Did you know there are different kinds of recruiters?

Kim FullerBy Kim Fuller

As a job seeker, it’s important to know how to work with recruiters and which recruiters you want to work with. Let's dig in!

First, let’s start with corporate recruiters.

These peeps are also called “in-house” recruiters because they are working directly for the company. Depending on the size of the company a corporate recruiter might be responsible for all corporate hiring, or specific departments.

Corporate recruiters are typically evaluated on how many hires they can fill within a period of time, along with how many of the new hires stay at the 90 day and annual marks. They are a company cheerleader, being keenly aware of the company’s culture, benefits, and all the perks that job seekers want to know about.

Insider Tip: If you have a target company list, you should really try building a relationship with the recruiter online. Follow them and the company. Like and comment on the updates from both. After a couple of interactions through comments, you have a warmer connection with the recruiter. Reach out directly, let them know you’ve been following the company for some time, and you're excited about the latest update that revealed abc. Then tell them about your specialty and how you’d be thrilled to work for the company in roles that are associated with your expertise.

Second, there are agency recruiters.

Before you roll your eyes at agency recruiters, they can be really great resources too. Agency recruiters typically specialize in a certain industry and are working with multiple clients within that industry. Agency recruiting firms are either working under a contract with a client to fill a certain role. Or they are searching for passive off the market talent to represent to their clients, hoping the clients will see value in that candidate and then agree to pay the agency fee.

Agency recruiters are typically evaluated on how many hires they make within a period of time and how much money they are bringing in to the firm. They also focus on retention as they will have a replacement fee or policy if a new hire leaves within the 60-90 day mark. Because of these focuses agency recruiters will typically negotiate a higher pay rate for you and will be transparent on the more difficult part of the client to sell. They want a larger commission off of your placement, and they want you to stay for at least 90 days so they won’t have to replace you.

Insider Tip: If you are targeting or working with a niche industry, agency recruiters can be a good option for you. Another great reason to use agency recruiters is if you are wanting to keep your search confidential. While they might send your resume to a few clients, they are either obtaining your permission to do so first and then sharing with the client that you are looking on the down-low, or they are scrubbing your resume with all the personal identifying info so the client won’t know it’s you until you agree to set up an interview.

Third, there is a newer recruiting offset called RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing).

RPO Recruiters are kind of a blend of corporate and agency recruiters. They are very much third party, but because of the contract that they have signed with the client, they function as an extension of the clients HR/recruiting team. Sometimes this means they will actually have a client hosted email along with access to the client’s ATS system. Other times they use the RPO firms email system and ATS but are still contracted to work directly with the client on various roles. This means they have relationships with various clients and industries.

Insider Tip: Similarly to agency recruiters, RPO recruiters are a good option if you want to keep your search secret. You might also find quicker transitions into a new role with an RPO recruiter as the contract and retainer fees have already been paid, the client has signed off on wanting the role(s) filled and are committed to the hiring process.

Here's to your success!

I hope this helps clarify some of the different recruiters out there as well as highlight when it would be beneficial to connect with each. I chose to focus on these three types as I have direct experience working in each of these settings. There are other types of recruiters such as C2C, MSP, VMS... but I will save that for another day.

About the Author

Kim Fuller’s professional experience includes a mix of corporate, agency, and RPO recruiting. Throughout her career, she has been responsible for advising hiring managers on their talent planning and recruiting needs as well as helping them expand their employer brand and social media presence. She has taken that wealth of experience to provide career consulting services to individuals and groups wanting to identify and expand their professional brand.

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