Here is the last installment of our series on the “types of recruiters”.



As with the contingency recruiter, we are paid when we actually cause a person to be hired.  Many of us that are in the contingency/search consultant type role started out as an “employment agent.” We are more oriented toward the candidate and “marketing” that candidate to potential employers.  We’re more candidate-oriented then employer-oriented, especially in the beginning of our career.  As we progress we become more balanced in whom we actually work for.

In the ’60s, ’70s, and ‘80s and even in nearly ’90s, candidates or “applicants,” as we called them, paid all or some of our fees.  We start out being more candidate-oriented than hiring company-oriented. We are, basically, an “agent” for the candidate.

We interview candidates on a daily basis and then market those candidates to either employers that we have worked with before or ones that we actually “cold call” and tried to generate an interview.  We work “for you” by trying to get you as many interviews as we possibly can.

The “roots” of our facet of recruiting began placing administrative (what used to be called secretarial) type personnel and grew into more of the professional realms.  We place all levels of candidates but have a tendency to focus on whenever the market will bear.  We will interview many candidates and market the most placeable candidate we can find.

The longer we do it, the more we know what our repeat hiring authorities need.

Our advantage to you:  I am going to be oriented to trying to find you a job.  If you have skills and experience that I can promote to companies that I have worked with before or new companies, I will pick up the phone, call them and try to get you as many interviews as I possibly can.

The idea behind what I do is to try to get you interviews, as many as I can.  A lot of the employers that I work with, I’ve worked with before and I will try to send you.  I take advantage of the employers with a “pain” that will interview you and hire you because of their urgency.  And sometimes I know a lot about the companies I work with and sometimes I don’t.  If you are a reasonably qualified candidate, I will try to get you as many interviews as I possibly can.

Our disadvantage to you: I spend most all of my time cold calling and trying to generate job opportunities and interviews for the best candidates that have come to me.  I will spend a lot of time working for you unless I can find someone that is willing to interview for an immediate opening.  I probably don’t have a lot of in-depth knowledge with some of the companies that I might get you an interview because, I “cold called” them for you, found an opening and got you the interview.

We’re both limited by your experience and the contacts that I have.  If I have a lot of experience and have made a lot of contacts and can get you a number of interviews, we’re both in luck. If I have been in my profession for less than three years I am not going to be as knowledgeable about the marketplace as others might, but I’m certainly going to hustle my butt off to get you interviews.

How to deal with me: Realize that I’m a bit busy and will do my best to get you interviews if I can get an employer to talk to you.  I interview as many candidates as I possibly can and take the best answer for them to the best opportunities that I can find.

When and if I can get you an interview, you need to ask me lots of questions about the opportunity.  The same questions that you asked the contingent search consultant about the interview are appropriate.

You need to know that most of the companies that I work with have a high degree of “pain,” i.e. they need to fill a job very quickly.  I’m going to try to get you an interview in any way, shape, or form that I can, it either with hiring authority or an interviewing authority.

I’m going to “ballpark” you into an interview.  I will try to get you any reasonable interview that I can based on your experience or background regardless of whether it’s something you would “ideally like.”

You need to go on every interview that I schedule for you or I will no longer get interviews for you.  You may get my help in selling yourself with what I know about the company I send you to, but I may not know enough to really give you leverage. But you need to get all the interviews you can.


Wwe are usually a “one-man band.”  We work by ourselves, in or out of an office or our living room.  We scour the Internet looking for resumes of people that might fit some of the job opportunities that we also find on the Internet.  We send your resume to as many of those people as we might and if they “bite,” we will call you and see if you might be interested in the opportunity.  We don’t make very many placements because our rapport with the companies we send your resonates to and with the candidates we find isn’t very great

Some of us do work with a handful of firms on a repeat basis and find basically the same kind of candidates for them all over the country.  We’re not real big billers but, the firms we work with appreciate what we do.  We hone in on a particular kind of narrow experience (like copier sales, long distance service sales, etc.) that our hiring companies like and need all around the country, usually for either sales or customer service, then scour the net to find that kind of background.

Our advantage to you: If I find you it usually means that I have one opportunity for you with one particular organization.  I have probably placed a number of people with them around the country and know exactly what their procedure is and exactly the kind of person they like to hire.  If you follow my instructions, I can probably be effective for you with the one or two particular organizations that I work with.

Our disadvantage to you: I am probably only going to present you to the one organization that I called you about and I’m probably going to present five or six others with exactly the same kind of background that you’ve got.  It’s a pure numbers game for them and most everybody that’s interviewing will be alike, if I don’t play “issue” with this one particular firm it’s not likely I’m going to do much else for you.

How you should deal with me: Realize that I place the same kind of person with the same kind of firm all over the country.  I really know what the hiring authority likes.  Since I’m presenting a number of people with exactly your kind of background and experience, if you’re smart, you will get me to try to sell you stronger than any of the other candidates you have.

If you’re smart you’ll ask me everything there is to know about what the hiring authority’s likes and why he has hired other people from me in the past.  You will get me give you special treatment and give you every advantage you can get in the interviewing process.  If you think that I’m just a “conduit” to the interview you won’t really be taking advantage of all I can do for you.


We are hired by companies on a “contract.” The contract might be for a specific period of time or for a specific number of candidates.  We are usually hired when an organization needs to recruit and hire many candidates over a short period of time.  So, rather than hire a permanent employee or pay fees to a ” third-party ” recruiter they hire me for the period of time they think they will need me.  They usually pay me on an hourly basis with maybe a bonus for each individual that might be hired.  I’m really an independent contractor and work for myself.  I will contract out to usually one organization at a time for a specified period of time, usually six months to a year with the understanding that my “contract” can be terminated at any time.

I am paid a premium for my time and effort but not as much as the company might pay in fees if they hired each individual from an external recruiter.  Since I am an independent contractor my short-term loyalty is to whomever I am not working for, but my long-term loyalty is to myself.  I make a lot of money when I’m working on a contract but am often between contracts, i.e. looking for work.  I need to get people hired, then do it quickly or I won’t be kept.

My advantage to you: Since I am compensated and kept as a recruiter based on performance, if I contact you or you contact me, I’m going to try to get you through the hiring process with the company I am contracted with as fast as possible.  I usually know the organization that I’m working with fairly well and what they’re likely to hire.  So, I will be able to give you every bit of information that will help you in the interviewing process.  Since I am paid on volume, I want to see you get hired.

Since I am an independent contractor, I may very well put your information in my personal database and call you about opportunities with the firms that I might contract with in the future.

My disadvantage to you: In most cases I am only working for the one company that I contacted you about.  So I will only be presenting you to this one firm, helping you out with their process.  But it is not likely that I’m going to present anything to you other than the one organization that I am working for.

I may very well keep your information if you don’t get hired by the organization that I am working for now.  I may take that information with me and call you about opportunities with companies that I contract with in the future.

How to deal with me: You may not even know that I am a contractor.  Most of the time I will appear to you to be an employee of the organization that I represent.  You don’t really care as long as I can get you a job that might be of value to you

I’m not going to mess around and spend a lot of time coddling you and holding your hand.  I’m usually “run’en and gun’en” to fill as many opportunities with the company I’m working with as fast as possible.  The firm’s I work with are usually hiring many people over a short period of time, so I may very well get you in the process with them but, they are not going to spend a lot of time “romancing” you.


We are permanent employees of the companies that we work for.  Many of us came out of the third-party recruiting arena where we couldn’t survive the last three or four years.  We’re more aggressive than H.R. staffing people but aren’t quite strong enough to make it doing contingency recruiting.

We’re dedicated to the organization that we work for and, as aggressively as we can, recruit for them.  You can usually detect us because we come across pretty aggressively.  We’re usually salaried employees, with maybe a bonus attached to the numbers of people that we might recruit

We usually work for organizations that are large enough and do enough hiring to justify employing us.  Part of our job is to help our company to find people quickly and avoid paying third-party recruiter fees.

Our advantage to you: I am pretty aggressive and my ego is wrapped up in being successful for my company.  As with a third-party, an external recruiter, I like “looking good” to the hiring authorities in my company.  I’m usually really good at knowing the kind of person that my company wants to hire and because I am fairly aggressive.  I will give a little “push back” to hiring authorities when they may not want to interview you.

I don’t mind reminding the managers in the company that I work for that “no candidate is perfect” and that they should interviewing you on my say so.  I will push you through if I think you are the best candidate.

Our disadvantage you: Since I have a fairly strong personality and feel like that the perception of me is dependent upon the candidates that I produce, that if I don’t think they you are a good candidate, I will not promote you at all.  I don’t “think outside the box” and see your “potential” as a candidate.  If I think you fit, I will push you really hard through the hiring process.  But if I don’t, I won’t push you very hard.

How to deal with me: Start by asking about my role and my responsibilities to my employers and hiring authorities.  If you sense that I am really aggressive, get me to like you a lot and see you as a real viable candidate.  Sell yourself to me very hard so that I might overlook your weaknesses and sell your strengths.  Since I am the “conduit” to you getting an interview, you need to impress me with your abilities to do the job as well as your ability to get the job.  If I believe in you, I will push you through the process, so get me to believe in you.  I have a pretty strong ego, so if you help me “look good”, I will help you through the interviewing process.

“What can I do to get you to promote me in the interviewing process?” is a good question to ask me.


They call us recruiters, but we really aren’t in the formal sense of the word.  We actually “screen” candidates for our hiring authorities. They don’t want to do it because they’re too busy, (…or inept) so we are hired to protect them from masses of candidates e-mailing them, calling them or trying to interview with them. We may sound authoritative to you, but we’re more administrative types of people than anything else.

We might go out on the Internet and look for resumes or ask present employees if they know of anybody that might be interested in working for the firm.  We may run ads and call people who respond to them, but we’re not real aggressive “recruiters.”

Our advantage to you: If you are a relatively “perfect” candidate and the hiring authorities aren’t interested in speaking with you based on the resumes that I found or that you sent, then I can help you in getting through the interviewing process.  I will take care of a lot of details of coordination of the interviewing process and try to accommodate you and the hiring authorities’ schedules as much as I can.

I may know a little bit about the position specifications, but only those that are written by the hiring authority.

Our disadvantage to you: I’m not really going to “sell” you to the hiring authorities.  If you aren’t as “perfect” a candidate as we can find, then I can’t help you much.  I might make you feel good about our company and the opportunity that you might be interviewing for, but as far as really helping you get the job, other than the logistics’ of the interviewing process, I’m not much help.

I might be a little help in coaching you through the interviewing process, but since I am mostly a “screener,” I’m not really knowledgeable of the gives and takes of the job or the hiring authority. The hiring authorities see me as a screener and facilitator rather than someone real knowledgeable about candidates and their availability on the marketplace. After an initial interview, I may not be much help to you in getting feedback or follow-up interviews

How to deal with me: Try to get around me or through me and get in front of the actual hiring authority.  Anything you can do to get me to help you get an interview, do it.  Sometimes I respond to the “squeaky wheel” candidate who happens to be available when the hiring authority decides he or she wants to interview.  I can be your conduit to an interview, so respect me and be nice to me.


We are close to the H.R. for the firms that we work for.  We’re looking to hire you as an employee of our firm, then contract you out to one of our clients.  The kind of firms that we could work for, covers a very broad range of staffing and consulting organizations.  Our firm could be an administrative temporary staffing firm or an IT, technical or engineering, long-term project-consulting firm.

We will actually seek you out and hire you on a contract or you can come tell us and we will try to find you an “assignment.” We could assign you work for our clients anywhere from a day to 3 years.

Because of the kind of professional that you are, you know exactly how we work.  If you don’t, we will explain it to you very clearly.  We recruit or find you and you become an employee of our organization.

RESEARCH CONSULTANTS and MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS (that also recruit as part of their offering)

We are not really recruiters at all.  If we’re research consultants, we’re usually paid by the hour to find “purple squirrels”…. very hard to find types of individuals with very specific kinds of experiences that only relate to very narrow professions or businesses.  You are just as glad that we found you, as we’re glad to have found you.  There number of people that you could work for are limited. Since there are a limited number of you, my job is to find you when we need you.