Recruiter Types

Updated 09/08/2016

   So you're going to find a recruiter and land your
  next job.  You need to do some homework first
  as all recruiters are not alike.  Some may not
  want to talk to you!
  Why is this all so complex?

  Recruitment ... how hard can it be, really?

Yes, the different types ... and not just the Good, the Bad and the "so so".

Internal, In-house or Corporate Recruiter
These recruiters are the most common and typically call themselves a
"Recruiter".  They are usually employees of the company seeing new employees and are paid on a salary and receive benefits like any other employee in the company.  There is no commission involved.  You do NOT
pay them any fee for anything.

Google, Amazon, US Army, Bank of America, Walmart

Agency Recruiters
They are in competition with everyone for good candidates for their customers and they are paid ONLY upon finding someone who is hired sometimes with contingencies that the employee not be terminated or resign within so many months after hire.  They have risk in this game.  This creates recruiters who seek low-risk, fast-win and high-gain candidates to submit.

The Good Bet is someone who:
1.  has a well done resume, knows their life story and can sell themselves
2.  they are responsible for their deliverables and to help recruiters are only
     a part of your job search strategy
3.  take charge of the relationship by getting to know the recruiter to build
     trust, insight and ability to work closely together
4.  have defined your job objectives including industries, locations, your
     capabilities, wants and needs.

Contingency Recruiter
Contingency Recruiting Agencies are an external service provider with full-time recruiters paid on contingency (only if they find a candidate who is hired) by the client company.   The recruiter does finds people (or they find them), screens and interviews them, arranges interviews as warranted with the client company.  This arrangement works well for periods of high demand when internal recruiters are in sufficient.  Payment is either a negotiated flat fee or a percentage of the first year's salary typically in the 20 - 40% range depending on the type of job.

Traditional Recruiters may also offer contingency services and are promoted to job seekers as "Direct Hire" or "Contract to Hire".

 Robert Half, Spherion, Matrix-FA

Retained Recruiter or "Executive Search" firm
A Retained Agency receives a fixed fee up-front retainer from the client company to engage in a dedicated search.  The balance is due upon a successful hire.  The retainer is paid whether or not a candidate is found with the fee based on anticipated effort required to find a qualified acceptable candidate.  This approach is often used for executives as the search is a "low profile" approach.

                Examples: Korn Ferry, Witt Kiefer

Contingent and Retained Search companies, and their recruiters, are also commonly called “Headhunters”, a term unliked by many recruiters.

Outplacement Recruiter
Outplacement Agencies offer job search assistance to downsized, displaced or riffed employees often retained by their former employer as part of goodwill.
These services usually include resume and interviewing assistance, career counseling, etc.  Some are divisions of larger staffing companies.

Examples: Right Management (Manpower), Lee Hecht Harrison (Adecco),
                 Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Staffing Agency Recruiter (Temp/Contract)
This is another of the more common type of recruiter you will encounter if you post your resume on a job board. A Temporary Agency (Temp Agency) hires temporary employees (contractors) to work for a short duration at client company. The contractor works at the client site and under supervision from the client's manager but is employed by the staffing agency and the staffing agency pays all wages, employer taxes, medical insurance and benefits. For all legal purposes the individual is an employee of the staffing company but their daily work is directed by the client where they work. The client company pays an hourly rate for the contract/temp employee which includes the contractor's pay and a markup for the staffing company to take care of the staffing company’s costs of sales, recruiting, HR and payroll and profit. In exchange the client gets the benefit of hiring and terminating such 'contingent' resources much more easily and reducing their people costs by not having to pay for vacation or medical expenses and other benefits it pays its full-time employees.

Example:  Staffing companies like Volt, Adecco, Manpower, Aerotek

Consulting Company Recruiter
Some consulting companies are similar to staffing companies but they typically provide higher skilled professionals like software engineers, finance and marketing professionals.  Smaller consulting companies operate as a staffing company where employment is only valid while the project is ongoing.

Examples: Accenture, Cap Gemini, McKinsey
                 They do not terminate employees when engagement is over but
                 built a "bench" of resources for other or internal engagements.