What is the difference between corporate and agency recruiting?

I am new to this field and would like to know a little about everyone's experience as both a corporate recruiter and as an agency recruiter.

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Comment by Amy Ala Miller on August 16, 2012 at 7:09pm

This should be fun. :)

Cristina - what side are you on now?

Comment by Tim Spagnola on August 17, 2012 at 8:10am

Having recently made the move in-house - you get to take the process from start to finish. That is the one thing that I see as the biggest difference. I have been meaning to write a longer post on my transition from outside (10+ years) to inside. I suppose more to come, but interested in hearing the perspective from others.

Comment by Anthony Wilkinson on August 17, 2012 at 8:33am

I am really interested in hearing comments from the folks who have made the transition to the corporate side.  I have been in the agency world for over 12 years and am considering making a move over.

Comment by Jerry Albright on August 17, 2012 at 8:53am

Somewhere around $200K give or take....



Comment by Mitch Sullivan on August 17, 2012 at 9:00am

Jerry's right, although not to the tune of 200k.

When you work in corporate (with some strategic input) you learn there's a lot more to recruitment than just the transactional job/candidate stuff.

If you're young and have serious ambitions in recruitment, I would recommend starting out in an agency for 3-5 years, do a couple of years client-side and then return to the agency sector. 

Comment by Julia Moody on August 17, 2012 at 9:53am

I was on the Corporate side for 12 years, now on the agency side.  I miss being able to walk down the hall and sit down with my hiring manager to go through resumes, get immediate feedback, get more detail into his group etc... I feel (so far anyway - 3 months in) that it's a constant battle with you and the hiring managers.  Hounding them for time, for feedback etc.  It's like they don't want to share the secret sauce with you but want you to bring them the absolute best of breed talent.  Gotta give to get....   signed:  Frustrated

Comment by bill josephson on August 17, 2012 at 9:56am

Guaranteed salary versus non guaranteed salary

$200K difference, generally, might have been true in the 1990's.  Not as widely prevalent today, IMO.


Comment by Amy Ala Miller on August 17, 2012 at 1:17pm

if you're a full desk agency recruiter then yes, you'll most likely make a lot more money and have more freedom/flexibility etc. Get to choose who you work with and when you walk away. It's great, but let's face it we can't all be Jerry Albright's. :) If you're an agency "recruiter", supporting an Account Manager or biz dev person, that's a little different. Now you are in many cases an extra step removed from the decision makers or hiring managers at the company and only get half the money. Not bad if you have a solid relationship with a good AM, but not as good as running a full desk, IMO.

If you're corporate you can still make very good money. Smart companies recognize that for the most part, effective recruiters are money motivated so they not only offer a decent salary but also a chance to earn upside usually in form of a bonus. A major plus as Julia mentioned is simple proximity to your hiring managers. Also, since I'm "on the same team" I often hear about changes (good or bad) before they are common knowledge and can adjust my recruiting efforts accordingly... contrary to popular belief we CAN and DO work on confidential searches.

Comment by Joshua Lee on August 17, 2012 at 1:19pm

Hate to be a self promoter but I wrote about this not that long ago.  :)


Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 17, 2012 at 3:24pm
Independent agency recruiter 2-300k $ more than corp. don't have to work with other employees I don't like, no alarm clock, work my own hours, can't be fired or laid off, go shopping any time I want. If I call in sick I just leave myself a message. Take my dog to work. Hiring manager full of crap, find another one. Different industries, learn something new every new client.


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