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Headhunter is a colorful and frequently image-evoking term used to describe a professional job recruiter. A headhunter typically specializes in placing highly skilled job candidates, and can either be independently employed or work for a large recruiting firm. These firms employ a large staff of recruiters who concentrate on both generalized and specialized areas.
Unlike temporary employment services, which retain employer status over their pool of employees and assign them to certain companies on a short-term basis, job recruiters and job recruiting agencies specialize in finding talent for direct-hire permanent employment. Some recruiters also work to place job seekers in positions of short-term contracted employment.
Niche recruiters and recruiting firms cater to even more detailed needs, frequently focusing their efforts within certain geographical locations, such as smaller cities whose businesses may have a more difficult time appealing to big city-based professionals. In addition, niche recruiters specialize within certain fields, targeting desired individuals in certain career industries.