What type of Agency Recruiter are you?

This is a topic that I am writing about that has been on my mind recently beacuase of a letter....Dear John and the response letter titled....Dear Katie.   I am sure you all have read it.  If not, please read them both.  It is a great conversation and I think it really makes you think about what type of recruiter that you want to be.  


I am going to start with 2 types of Agency or 3rd Party Recruiters.   Not sure what to call them, so I am going to call them Recruiter A and Recruiter B.


Recruiter A is a a recruiter they want to be your friend, your BFF.  This recruiter takes you too lunch or out for drinks because they want a  lot of reqs to work on.   This recruiter values the quanity of reqs and quanity of resumes that they can find for you.   The recruiter will call once a week because your manager tells you that you have to have a certain number of calls every week so you put it on your calander to reach out to the Client every week.   You have never done any business with the client, but you think that if you call them enough that when the time comes, you are the first person they think of.   Believe it or not, this strategy does work.   There are a lot of companies that work on this model.   I used to work for them.   You get the call to work on a req and you "push" 10 resumes on the manager because you screened them and they have the key words.   After all, one of them has to be a good fit.   Again, not a bad thing, it works.  


Recruiter B is a recruiter that wants to be your partner.   They want to learn about your business.  This recruiter will take you out to lunch or drinks, but it is about building the relationship and partnership.   Recruiter B wants to learn about the culture and what type of candidate will fit in.   They rarely ask for a req beacuase they know what your company is doing.  They know what is on your website and if they find someone that fits the position AND the culture, they will call you to discuss the candidate and how they will fit in your position.   They may even call about a candidate that isn't related to a position that you have open, but they know you, your company, your managers, and your culture and know that you may want to see this candidate.  They aren't looking to work on 10-15 reqs for you.    They are looking for the best fit for your company.  


I am sure there are types C, D, E, etc.......As a former Agency Recruiter, Corporate Recruiter, and now RPO recruiter, I have worked for and with all types.  All of them have their success stories , positives, negatives, etc.


I think that if you really take a good look at yourself, you might fit into one of these categories.  You may fit into a combination of the two.   You ultimately decide what type of recruiter you want to be and how it is going to make you achieve your goals and be successful.   Neither one is better than the other.  They just have different strategies to complete their objectives.


Please feel free to disagree/agree with me or add comments.  Do you think these are accurate?  Are there other types of recruiters?  



Views: 294

Comment by Sandra McCartt on April 28, 2011 at 3:27pm

There probably are several types but there is one other type that is worth mentioning.  The referred recruiter.  This recruiter is referred to your company by one of your hiring managers who has worked with them in the past, or one of your employees who knows them or your banker or attorney or whoever.  They may have even asked someone to refer them to you.  They do not take you to lunch or out for drinks.  They assume that you have friends and family that you like to drink and eat with.  They do not want to be your best buddy.  They are looking for a mutually beneficial working relationship.


 If you call them they will ask you a lot of questions about your company what your needs are, why your positions are open, why the last person left, how you like to work, how many candidates you like to see for a position, how much input you want from them as to their opinion or do you just want to review resumes and ask questions.  They will discuss the way they work, what their expectations are, their fee schedule and guarantee.  They will ask for personal input about your hiring managers.  Personality, quirks, etc. etc.  They will provide you references from other clients or someone they have worked with in HR with another company and encourage you to call them.


That being done, before this type of recruiter will work on a job for you they will research your company, probably talk to some of the people who have worked for your company in the past.  Then they will decide if they can be effective in helping you.  If they don't ;think they can do a great job for you they will refer you to another recruiter who works either your industry or works the way you want to work if they don't.


There really are recuiters who are careful about who they work for and with.  They have worked hard to build a reputation and they won't kill it by working for a company who will make them look bad to the type of candidates they recruit.  They won't work with companies or internal recruiters who don't communicate effectively, have a screwed up process or dipsquat internal recruiters who can't read a resume and are more focused on justifying their existance than they are finding and rapidly moving forward the best candidates no matter where they came from.

Comment by Nate Fischer on April 29, 2011 at 11:29am
Well to be honest, neither.  I have no account manager responsibilities, those are left to my account management and sales executive teams.  My job is to build relationships with candidates and get people jobs.  Well that's how I view it anyways.
Comment by bill josephson on April 29, 2011 at 11:35am

I appreciate Matthew's post and recruiter scenario.  I agree these are distinctly different approaches to recruiting.  But from what I've observed I'll take a different slant.


I see it as Recruiter A is primarily an online recruiter focused mostly on Google, Boolean searches, networking off the job boards, and social networking.  Likely doing the exact activity their technological savvy clients are, but trying to be more effective at it.

Recruiter B is pounding the telephone with daily outgoing dial up and connect metrics looking for 'passive/invisible' candidates their technologically savvy but over the phone deficient clients can't find. 

That isn't to say you can't succeed approaching your 3rd party recruiting in either manner.  But they are two distinctly different approaches.

Comment by Rebecca Griffin on April 29, 2011 at 11:48am

Relationship building is so important, but very often the need to "make the numbers" or metrics, takes precedence, only because time is of the essence. You don't even want to know how many candidates tell me they never heard back from a recruiter, or a client say that you need to talk to your candidates before you present their resume.

Unbelievable. isn't it?

Comment by Mat von Kroeker on April 29, 2011 at 1:50pm
Depending on my super's mood--- I can be Recruiter A to Recruiter Z on any given day.
Comment by Brian K. Johnston on April 29, 2011 at 6:45pm
I am a recruiter that says "NO" to alot of business... Who are you at your core?  When you reach inside your soul for the answers, you then align yourself with like minded folks/clients/companies... You can also learn NLP (mirroring/pacing), which is a great way to align yourself for success also... One thing is clear from reading intelligent posts from internal recruiters. OLD SKOOL sales tactics are not valuable any longer, rather "solutions selling" and Inbound Recruiting its the future... Best, B
Comment by Sandra McCartt on April 29, 2011 at 7:43pm
Brian i agree with you but one thing i should mention.  Solution selling started up in 1975 so it's sort of an old skool approach.  However the problem with being totally focused on solution selling is that sometimes a customer is not buying to alleviate pain or solve a problem.
Comment by Brian K. Johnston on April 30, 2011 at 9:24am

Sandra-  Thanks....Love  this insight....  What other reasons do customers buy?   My contention is if they are your not troubleshooting a problem or pain with your service, the sales cycle is too long... I would rather hang out with my wife and kids, than work on something that is "needed someone yesterday".  Best, B


Comment by Sandra McCartt on April 30, 2011 at 4:33pm
How about the fun of working as part of the team who is building a new division. Not the ones who need it yesterday the ones who decided it was time to build. There are no problems or pain there is a vision for the future, a well thought out plan, a reasonable time frame to hire 10 new people, get them on board, trained then launch. How about just having that one new position that is being added to bring new expertise or management skills to an already performing team to take it to the next level.

With the ones who needed it yesterday there would be a problem or some pain to be alleviated. The press on these normally means that somebody already tried and failed to produce. Sometimes those can be fun depending on why they neededit yesterday and didn't get it. If the money is right, the location is not some weird wide spot in the road called Fishook,Alaska (cause it's the cold ass end of the line) and they didn't get it filled because internal has been messing with it for 30 days. Sometimes it's just the difference of a competent TPR as opposed to some kid internal who didn't know what they were looking for. If we mess with those it has to be with the caveat that we are recruiters not miracle workers so if they messed with it for 30 days we need probably ten days to deliver. I don't go looking for those but if I am called in at 11th hour59th minute with the expectation that I can deliver today or tomorrow, I'm with you. I'd rather go play with my horses and let somebody else fall on their sword.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on April 30, 2011 at 4:57pm
As an example of no pain, no problem. I am working on four engineering spots. They are new positions. Company knows what they want. I know their culture and management team. I started the search 10 days ago. Two final interviews Mon. Three phone interviews Tue. Working with new grads to 3yrs so the kids are fun to work with,they listen, don't have a lot of baggage. All of us want it done and new people starting by end of May. It's like getting money from your kid at camp when the client, the candidates and the recruiter are on the same page, moving at reasonable speed and everybody wants it done. HR will will do their thing approve final offers after verbal offers are made. If HR slows it down after the fact they may be pulling orders in the warehouse. It's a recruiters dream.


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