Sales Headhunters vs. Recruiters

Despite their vaguely sinister name, sales headhunters can be pretty useful to have around. One of the most difficult parts of running a successful sales campaign is maintaining consistent headcount.  Finding enough sales reps with appropriate qualifications can be an overwhelming job to give to sales managers already tasked with training and managing a sales team. Sales headhunters can lighten the load by providing managers with well-screened candidates for sales positions.

And companies aren't the only ones who can benefit from sales headhunters. For a sales rep, cultivating good relationships with several different sales headhunters can open up both immediate and future employment opportunities.

What Is a Sales Headhunter?

Sales Headhunters are independent professionals tasked by a company with filling a specific open sales position in that company. They do the work of sifting through resumes and then present a number of candidates for the position to the company. Sales headhunters are typically working for several companies simultaneously, which sometimes creates a conflict of interest when the positions being sought are similar. If your headhunter consistently produces mediocre candidates, you probably want to find a new headhunter, since the good candidates may be going to a competitor.

Many headhunters focus on a specific industry or type of position, such as IT sales. If you are a job-seeker, a headhunter will often give you specific advice on how to present yourself to the hiring company. However, job-seekers should keep in mind that the headhunter is working for the company, and is looking for candidates for the position, not a position for the candidate. If headhunters are a major strategy for your job hunt, be sure to form relationships with several to give yourself a better chance of being recommended.

How Are Sales Headhunters Different from Recruiters?

The main difference between sales headhunters and recruiters is that headhunters focus on simply finding candidates, while recruiters are typically more involved in the entire recruitment process, from posting ads to setting interview appointments and following up on job candidates.

While sales headhunters are always independent, many companies maintain an internal sales recruiting department to handle the high-volume recruiting requirements of ongoing sales initiatives. If your company does not have a recruiting department and you need more help than a headhunter can provide, you might want to consider hiring a recruiting or sales outsourcing firm, which can provide you with a steady stream of well-qualified sales reps. 

Chris GinnaneComment