Insights: Article

Three Reasons to Hire a Placement Consultant Instead of a Head Hunter

April 27, 2017


Finding the right candidate to fill your job opening can be a daunting and time-consuming task, especially for small businesses that may not have an official HR department. But even for large firms, the arduous process of writing job descriptions, posting announcements, scanning through applications, interviewing, etc., takes up valuable time and resources that could be devoted to your core business.

So what do you do? Naturally, you enlist the help of an expert. When it comes to finding qualified candidates and making informed hires, you have two options for third-party assistance—a head hunter or a placement consultant. They may sound like the same thing only with different titles, but these two professional services are really quite different.

A head hunter actively seeks out, cold calls and recruits candidates on behalf of the business that hired them. Placement consultants, on the other hand, focus on the internal process of hiring. In other words, the head hunter brings in the candidates—who may or may not even be active job seekers—while the placement consultant does the heavy lifting work normally carried out by a full HR team.

What’s the better option? In most cases, a placement consultant will end up saving you more time and more money, while also delivering top-tier candidates for you (the business doing hiring) to choose from in the end.

1. Hire the Right Candidate
This is what it’s all about, right? You’re in need of well-qualified, talented employees and you can’t afford to make a mistake. Making a poor hire not only wastes time, it also wastes money throughout the hiring and on-boarding process, not to mention the need to resume your search and start from scratch.

A placement consultant’s job is to set you up for hiring success. They don’t go out and cold call workers and entice them to consider quitting their current team to come join yours. Instead, they work with you and your team to create an environment that naturally attracts the best candidates for the job who will be eager to apply and excited for the opportunity. A head hunter is skilled at convincing others to apply. A placement consultant doesn’t need to do any convincing—the job seekers come to them.

2. Save Time and Money
Again, the hiring process is … well, a process. It takes time and money. Depending on your business and how busy you already are, you may not have any available resources to devote to finding your next employee. A placement consultant can step in—even in the middle of the process if you get bogged down—and become your hiring manager, doing everything from writing the initial job description that will attract the right applicants, to narrowing down the applicant pool for your team to then conduct interviews (although, they’ll conduct interviews for you, too).

When you hire a placement consultant, you get to maintain your focus on your business. Not only does this save time and money, it drastically reduces your stress. You will be able to fully trust and rely upon your consultant to deliver the right candidate. And compared to high-priced head hunters who charge a flat contingent fee or percentage of the job salary, the hourly rate of a placement consultant will also save you money.

3. Maintain Control (and Your Reputation)
Head hunters will claim they have all the connections and networks in the world that they can then tap to find the best candidate for your open position. Their secret, however, is that they sometimes rely on used car salesman-like tactics to make those connections and dredge up candidates. The risk for you as the business looking for top talent is aligning yourself with a head hunter who may employ such tactics in your name.

A placement consultant adopts your company’s brand voice and approach when acting on your behalf. The consultant is not out actively recruiting individuals. Instead, they are working as part of your internal team helping you write the best job descriptions, place want ads in the right places and narrow down the applicant pool. The consultant will even help with the interviewing process. Head hunters may bring in qualified applicants, but that’s where their assistance runs out. A placement consultant will be with you from start to finish, helping in as many ways as you want.

As a seasoned placement firm, Eide Bailly has the resources to fill any type of position in any industry, including yours. From C-level executives to entire production teams, we’ve helped businesses big and small find (and hire) the best candidates.