(Headhunter is an annoying business term and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)
Proudly used by hiring managers everywhere, the word headhunter is annoying both in its arrogant overuse and in the complete lack of comprehension of the word’s origins. (Oh, and it sounds ridiculous to the rest of us.)
To be blunt, headhunters murdered their victims, cut off their heads, then shrunk these heads and displayed them as trophies. To top off this wonderful visual, they also cooked and ate the rest of the body.
“Mommy, I want to be a headhunter when I grow up!”
The egotistical overuse in the workplace forgets that true headhunters are proactive. They seek out heads. Yet, almost everyone in the business world claiming to be a headhunter is really just a passive hiring manager (not even a recruiter by the strictest of definition).
They seek out no one; they merely sit back and sort through the resumes of those seeking employment; those answering an ad.
True headhunters pursue heads. They pick up the phone and call the underappreciated vice president at a rival company and offer her a job. They’re active, not passive, recruiters of talent.
Of course, if you’re an active recruiter (as opposed to a hiring manager) why not just say you’re a recruiter instead of using headhunter? After all, recruiting is really all you do. No offense.
Replacement phrases: Hiring manager; Recruiter
See also: Bean Counter
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon