Requirements for a Career As a Headhunter

Sep 27, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a headhunter. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and required skills to find out if this is the career for you.

The term 'headhunter' sounds fierce and primal, and perhaps the job is: it involves finding the right person for a job, even if they're already employed elsewhere. Most headhunters have a bachelor's degree, and should possess perception, communication, customer service and administrative skills.

Essential Information

Personnel recruiters, or headhunters, are used by companies to find, screen, interview, process, and hire new employees. The position requires a variety of interpersonal, linguistic, and critical-thinking skills, which can be gained through various undergraduate degree programs.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements Proven analytical and communications talents
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 5% for human resources specialists
Median Salary (2018)* $60,880 for human resources specialists

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements

While a bachelor's degree is not a firm requirement for becoming a headhunter, it greatly increases one's chance of being accepted into the position. A headhunter's bachelor's degree can be in any number of relevant subjects. Programs in human resource management offer courses in work behavior and motivation, personnel psychology, leadership, human resources management and research methods.

Other applicable majors include psychology, sociology, communications, business administration, and business economics. Often, schools that do not offer a specific degree in human resources may offer a relevant specialization in an appropriate major; South Dakota State University, for example, incorporates a human resource specialization as an option in their sociology program.

Skill Requirements

Whether gleaned via a college degree program or through personal or work experience, certain skills are invaluable for anyone aspiring to work as a headhunter.

Perception Skills

A headhunter must be able to analyze and evaluate an individual's potential contributions to the headhunter's organization. He or she must also be able to understand and interpret the expressions of potential employees. This is why an education in psychology and sociology can be useful in personnel recruitment.

Communication Skills

A large part of a headhunter's job involves screening applicants - conducting background and reference checks, managing records and paperwork, interviewing, and hiring. Headhunters must be able to express themselves clearly in both oral and written fashion. A well-developed command of the English language is essential.

Administrative and Customer Service Skills

The headhunter must also possess a thorough knowledge of customer service, administration, resource management, and communication. Due to the volume of paperwork involved, good organizational skills, clerical abilities, and computer proficiency is also important.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, does not provide information specific to the field of recruitment, the BLS did project that the employment of human resources specialists will likely grow by about 5% between 2018 and 2028, a rate that's close to the average predicted for all occupations. For the same group, the BLS reported that the median annual salary as of May 2018 was $60,880.

It's advisable to have a relevant bachelor's degree if you hope to gain employment as a headhunter. A wide variety of majors will fit the bill, including human resources, business, sociology and psychology. You'll need to be a strong communicator, a great administrator, and skilled at customer service in order to achieve success in this line of work.

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