Types and Costs of Headhunters


It does not help that their name somehow evokes something violent but the ‘headhunters’ may very well indeed reflect the violence of the times. Make no mistake about it, finding the right job can be truly a violent experience. Even with all the conveniences provided by modern communication technology, finding a good job can problematic and frustrating. Whether it’s a first job or a career development path, looking for a job that suits your needs, expertise, skill, lifestyle, inclination and direction is a strenuous. Increasing population of skilled and educated labor force all seeking employment from a very limited field and in companies with limited vacancies further makes the field more ultra-competitive than it already is.

In a way headhunters reflect this environment. Known formally as recruitment agencies, search consultants or sources, job employment and placement companies, these firms provide much needed help in finding the right job for a person or finding the right person for a job. By right job, that means one that ‘fits’ them and not necessarily the one with most career opportunities of financial rewards. In a nutshell, employment agencies clients find job that suits them and helps companies find the best man they need for a job.

Again, headhunters is a rather negative term, which is perhaps way most people do not bother understanding them. A quick look at the Singapore headhunting shows that the field is not as simple as it seems. There are at least five types of recruitment agencies in Singapore all providing approximately the same kinds of services which normally include recruitment and selection, project sourcing and interim recruitment and other professional growth services.  These Singaporean recruitment companies are offices outside regular office operations that specialize in a location, a profession, an industry, a job level, a search technology or method, in finding temporary assignments or a combination of these.

For starters, there is the basic category of ‘headhunters’ which refers to employment companies that find suitable candidates based on company’s requirements. Top headhunters in Singapore find suitable clients and then arrange short interviews or examinations up to setting a meeting between the applicant and the firm. Some top headhunters in Singapore even conduct reference or background checks on behalf of a company.  Executive search firms on the other hand, as the name implies are retained recruitment agencies that find individuals suited for a company’s senior level needs. On the other end, staffing agencies recruit candidates to fill low level, temporary positions in a company or organization. And lastly, niche agencies are discipline specific recruitment firms that work within very particular fields of expertise mostly in technical fields such as engineering, computer science, aeronautics or maritime industries and seek out highly skilled and technically competent individuals for such jobs or positions.


Regardless of type however, headhunters in Singapore has costs for clients for contracting their help. Headhunters and niche recruiting firms are paid a certain portion of their clients’ salary upon employment or are compensated by the company with a finder’s or retainers such in the case of executive search agencies. Meanwhile, temporary recruitment agency in Singapore is paid by the companies at hourly rates of those that they hire and these agencies are given a lump sum from which they pay the candidate’s wages, insurance benefits and their remaining cut.

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