Is Outplacement the same as recruitment or headhunting?


Recruitment Agencies find jobs for individuals who are looking for a job (known as ‘active job seekers’). This is mostly done by advertising their clients vacancies on their own website, in the press and on various job boards. They then choose the most suitable candidates from the interested respondents. 

The roles tend to be more mainstream, supporting the needs of the mass market.

Headhunters or Search Firms work in a more direct, yet discreet way. They fill client vacancies through research, networking and recommendations, in order to identify who the best people in the market are for that particular role.

The roles tend to be very senior and complex – not mainstream. 

Headhunters don’t advertise, but instead approach selected individuals directly.  These executives are not usually looking to change roles (known as ‘passive job seekers’) but sometimes the right opportunity, at the right time, handled in the right way, makes sense.

So whereas Recruitment Agencies work with job seekers for mainstream roles, Headhunters tend to place Board, Director and EXCO level roles; targeting by reputation and specific skills match. The question of availability is a secondary concern.

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