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2 min read

News Flash: Headhunters did not go the way of the mixtape

In late 2009, when our team first started at BountyJobs, I asked a recruiting industry analyst for advice.
Our team wanted to revolutionize the way companies worked with headhunters, and I wanted his thoughts on our chances. His response? “Mike, headhunters won’t even exist as a category in 5 years.”

He had a point.

Corporate recruiters were furiously ramping up LinkedIn to source candidates directly, spending on third party recruiters was in a freefall (from $8B in 2008 to $3.5B in 2009), and it was easy to predict that a platform to manage your headhunters would be as obsolete as the drawer you used to store your old 80’s mix tapes (keep that last insight about me away from my kids OK?).

Did working with headhunters disappear like the mixtape?That pundit was wrong. Since 2009, headhunters have been smoking hot. Companies will spend more on headhunters this year ($8.5B) than they will on retained search firms.

As they take share from the big centralized retained firms, headhunters have become more specialized, the market has become more fragmented and smart companies lean on them more than ever.

Our friends at CareerXRoads say that almost 6% of jobs in the US were filled through headhunters last year. We think that smart Talent Acquisition Executives knew all along that headhunters were a smart tool to have in their recruiting portfolio, they just thought that finding them and working with them was too hard.

Our mission at BountyJobs is to make finding and working with headhunters the most effective part of any company’s recruiting strategy. We know that few companies set out to spend more on third party recruiting agencies: we simply try to make whatever they spend as effective and efficient as possible.

When companies use our platform, they cut their recruiting costs, improve their agency mix and cut their time to fill. We’ve now done it for so many companies that the recruiting agencies on BountyJobs will fill more jobs than all but six of the largest agencies in the US. Next year only two firms will be bigger. And in three years we hope to be number one (maybe sooner).

The mission of the BountyJobs blog is to shed light on the headhunting category. This is not the place to learn how to become a better headhunter: plenty of other great sites for that. This is the place to come, week after week, for tips, trends and best practices on how company recruiters can make better use of headhunters.

We’ll report on trends in the category: our spin on third party industry reports as well as insights from our own data. We’ll provide best practices we’ve learned from watching close to $1B in agency fees pass through our platform: case studies on how HR departments have cut headhunter cold calls or how they’ve integrated agency activity into their ATS.

We hate to brag, but we have some of the best recruiters on the planet as customers, and occasionally we’ll have guest blog posts from Talent Acquisition Executives at some of the largest companies in the world, as well as the world-class headhunters that partner with them.

We’ll be successful if, every week, there’s something of value for you here: something specific to working with headhunters. Our promise is to never post anything about “Smarter ways to leverage mobile recruiting”. We’ll leave that to other sites. We’re the market leaders in helping companies work with headhunters, and we’ll stick to that.

Any ideas for what you’d like to see? Let us know! Otherwise, happy reading.


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