What Are The Two Types Of Recruiters?

15 Feb What Are The Two Types Of Recruiters?

Recruiting is a multi-faceted industry that can be confusing. 

Without a strong grasp of the various specialties, niches, and operational differences in the recruiting industry, decision-makers often struggle to decide what kind of recruiter would provide the most value to their organization. 

Even worse, this uncertainty often pushes organizations to avoid investing in external recruiting help at all, forcing them to incur sky-high hiring expenses, struggle through painful time-to-fill periods, and battle to maintain organizational morale.

Gaining a fundamental insight into the intricacies of the executive search industry can instill the confidence and certainty decision-makers need to revolutionize their organization’s hiring process with a strategic, extensively researched recruiting partnership.

How Many Different Types Of Recruiters Are There? 

Generally speaking, there are four common types of recruiters. These types are generalist recruiters, in-house recruiters, contingency-based recruiters, and retained recruiters

Generalist recruiters specialize in invaluable business tasks like seasonal hiring, block hiring, and identifying, engaging, and evaluating candidates with top-tier potential for their partner’s entry, intermediate, and mid-management roles. 

Generalist recruiters typically don’t take on overly complex, complicated, or challenging projects at the executive or specialist level, allowing them to maintain impressive levels of productivity and success at the early and mid-level rungs on the corporate ladder. 

In-house recruiters focus on filling vacancies only for the organization they work for, and they offer the advantage of a deep knowledge of the company’s culture and roles.

The remaining two types of recruiters are more like two sides of the same coin than contrasting specialties. That’s because both of these types of recruiters exclusively serve the niche executive recruitment market.

Contingency and retained executive search firms offer similar services but operate using different business models. The difference in contingency-based and retained executive consultants’ pacing, processes, fundamental strategies, and goals is significant enough to warrant separate designations.

What Is A Contingency Recruiter? 

Contingency-based recruiters are executive recruiters

They partner with many organizations using non-exclusive contracts that entitle them to payment only in case of a successful placement. This low barrier to entry often appeals to organizations that are interested in boosting their hiring outcomes but are still wary of making an upfront investment in an executive search partner. 

Contingency-based recruiters rely on maintaining a high volume of organizational partners, allowing them to quickly, efficiently, and effectively leverage their network of exciting executives and specialists to make quick placements that represent a win-win outcome for their clients and candidates. 

However, it’s important for decision-makers to note that non-exclusivity works both ways – if your role is too challenging, complicated, or costly to fill, a contingency-based search firm may move on to quicker and more profitable wins.  

What Are The Different External Recruitment Methods? 

External recruiters use a variety of data-driven methods to identify, engage, evaluate, and onboard professionals that represent ideal matches for their organizational partners. 

Unlike generalist recruiters who use tools like job boards to connect with candidates, executive recruiters leverage the influence and reputation of their agency to win access to exclusive professional groups, clubs, and networks that are packed with industry-leading executives, researchers, developers, and other hard-to-access workers. 

The best executive recruiters also utilize data-driven technologies that allow them to minimize the impact of the harmful subjective biases that typically plague hiring processes. High-level external executive recruiters also conduct in-depth credential verifications, background checks, and reference validation. 

What Is The Average Recruiter Salary?

The pivotal role the best executive recruiters play in the ongoing success of their partners’ businesses allows them to earn a comfortable living. Most executive recruiters are salaried employees with lucrative performance incentives that can add tens of thousands of dollars to their annual take-home pay. 

The average executive recruiter earns between $80,000 and $115,000 a year, including performance bonuses earned for creating successful placements. The highest-performing executive recruiters can earn more than $150,000 annually.

What Are External Recruitment Methods

As we mentioned above, external recruitment methods differ from the strategies your in-house hiring team or typical external partners likely utilize. 

External generalist recruiters typically rely on tools like professional social media platforms (like LinkedIn), popular job boards, and other “wide net” strategies that capture exciting candidates with growth potential at the entry-level, intermediate, and mid-management levels. 

Executive recruiters’ high-level targets necessitate strategies that are a bit more strategic, refined, and discreet than the ones employed by their generalist colleagues. 

Executive recruiters should be able to leverage their networks to arrange personal, one-on-one meetings with prospective candidates. Organizing these kinds of meetings positions executive recruiters to save their – and, by extension, their partners’ – time and money during the final stages of the recruitment process.

How Medallion Partners Stands Out In Executive Search 

Medallion Partners has been enhancing our partners’ teams with world-class additions for more than 15 years. 

As a boutique executive search agency, we pride ourselves on delivering “Big 5” results for our clients while still providing personalized client experiences. We leverage unmatched experience, hard-earned market insights, and our extensive network of high performing executives to ensure our partners’ success. There is a reason more than 98% of our placements are still in their roles after two years. Reach out today to learn more about the Medallion difference.

Recent Thoughts

woman reading quotes about hiring and developing great leaders
Sep 18

Inspiring Quotes about Hiring and Developing Leaders

Gain Wisdom and explore expert insights from Top Business Execs with inspiring quotes about hiring and developing leaders.

Learn More
african american man in a suit with executive leadership qualities
Sep 13

8 Must-Have Executive Leadership Qualities for Your Next Search

Discover the essential qualities for executive leadership success. We suggest tools and interview questions to aid the search for your ideal next leader.

Learn More
two people sit down to discuss the best practices as they strategize succession planning
Sep 6

9 Best Practices in Succession Planning

Succession planning isn’t a formality; it’s your organization’s insurance for the future. Leadership changes are certain, and a well-structured executive succession plan based on best practices is your…

Learn More