A recruiter is an individual whose sole job is the finding of suitable candidates for specific jobs and positions within companies. Outside recruiters, or headhunters, will often represent several clients simultaneously, and it is not uncommon for individuals to form larger recruitment agencies, in order to expand and diversify candidate pools, as well as to simply increase business volume. Some recruiters avoid retained corporate searches entirely, instead relying on their built-up contact lists to match job-seekers with openings in a more ad-hoc fashion. Despite some differences in their particular methods and terms of contract, all recruiters provide the same basic service to companies – taking over all work pertaining to the locating and hiring of qualified candidates, which serves to decrease the HR related workload of their clients.
The rise and proliferation of independent recruiters and recruitment agencies is a relatively recent phenomenon. In the past, in-house recruitment was the norm for almost every company, with internal personnel staff performing the vast majority of hirings. As the scope of human resource work expanded, corporate departments were forced to grow alongside, in order to provide greater attention to contract negotiation, benefit allocation, dispute resolution, and numerous other staffing and employee concerns. Consequently, more and more companies began to see an opportunity for resource preservation and structural simplification through the outsourcing of candidate search and acquisition – removing a large portion of HR responsibility and placing it in the specialized hands of external recruiters.
It is precisely because of their specialization that recruiters are able to succeed at streamlining the hiring process for all parties involved. By working back and forth between companies and active job-seekers, recruitment agents remain tapped into both sides of the system and often have the best perspective on the job market as a whole. Whether contracted long-term or engaged to fill a particular position, recruiters and search firms are typically paid a percentage of the job-in-question’s annual salary, as compensation for filling the role. Often, some amount of this fee is paid up-front in the form of a retainer, with the balance being delivered upon either a successful hire, or some other agreed upon condition. Though specific terms and percentage demands will vary among different agents and agencies, a legitimate recruiter will never require nor ask for any fee from applicants, successful or otherwise – instead receiving full compensation from the hiring company. This economic structure benefits companies in two ways, allowing the broadest search possible by avoiding any financial burden or discouragement to potential candidates while also ensuring that any retained recruiter will keep the best interests of his client firmly in mind.
A good recruiter will handle the entire recruitment process, from candidate identification and solicitation to preliminary interviews and contract discussions. Companies will often maintain some involvement, particularly in the final rounds of interviews, but they are spared the large amount of time typically required to manage postings, queries, phone calls, and resume sifting. Recruitment and selection of qualified candidates is an immensely quicker process for external recruiters, who have a constant connection with the market and know exactly where to look for individuals with particular skills. Recruiters who specialize in particular job niches (such as Engineering or IT) are also widely available, offering their clients an even more targeted search.
For businesses making continuous, frequent, or even one-time hires, retaining a recruiter is often the optimal strategy. By allowing current employees to maintain complete focus on their internal responsibilities while also making use of the headhunter’s particular skills and expertise, companies save resources, energy, and time – which can make a big difference on the bottom line. Call 1-888-WORK-WORK to find the best recruiter or recruitment agency for your particular needs.