Absolutely spot on. Executive search firms and recruitment companies find candidates for jobs - they do not find jobs for candidates.
I do apologise if I am just stating the obvious, but trust me, most people have no clue about how executive search firms work. And why should they. You can imagine the surprise and increased frustration that grew inside me, when I was on the other side of the table (some 15-20 years ago before joining the world of executive search). No headhunter wanted to talk to me when I called, they didn’t return calls when I left messages with an assistant or on voice mail, nobody bothered to answer emails either. Aaarrrgghhh.
And spot on regarding the second part, that anyone can get into the recruitment business. Every Tom, Dick and Harry call themselves a headhunter nowadays, even all they do is shopping on the internet and in their database. It's the kind of small agencies who invite you to a hotel lobby or Starbucks because they operate from home or a small office space. Many are not even registered with the Ministry of Labour as the Thai law requires. Oh well.
Recruiting is not easy. Recruiters work for the employer, not the candidate. Good recruiters cultivate strong candidate networks of course, but if you call a recruiter and ask, “Can you help me find a job?” they’re going to tell you that they can only do that if one of their client firms has a job opening that matches the candidate’s skills. Recruiters have to be focused on their clients’ needs. That is how their business works. One unfortunate thing about the search business is that anyone can get into it. Anyone can get business cards and call him- or herself a recruiter. That means that excellent, experienced and professional recruiters are competing with recruiters should not even be in the business. I have talked to plenty of both kinds.