The Types of Recruiters and Agencies

Different types of recruiting agencies

The Types of Recruiters and Agencies

There are four types of staffing agencies.

  1. Temporary Agencies specialize in referring people for positions that are temporary or part-time.
  2. Placement firms specialize in placing people in hourly positions.  These firms may charge you a fee for their services.
  3. Contingency firms get paid by the employer upon filling a position and typically place people in management and middle management positions.
  4. Retained search firms specialize in filling positions at the executive level and are paid for a scheduled period of service plus an override based on the income of the position filled, and receive reimbursement for their expenses.

Recruiters usually specialize.

Individual recruiters and, in most cases, recruiting firms specialize in a particular industry such as healthcare, consumer products, technology.

Also, recruiters and firms may further specialize in the type of jobs they fill.  For example, they may only staff for jobs for nurses, accountants, engineers, sales managers, marketing managers, and so forth.

Recruiters specialize, because by specializing they are able to build a network of hiring companies that recruit applicants with similar profiles.  Quite often, recruiters have worked in similar positions and industries in which they recruit.  Because recruiters specialize, they can contribute added industry information to help an applicant prepare for a job and plan a career path.

What do the different titles for recruiters mean?

People refer to recruiters with a lot of different names:  employment agent, headhunter, corporate recruiter, executive recruiter, career or recruiting consultant, and other titles.   There is little difference among recruiters in their basic functions.  They typically spend most of their day contacting companies to get job listings, interviewing applicants, scheduling interviews, checking references, and sourcing applicants.

Image: Dan Moyle/Flickr

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