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Key Differences Between Corporate Recruiters and Staffing Agency Recruiters

Corporate recruiters or agency recruiters are two people who help the company to fill in the positions. Before dividing them into two categories, we need to understand these two people are very different, both fundamentally and operationally. Here are some key differences between corporate and agency recruiters, helping you to identify how they differ from each other and who best serves your company's needs.

1. HR vs. Sales

Corporate recruiters generally exist within HR departments and often come from a human resources background, rather than a recruiting background. This makes the approach to recruiting that corporate recruiters take different from the approach that staffing recruiters take. There is no sales involved in terms of business development since they [corporate recruiters] work directly for one company or firm. Their job consists of posting job advertisements, head hunting candidates, phone screening candidates, getting candidates interested in their company, and setting up the interview process.

Staffing recruiters, on the other hand, operate at least as much in a sales function as they do in a human resources function. Agency recruiting is primarily a sales organization. Accordingly, agency recruiters are typically hungrier and typically have more experience negotiating and closing deals.

2. Exclusivity vs. Competition

Staffing agency recruiters know that they have to perform exceptionally well in order to have steady work and steady pay. Recruiting in the staffing industry requires you to compete with other recruiting companies and adds an additional layer of pressure to respond quickly to the customer

Corporate recruiters don't have that pressure, because they're regular employees of the company. Just as competition in the market benefits the consumer, competition among staffing agency recruiters benefits the employer.

3. Technical Knowledge vs. Recruiting Expertise

Staffing agency recruiters are highly skilled at recruiting overall and must be able to fill all sorts of different positions in all sorts of different industries. Corporate recruiters, on the other hand, are specialized at filling roles within their company's industry. Most corporate recruiters and sourcers work within a single vertical or group. They usually have 5 to 10 open reqs they are working for the length of their stay at the company. Agency staffers receive multiple new reqs each day from a wide variety of clients.

This specialization translates into corporate recruiters typically having greater technical knowledge for the relevant roles than an outside agency recruiter would have. This is more of a benefit for some positions, like hospital positions, than others, like sales, management, tech, etc.

4. Firsthand Culture vs. Secondhand Interpretation

Because corporate recruiters are company employers, they live the company culture. Staffing agency recruiters, on the other hand, only know the culture from what they can observe in limited meetings and primarily what the hiring manager tells them it is.

Internal recruiters will be able to articulate and respond to questions about what it's really like to work in your company in a way that external parties won't. External recruiters will never know your business as well as your own staff, try as they may, because they don't work in the organization on a day-to-day basis, experiencing all its nuances and political challenges. Especially, if using agency recruiters, offer top candidates a campus visit and/or participation in a team lunch to give them great cultural insight.

5. Salaried vs. Performance Based Remuneration

Corporate recruiters are normal company employees and that means they're always on the payroll. If you don't hire a lot of people each year, it's probably not worth having in-house recruitment staff. Staffing agency recruiters can be a more cost-effective solution for companies that aren't constantly hiring for a lot of evergreen roles.

Corporate recruiters are standard employees and thus not as easily dismissible and replaceable if their results aren't quick and high quality, unlike staffing agency recruiters.  Agency recruiters can be measured based on client feedback and the number of times roles have to be re-filled at no charge to the client, which can happen if the wrong hire is made. Thus it's easier to get your money's worth from staffing agency recruiters than from corporate recruiters.

6. Slow vs. Fast

Staffing agency recruiters recruit all day, every day, with high stakes. They operate in a highly competitive environment and are accustomed to accumulating contacts and utilizing every networking opportunity to grow pools of active and passive candidates for nurture. This translates into larger applicant pools for staffing agency recruiters than corporate recruiters.

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