Headhunters: Why You Should Accept Online Payments from Clients

Whether you're just getting started as a headhunter or you've been working in the field for a while, building a solid business requires commitment and the use of trusted strategies. Everything should be designed for the convenience of your clients.

Maybe you've never given much thought to the idea of accepting online payments from your clients. As a headhunter, you may not have thought it was necessary. But in today's world, every modern business accepts credit cards online. It is expected by consumers and clients of all types.

Modern recruitment practices should be combined with other modern business tactics.

The Work

In many ways, headhunters are exactly like other job recruiters; the goal is to match the right professionals with the right work. But in most cases, headhunters work very closely with corporate clients. This allows for a specialization in a particular type of industry or area of employment.

This results in obvious benefits to the corporation as well as to the headhunter. The executive recruiter gains insights into the specific needs and desires of the corporate client and in turn he/she can provide better qualified candidates. Whether the headhunter is a single agent working as an independent contractor or an agency, the corporation is spared the trouble of advertising and screening the applicants.

Corporate Client Money Matters

Corporations appreciate being spared the leg work of finding the right candidates. After all, time is money.

Although payment arrangements and fees can vary, in many instances the recruiter is paid a flat fee for his or her work, and in other cases a substantial fee may be paid if the right candidate is found. In fact, headhunters sometimes receive a fee equivalent to a fraction of the filled position's starting annual salary.

Other Clients

Headhunters are not limited to only working with corporate clients. They are also happy to take on the task of finding job placement opportunities for anyone seeking employment. In other words, individual job seekers can contact the headhunter and inquire about the services. Most headhunters are willing to try to match the new client with a job.

In these instances, the recruiter is paid by the person seeking the job, not by the corporation. Again, the fee schedule can vary from one headhunter or agency to another, but one key concept remains the same -- it is important to make it easy and convenient for clients to pay. This helps persuade clients to use the services.

Business Is Business

Headhunters are businesspeople who have websites designed to promote their services. This is one of the main ways they get discovered by corporations and other clients.

But getting discovered isn't helpful if clients can't actually access the services. Imagine the following scenario:

A potential client wants the services of a headhunter, and a visit to your website is extremely inviting. The visitor is excited as she reads through all you have to offer, and she hurriedly scans through the site, looking for a payment button. When she doesn't find one, she clicks away. She's gone forever. Why?

This site visitor is in business, too. She has to make the most of her time. And after all, there are countless other headhunters who can offer the same or very similar services. The next site probably does have a payment button!

The bottom line is, accepting online payments can increase your profits. Not only that, but it makes your site appear more reputable.

If you don't accept online payments, you're losing money!

How to Do It

Adding payment buttons to your site is quick and easy. In fact, you have lots of options to choose from. Many businesses use PayPal for online transactions, but other options include Intuit, Chase Paymentech, and PaySimple.

Whatever option you choose to go with is not as important as making the choice to accept online payments. Don't lose clients because they can't find a way to access your services. Add payment buttons and add to your profits!

Debbie Allen is an Internet marketer, blogger, and freelance writer. Debbie has a background in organizational development, which is why she enjoys writing about topics related to small business management, marketing strategies, and reputation management.

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of frankie_8 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Views: 426

Comment by Brian K. Johnston on July 18, 2013 at 10:22am

Good article... Thanks for sharing....

Comment by Paul DeBettignies on July 18, 2013 at 6:14pm

Wondering out loud...

"In these instances, the recruiter is paid by the person seeking the job, not by the corporation."

I know of recruiters who offer career coaching type services but are any charging their candidates a fee for placement? I thought this practice ended a decade or more ago.

Comment by PAUL FOREL on March 1, 2014 at 9:30pm


I do not think you are very familiar with the business of Executive Search and in fact you seem to have a few inaccuracies in your post.

A prospective client would not, ever, click on a 'payment' button until after a [contingency] search has been completed.

Your scenario that someone 'looking through the Yellow Pages' would click on a payment button [ostensibly, to initiate a contingency search] is a recruiter's fantasy. I like your idea but it is borne from your lack of understanding of how our business executes.

It is possible, though, that an established client would/could click on a payment button to pay for a [contingency] search that has been completed satisfactorily.

'Pay by check', 'Pay by credit card'; this could be done, yes.

But not, as I said above, until the [contingency] search has been completed.

Also, I suppose it is possible a client could 'pay by credit card'/click on a payment button when submitting partial payments toward a retained search fee.

The first third of a retained search, along with the amount of an expense retainer check, could be paid by clicking on a payment button (LOL!) as part of initiating a retained search [along with having submitted a signed Retained Search Retainer Agreement], yes. The second third could be paid in the same manner and for that matter, so could the final third, as well.

Now, you also describe something else that does not much exist- the idea that an executive search consultant is going to charge an industry candidate a fee for having gotten them hired.

Wherever did you get such an idea? As Mr. DeBettignies, above, says, the entire practice of 'applicant paid fees' has long gone the way of the Do Do Bird. And that referred to the Employment Agency business, not the business of Executive Search.

Your assertion here:

"...In other words, individual job seekers can contact the headhunter and inquire about the services. Most headhunters are willing to try to match the new client with a job. In these instances, the recruiter is paid by the person seeking the job, not by the corporation. Again, the fee schedule can vary from one headhunter or agency to another..."

...is full of holes. Employment Agencies and most Executive Search Consultants ('Headhunters") are paid approximately 33.3% of the first year's salary of the person hired by a company.

How many "job seekers" are there, do you think, who can afford to pay me a fee in the amount of between, say $15K to $25K to $40K or more?

There aren't any and in fact, it is illegal to do so in some/all states anyway.

Candidates who are industry 'stars' can be marketed by Agencies/Search firms and once they are hired, the hiring company will pay the agency/search firm a placement fee.

That's how we get paid, not by having "...anyone seeking employment..." come to us for the specific purpose of paying us to get them hired.

Also, as long we're this deep into your ignorance of our business, let's quickly examine your assertion that "They are also happy to take on the task of finding job placement opportunities for anyone seeking employment..."

I don' thin' so, BaBa Louie.

This is very much out of whack of what the Executive Search business is all about. We no more want 'just anyone' approaching us about jobs than we want malaria.

The industry rule of thumb you need to understand is that we will only deal with those professionals for whom it is likely a company would pay a recruitment fee.

To solicit payment for getting someone hired is not only no longer an approved business practice, it is embedded with danger. I'm not going to go into the pitfalls of such an arrangement here since you are so out of your depth in this conversation already. If you really need to know the specifics of this, contact me and perhaps I will run them past you.

No offense but I hope you have since done the appropriate research necessary to make meaningful posts here about the Executive Search business.

P.S. I wonder if I really need to say a company does not 'access our services' by clicking on a payment button.

Hah, if only it were true...

Thanks for the laugh, Debbie. Please don't be offended when I say this has been one of the most ignorant posts about our business than I've seen in several years. Maybe ever, in fact.

Work on your 'content', Ms. Allen.

At the least, get yourself a mentor who has time in our business so you can get up to speed. You are a walking accident waiting to happen.



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