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Can a Headhunter Help Me Find a Job?

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Can a Headhunter Help Me Find a Job?

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If you are actively looking for a new role and are wondering if a headhunter could help you in your job search process, a little bit of research needs to be done before moving forward with contacting all headhunting firms you can find on Google or LinkedIn.

​Headhunters aren’t considered the same as recruiters in the recruitment industry, which is crucial to understand if you are wondering if a headhunter can help you get your next job.

What sort of job are you looking for?

Headhunters usually work in what is called ‘executive’ recruitment, meaning they are typically searching for senior candidates in “hard-to-fill” roles. Therefore, if you are applying for an entry-level role, it is usually better to employ other job searching strategies: looking at vacancies on specific job boards, contacting recruitment firms that specialise in your field, or even do a little research on Google Jobs or LinkedIn.

​If you are currently in a senior position and what to find your next career move, engaging a headhunter is a better-suited approach. Whether it is directly placing you in a role or providing you with market intelligence to make better decisions about where to apply and how to apply, headhunters will prove to be very valuable. Plus – one of the best things about engaging a headhunter is that they are usually free.


What sort of headhunter have you engaged?

If you’ve engaged an education recruiter to help try and get you into the stockbroking game, then you may have strayed off the path somewhere.

​It’s important that you conduct basic due diligence before engaging a headhunter, including what areas they work in and at what level. Take some time to look at their LinkedIn profile and see what kind of vacancies they frequently post or look up the firm’s clients and advertised roles.

​It is also important to find trust signals that the firm is respected in their market. This can include online reviews, testimonials, statistics or trusted business partnerships. A referral is even better.


The Approach

Usually a headhunter will contact you instead of vice versa. After all, their job is to find you. But if you’re actively looking for a role, reach out to a headhunter any way you like.

​The most important thing is that you remain communicative, honest and responsive. Treat your early communications with a headhunter like an informal interview. If you start to become shifty, slow or unresponsive, this will reflect badly on your ability to interview well and will lessen the likelihood you will be put forward for the right role.

​Make sure to check in with your headhunter about what you should expect from the process, questions like ‘When will I hear from you?’ and ‘How do you see the market in X area?’ are good questions to ask along the way.

​​If you believe you might need a headhunter to find your next job and happen to be working in the compliance, financial crime, legal or cyber security sectors, especially within financial services, then Rutherford might be the best firm for you. Reach out to one of our consultants today and let us know about your current professional journey.


Tevia Kretzmer is a Compliance and Legal Consultant at Rutherford, the executive compliance recruitment specialists.

Contact us for a confidential search, send us an email at or see our latest vacancies.


About Rutherford

Rutherford is a boutique search firm that specialises in legal, financial crime and compliance recruitment within the financial services and legal sector, with London and New York being the main focus. We use our carefully curated relationships, networks and market knowledge to find the best fit for the clients in hand. We work with a wide range of clients, spanning from advisors, corporate and commercial banks, brokers, exchanges, MTFs and financial tech, through to global investment managers, hedge funds, private equity firms and investment banks.

Remote working

We are currently looking for regionally-located Compliance Officers from the following areas who would be interested in working for London firms on an interim WFH basis: Kent, East Sussex, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Surrey or Hampshire.

We are also interested in hearing from candidates in Manchester, Birmingham, Oxford, Winchester and Salisbury.