8 Facts about Headhunters Fees (and who pays them)

Headhunters are experts at finding new recruits for a business. Sometimes they hunt down groups of people for minimum wage jobs, and other times they spend months hunting down and convincing top-quality talent, convincing them to join a different company. You can learn more about executive headhunters in London here, but for now, here are some facts about headhunter fees.

1. There Are No Pre-Determined Industry Standard Fees

Take something like proofreading. There is an overall understood rate at which people feel is fair. The same is true of power and water companies. Yet, this “Industry standard” rate doesn’t apply to headhunters (except headhunters in major sports where unions and governing bodies set the rules). That is why headhunter fees vary so wildly. They may quote you fees that they say are the industry standard, but the next headhunter will quote different fees and make the same claims.

2. Headhunter Finders Fees

A finder’s fee is where a headhunter is paid simply for finding a suitable applicant. If the applicant is hired, then the headhunter is paid. In many cases, the fee is only paid to the headhunter after the employee completes a trial period or training course.

3. Headhunter Salary Skimming

Some headhunters take their fee from the salary of the people they find to hire. A headhunter may agree to take 10% of the new employee’s wages for the first year. It sounds pretty harsh, but recruitment agencies do the same and often charge clients/employees more.

salary skimming
Image by Markus Schwedt from Pixabay

4. Shortlist Headhunter Fees

Some headhunters are paid if the people they send over simply get through the interview process. This is known as the shortlist fee. Even if the applicant is not hired, the headhunter still gets paid. It is an arrangement some companies have if there is an abundance of applicants and/or the company has a high staff turnover rate.

5. Completion of a Project

Some jobs are not permanent or even regular. Some are based on the completion of a project. This is common when hiring temp workers or freelancers. In this case, the headhunter is only paid if a project is completed.

6. A Living Wage Plus Bonuses

Some headhunters are hired by a company and given a living wage. They are then paid bonuses for the people they bring in. This allows the headhunter to conduct deeper searches and be more selective without fear of going hungry from not being paid.

7. Higher Fees Doesn’t Mean Better Recruits

In many cases, higher fees mean quicker results. If you are itching for people to start work right away, expect headhunter fees to jump upwards. However, do not assume that just because a company charges higher headhunting fees, they will find you better quality talent.

Photo by Edmond Dantès from Pexels

8. Under Qualified Recruiters Do Not Come at a Discount

Though headhunters may quote a slew of qualifications, the fact is you do not need qualifications to be a headhunter. However, it is often recommended that the headhunters you choose have experience in your industry, and if your industry requires qualifications, then such headhunters may also be suitably qualified.

Featured Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash