paid if they successfully place a candidate in a role – their fee is usually between 20% and 30% of the new employee’s first year salary.