Recruiting is a wide open industry offering a variety of niches for anyone interested in this exciting field. I suggest new Recruiters learn about the entire process of recruiting before deciding where they fit best. Understanding how full cycle recruiting works will always provide an advantage even if you end up in a position that handles only one facet of the process, like interviewing candidates.
The rewards for mastering the skills needed to perform all the steps in the recruiting process are without limit. After learning all the steps in recruiting, if you find you really excell at sourcing or obtaining searches, or some other aspect, you can specialize in your strength without damaging your income potential. It's a beautiful world.
Here are some options for working as a Recruiter.
Contingency fee Recruiters, Executive Recruiters, and Head Hunters are all names for the same type of Recruiter. These Recruiters are paid a fee when their client (the employer) hires their candidate. These Recruiters get paid after their candidate starts work.
Contingency fee Recruiters are known for their ability to access 100% of the candidate marketplace (vs. the 20% reached by ads). They have the skills to approach the 'happily employed' pool of candidates. Utilizing 100% of the marketplace elevates their ability to make great matches. 85% of employers responding to surveys rate “Head Hunters” as providing the best caliber of candidates. Executive recruiting fees traditionally are 15% - 30% of a candidates’ first years salary. These Recruiters most often work on commission only.
Contract Recruiters work directly for an employer with multiple positions to fill. Assignments can last several weeks to over a year. Contract positions can turn into permanent positions. This segment of the recruiting industry is growing rapidly. It's a perfect alternative for good recruiters who don’t want their own business. The Contract Recruiter doesn't have to worry about overhead, advertising, technical difficulties, office supplies, etc. The average compensation rate is $25.00 to $75.00 per hour. Some positions pay more, a few pay less. It’s a great value for employers. The lower cost per hire justifies the healthy hourly rates.
Staffing agencies attract candidates by offering to find them jobs. They tend to focus on numbers. If 20 people respond to an ad they try and bring all 20 in for an interview. Staffing temp jobs often leads to permanent hires. They're all about activity; high volumes of candidates, job orders, interviews and placements. Their recruiters are used to a fast pace, high volume, high energy atmosphere.
While some staffing companies specialize in high level professionals, like computer programmers, the majority of staffing firms' bread and butter' accounts are support staff positions. While there are many payment options it's typical for staffing Recruiters to receive a salary (or hourly rate) with bonus incentives for performance.
It's worth noting 98% of companies have used staffing agencies. They have a reputation for turnover rates of 50% to 90% for Recruiters with less than one year experience. Lack of training and unrealistic expectations contribute to the turnover. As candidates become more sophisticated, they resist old fashioned “control” tactics many of these agencies use.
Corporate Recruiters work for a specific employer and are often part of the HR Department. They are paid a salary, usually. For many, the security of having a regular, dependable paycheck is of greater value than the higher annual earnings Executive Recruiters enjoy. I know of Corporate Recruiters who are nothing more than clerical slaves and make 24k to 35k a year. They have had no real training as a Recruiter. I also know of Corporate Recruiters who make between 75k and 115k. It's all about skill level and ability, in my opinion.
Retained Search Firm Recruiters are known for getting their fee up front. They're paid whether or not they deliver a perfect match candidate. They tend to charge the highest recruiting fees. There has been a steady decline in the companies who use these firms because of the internet and the high caliber candidates contingency fee Recruiters provide.
Once one acquires the necessary recruiting skills, there are further options. Work from home, or independently, with other Recruiters in an executive suite setting. Or work with a boutique type firm of co-workers who wish to make multiple placements at a high rate of speed because of their shared skills and the synergy such a group offers.
Whatever option suits you best is the best path to follow. There is no substitute, however, for understanding the basic principles of the recruiting process. I urge you to invest in your career as a Recruiter and obtain the training needed to jump start your success.
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