>>Know Your Agency: What the Heck Do Agencies Do All Day?

Know Your Agency: What the Heck Do Agencies Do All Day?

We’ve all been there. Looking at a fee to be paid to a headhunter, wondering….what did they do to deserve all that sweet, precious cash?
What are the ins and outs of their jobs that I am paying for? Well, wanting to get a better picture of the headhunters on BountyJobs, last spring we set out to find the answers to some of the toughest questions about them.

We found 100 headhunters from a random sample of active agencies on BountyJobs and asked them directly: why and how do you do what you do?

Admittedly, our reasoning was in our own self-interest; making useful updates to the agency side of the BountyJobs platform. Well, the survey was a huge success, and not only did we discover some great ways to alter the agency side of BountyJobs, we also learned a lot of practical information about headhunters that we thought many in the industry might find intriguing.

So, forthcoming is a full report on our findings and the upgrade to the BountyJobs platform. But over the next few posts, we’ll be leaving all you little reader mice little bits of cheese (AKA: our favorite tidbits of insight). Today’s topic? What the heck do agencies do all day?

The Answer: What the Heck Do Agencies Do All Day?


In the classic book, “Headhunters: Matchmaking in the Labor Market” authors Coverdill and Finlay state that what makes agencies different is the “the double sell”.

They must be skilled at getting job orders, at finding candidates, and at convincing both the owner of the job and the candidate that this is a match made in heaven. That is a lot to juggle. But, what takes the most time? Here’s what our 100 headhunters had to say.

  1. Finding candidates rules the day. Agencies say that 39% of their time is spent searching out the right candidates. This isn’t really surprising at all and makes a lot of sense.

    After all, agencies specialize in hunting down hard to find candidates for specialized positions; any good headhunter is going to spend their time on what they are getting paid the big bucks to do; find stellar candidates.

  2. Maintaining relationships with all involved. To preserve the pipeline of jobs and a ready inventory of candidates, it also makes sense that agencies spend a significant amount of time maintaining relationships in both of those categories.

    It is a pretty even split, with our headhunters reporting 15% of their time on employer relationships and 16% with prospective candidates. All together, agencies say maintaining relationships takes up about 31% of their time.

  3. Boring business development. Who hates cold calling more, you or the headhunters? We’re not sure, but our headhunters reported spending the least amount of time on these sorts of tedious business development activities. About 26% of their time is spent working on BountyJobs, working the phones, or mining their networks to find open jobs to fill.

    We also asked the question, “What are the obstacles you encounter in your day-to-day business that BountyJobs helps you overcome?” Almost all the answers stated that BountyJobs was a big help in this area specifically. Here’s what a few of them had to say.

Looking for new open positions when current positions are stalled or are in the hiring phase with our candidates

The client discovery and engagement time tables are reduced by using BountyJobs.

BountyJobs helps agencies work on opportunities otherwise not available to the agency.”

Cut short the sales cycle and facilitate work on the requirements without going through the whole sales cycle.

Nothing surprising about the numbers above. But when you put them all together they do give you a good idea what headhunters are doing behind the scenes. If you thought this information was interesting, you might enjoy some of our other posts on the topic of headhunters.

Have something to add to the headhunter conversation? Talk to us on Twitter or in the comments anytime!


By |2017-07-28T16:38:05+00:00September 26th, 2014|Categories: Talent Acquisition Trends|Comments Off on Know Your Agency: What the Heck Do Agencies Do All Day?

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