Headhunting is also sometimes referred to as 'Search' or 'Executive Search'. If you have a senior or potentially sensitive vacancy or it's likely that your ideal candidate is currently employed and may not actively be looking for change, then this is probably the route for you.
In headhunting, specific industry knowledge of a client's target market is far more important than in traditional recruitment and as such, search consultants are much more likely to specialise in one industry sector or sub-sector.
Headhunting generally requires a far greater investment in time than traditional recruitment. It typically starts with the consultant spending time understanding your requirements in detail, including your company culture, likely candidate attributes and experience, specific information about the role and your potential competitors.
Search consultants will use several proactive methods to find the most suitable candidates and may well have access to people whose careers they have 'tracked', giving them very detailed knowledge of a candidate's specific skills and career aspirations.
Search consultancies usually require a percentage of the fee to be paid up front, a second payment at shortlist stage and the final payment on successful placement.