The Top 7 Types of Recruiters in the Industry

It’s important to know what types of recruiters one is. There is a slight difference. Read further about different types of recruiters.

Published in
5 min readAug 6, 2020


Top 7 Types of Recruiters
Top 7 Types of Recruiters

Recruiters are, by necessity, a diverse lot. Sourcing top-tier tech talent in Silicon Valley is completely different from niche designers in New York City. Recruiters, staffing agencies, or even recruitment agencies must respond to their contexts by adopting the tactics and strategies that make sense for their situations. They all come to the table with their own unique personalities and postures toward the world.

Combine this natural human variation with a plethora of contextual needs, and what do you get? A recruiter! These are the top 7 types of recruiters. Your company might come across any one of these or all the 7 types of recruiters.

1. Corporate Recruiters

Corporate Recruiters work for a company’s HR department and are paid a monthly salary and benefits just like any other employee of that company. They, for instance, have titles such as HR Manager or Hiring Manager.

Their job is to find new employees for the company they work for i.e. usually large companies with large hiring needs. The corporate recruiter is responsible for more than just finding great talent to fill one position; they must also write job descriptions, screen resumes, interview candidates, extend job offers, implement onboarding strategies and keep detailed records of all candidates and new hires.

While the job of a corporate recruiter may lack some of the variety and pace of headhunting, corporate recruiters can get more in-depth into human resources activities.

2. In-house Recruiters

In-House Recruitment refers to a division of the HR department that is focused entirely on the onboarding of new employees instead of using an external agency.

It can also refer to an ‘In-House Search’ which means that there is a vacancy in that company but they are looking to promote someone internally. An Internal, In-house, or Corporate recruiter is the most common type of recruiter that you will probably encounter.

Internal recruiters work and source full-time employees for the company they work for and are paid a salary and benefits like any other employee. Companies often use contractors to work as recruiters to avoid paying an outside agency fee effectively insourcing this activity.

3. Contingency Recruiter

When the required candidate gets hired, the recruiter gets paid. That’s how it works for Contingency Recruiters. Their fee is based-on on one of their candidates being successfully hired.

So if a contingency recruiter gets the candidate a job, he or she gets paid either a flat fee or a percentage of the candidate’s first year’s salary by the company that hired him/her. Normally, the candidate won’t have to pay any fee.

Contingency recruitment refers to recruitment in which the recruitment agency collects fees from clients only when a candidate who is qualified is placed by them for the position in question.

4. Retained Recruiter

A Retained Agency is similar to contingency recruiting with the only difference that the client company pays a retainer i.e. a fixed upfront amount fee to that company to perform a search. A portion of the search fee is paid upfront and the remainder is expected upon a successful hire.

The initial retainer fee is paid irrespective of whether a placement is successful or not. This is more typical for higher-level positions to make the recruiter spend time on a low probability of placement.

Retained recruitment is considered to be a secure form of recruitment for the recruitment agency involved. Retained recruitment is held onto by a company on the basis that retained recruitment consultants will submit a higher caliber group of candidates to them consistently.

5. Staffing Agency (Temp/Contract)

A Temporary/Contract Staffing Firm hires temporary or contractual employees for a client’s company. The individual is employed by the staffing agency and the staffing agency pays all wages, employer taxes, medical insurance, and benefits.

The client company pays an hourly rate for the contract/temp employee which is higher than the employee cost. The premium or markup fee is to take care of the staffing company’s costs and profits in exchange for the flexibility and ease of hiring or terminating such resources on short notice.

Staffing agency recruiters help companies fill vacant positions with temporary employees. This type of recruitment is prevalent amongst industries with a lot of short-term projects such as IT and construction and seasonal sectors such as hospitality, retail, and tourism.

6. Headhunters

Headhunters use multiple sources to find candidates to fit the job opening. These professionals often use several Internet job boards, professional associations, referrals, and their own networking.

They will keep an eye out for qualified professionals who are not seeking new positions and are referred to as “passive candidates.” Headhunter fees are often between 20 and 35 percent of the candidate’s salary if the candidate is hired.

Good headhunters offer a probationary period for the candidate they refer to and offer a refund if the candidate resigns or is terminated before the probationary period. This seems like a win-win situation, but it’s rare for candidates to resign or be terminated during the probationary period.

7. Outplacement Recruiter

An Outplacement Agency provides job-seeking assistance to downsized/displaced employees. Often the employer will hire an outplacement company to help their recently downsized workforce find jobs as goodwill.

Outplacement services also provide resume and interviewing assistance, career counseling, etc. Several of these companies are divisions of larger staffing companies. So, if an employee loses his job because he was downsized by the company, he may be referred to an Outplacement Agency.

Most of the time the employer will hire an outplacement company to help their recently downsized workforce find jobs. Outplacement agencies also provide career counseling, with assistance on resume writing, interviewing skills, and job hunting. Once again, there is no fee to the employee as a jobseeker.

In Short

Recruitment can be a tedious and time-consuming process, but it doesn’t have to be. A recruitment agency or even a Recruiter can save you time, save you money, and help the company find the perfect candidate. It’s worth investing in the recruitment process because the costs of a bad hire can be high and nobody wants that. If you plan to use a recruitment agency or a recruiter, you need to make sure you’re working with the right type of agency or person.

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