TARGETjobs black logo
Headhunting: area of work

Headhunting: area of work

In a graduate career as a headhunter you’ll aim to hire the best executives in the business.

Headhunting sounds pretty cut-throat, and in a sense it is – professionals in this area compete to find the best (typically senior) executives in their sector and then attract them to come and work for them instead. Most headhunters work for specialist agencies that are hired by large organisations when they have a specific high-level job to fill, or simply if they want to get a key player on board. But some of the very largest, and richest, organisations will have full-time headhunters. Headhunters are often most prevalent in the banking and finance, accountancy and legal sectors.

Headhunters require an in-depth knowledge of their chosen sector, and will need to have (or quickly establish) good contacts within that field. You'll be expected to travel at a moment's notice. Wooing your chosen ‘scalp’ in nice restaurants and informing them of the employment opportunities the company can offer is also part of the job. The best perk of the job, besides the occasional international travel, is the pay – headhunters are big earners. However, it is a hugely competitive field.

What's required

Typically you'll need to be educated at a degree level, but a proven successful background in sales and/or recruitment can be just as important. You'll need to be personable and charming, with a lot of commercial awareness, and have a love of networking. This area is all about your business knowledge and personality – the main numeracy skills needed will be to add up your pay packet at the end of the month.

Headhunting jobs can crop up on specialist sites, as well as in the more traditional HR press. Be aware headhunting roles come in many guises, so look out for roles advertised as, for example, ‘executive search consultant’ and similarly vague terms.

Supported by

This describes editorially independent and objective content, written and edited by the GTI content team, with which the organisation would like to be associated and has provided some funding in order to be so. Any external contributors featuring in the article are independent from the supporter organisation and contributions are in line with our non-advertorial policy.

Advertising feature by

This describes content that has been written and edited in close collaboration with the organisation, who has funded the feature; it is advertising. We are committed to upholding our ethical values of transparency and honesty when dealing with students and feel that this is the best way not to deceive consumers of our content. The content will be written by GTI editors, but the organisation will have had input into the messaging, provided knowledge and contributors and approved the content.

In Partnership

This content has been written or sourced by AGCAS, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, and edited by TARGETjobs as part of a content partnership. AGCAS provides impartial information and guidance resources for higher education student career development and graduate employment professionals.