Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Difference Between Headhunters and Military Recruiters

While headhunters and recruiters may seem synonymous, there exist many differences between the two, which not only vary in their approach to placing a candidate within a company, but can also mean the difference between a successful placement and a poorly matched candidate for an open position.
So, you are probably wondering, what’s the difference?
A headhunter, by definition, is a person who identifies and approaches suitable candidates employed elsewhere to fill open positions.
Headhunters work in a variety of industries, and are most common in the technology, sales, and engineering fields. While they can work in headhunter firms, many headhunters work alone. Headhunters traditionally work with a "passive" candidate, or a candidate that is gainfully employed and may not be seeking new employment. A headhunter finds potential candidates by targeting industries that are similar to their client's, and/or within competitor companies, and identifying and reaching out to employees that are in that particular career field or position.
As a result, a headhunter engages the potential candidate to see if they would be open to a career move, and attempts to sell them on why they should consider a change (most specifically, in joining the client company). Headhunters are only involved in the initial sourcing stage of the hiring process, and typically do not have a presence beyond that.
For those looking to hire military, the biggest difference between working with a recruiter at Orion International versus a military headhunter specializing in veteran recruiting is the relationship between Orion Recruiters and our military candidates. Orion specializes in military transition, most specifically transitioning Military Officers, Technicians, and Non-commissioned Officers; as well as Veterans who have already transitioned, gained Industry Experience, and are actively seeking a career change.
Our recruiters typically begins working with our military candidates up to 18 months prior to their transition. We know our candidates well and have spent time getting to know them, their preferences and qualifications, to ensure the best match between each candidate and company with whom we work. We work with our candidates throughout the interview and hiring process, and beyond.
With 26+ years of knowledge and experience, Orion is the nation’s leading military talent firm, and we are here to arm you with the knowledge needed to effectively attract, hire and retain military talent. To learn more about working with Orion and request information about hiring military visit us online today!


  1. So Orion wont be able to help me find specific types of already employed veterans? I.E. I need a plant manager and want a vet who is maybe 1-3 years off active duty and already employed in manufacturing. In a situation like this I'd need a headhunter (not Orion) correct?

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! You can absolutely use Orion when you need an industry experienced Veteran. My post was intended to show that a headhunter is looking for those that are already employed, but works with them specifically at the onset of the process.

      In contrast, Orion’s Recruiters work with our candidates over a lengthy period of time, as is the case of Active Duty service members who are preparing for a future transition. However, we do work with many industry experienced Veterans and many of our client companies hold this prior experience as a position requirement. For those candidates, our relationship with them may not begin before their job search, but we work closely with them throughout the interview and hiring process, and stay in touch with them after beginning their new role.

      I hope this helps to clarify, and thanks again for the question!