5 Types of Recruiters: Which One Do YOU Need?

Are you considering working with a recruiter?

If you are looking for a new job (or even thinking about it), chances are you’ve been contacted by several recruiters. Do you know the difference between the types of recruiters reaching out to you?

Choosing whether to work with a recruiter at all is the first step in figuring what type of recruiter to use.

Do You Know the Difference Between Types of Recruiters?

Ok, you’ve determined you want to work with a recruiter. What’s the next step?

If you’ve already been contacted by a recruiter who has a job lead for you, it is very important you understand how the recruiter will work with your best interest in mind and what is in it for him or her.

the difference between types of recruiters

Internal (or In-house) Corporate Recruiter

This is the most common type of recruiter that most people are familiar with. Their title is usually “Recruiter“.  They are salaried employees who are paid to find, hire and retain employees for the company that they work for. Usually they don’t get bonuses or kick-backs for hiring you. It’s just their regular ole’ job.

Staffing Agency Recruiter (Temp/Contract)

It is common to encounter this type of recruiter if you are seeking temporary or contract work. If you are hired through a staffing agency you will actually be an employee of the staffing agency, but you will work at the client’s company and be supervised by someone there. You are considered a temporary, contingent or contract employee.

The staffing agency will pay your wages, taxes, medical insurance and benefits. The staffing company charges an hourly rate to the client company for your work. This hourly rate includes your pay and a markup for the staffing company for their part in providing your services. The client is paying more per hour for your work than you are receiving.

Why would a company hire this way when is seems more expensive? 

The client gets the benefit of having someone else handle the hiring and firing of resources. Plus, they reduce their staffing costs by avoiding having to pay for vacation or medical expenses and other benefits it pays its full-time employees.

Contingency Recruiter

A Contingency Recruiting Agency is usually used by a company when their in-house recruiters can’t handle all of the work load for the hiring demand. A Contingency Recruiter does the initial recruiting, screening and interviewing and arranging interviews with the candidates for the client company.  Contingency means they only get paid if they find a candidate–so they are highly motivated to find the right person for the job.

The recruiter gets paid one of two ways:

  1. The client company pays the recruiter a flat fee
  2. The recruiter gets a % of your first year’s salary (typically 15-35%)

It is important to note here that you, as the job seeker,  do not pay anything and the payment to the recruiter does not come out of your salary–it’s just based on the salary amount that the recruiter fought so hard to get for you.

Staffing companies typically advertise these jobs as ‘Direct Hire’ or ‘Contract to hire’ to indicate they are different than the common contract positions.

Retained Recruiter

A Retained Recruiting Agency is similar to a contingency recruiter except the client company pays a retainer fee (fixed upfront amount) to have them perform a dedicated search. A portion of the search fee is paid upfront (whether they find a candidate or not) and the remainder is due upon a successful hire.

Retained Recruiters are used for hiring higher level positions with the assumption that the recruiter will spend time on the search even though there is a lower probability of finding a candidate. This is due to the fact that the higher you go up the harder it is to find a qualified person to fill the position (CEO, CFO, etc.)

Retained Recruiters might also be called Executive Search firms to indicate the type of candidates they work with.

Outplacement Recruitertypes of recruiters who help you find jobs

An Outplacement Recruiter is hired by an employee seeking a job rather than a company seeking employees. Typically the person may have been downsized, displaced, or possible fired. Often an employer who has just downsized will hire an outplacement company to assist their recently downsized workforce find jobs in order to ease the burden of having lost your job.

Outplacement services also provide help with:

  • resumes
  • cover letters
  • interviewing skills
  • career counseling

Outplacement Recruiters are usually part of a larger staffing company.

The 6th Type: Consulting Company Recruiter

Some consulting companies provide recruiting services as well, but they typically focus on an area of higher skilled professionals such as software engineers, finance, or marketing candidates.

Which One Do You Need?

It depends on your skill sets and what type of employment you are looking for. No matter what type of recruiter you work with you will need a killer resume.

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