Preparing an Agency Recruiter for a Corporate Recruiter Interview

Hi all, 

It's been a while since I have posted here. I thought this blog would be the best resource to ask this question. I've been an agency recruiter for almost 4 years now and I am becoming a bit more proactive about finding a corporate job (this has always been my ultimate goal). I know there are some major differences between the agency and corporate world and I want to do the best I can on my interview this Monday for a corporate position. What could some possible questions be from the interviewer? Any tips to help someone like me? 

Thank you in advance for the insight!

Views: 396

Comment by Derdiver on January 15, 2016 at 5:22pm

Ok I am snarky so I just want to get that out of the way.  I am going to just be plain and give you my two cents on this. A great deal of orgs look at agency recruiters because you have been taught to be a hunter or that is what is what they think. Usually this is the case as internal grown recruiters rely more on traffic coming in than working the boards and internal ATS systems, which is stupid. Corporations are going to want to know what can you do for them right then and now. How are you going to work with managers, etc. Happy to chat about this with you offline as well. DZ 

Comment by Larry Hernandez on January 18, 2016 at 7:25pm

Hello Cristina. When I interview agency recruiters for an in-house corporate recruiter position, this is what I look for and ask.  

  • How is your current agency structured?  (Full Desk, Marketing  is separate from Recruiting). 
  • What is your role in this structure?  (Are you spending time hunting for new business?  Are you sourcing?)
  • What is your speciality?  (Tech, Medical, Accounting) 
  • What % of your placements are hourly vs. direct hire? 
  • How are you measured?  # of placements as week, month, quarter? 
  • Who are your best clients?  What placement are you most proud of and why?  
  • Why do you want to become an in-house recruiter? 
  • What is the corporate culture in your agency?  How cut throat is it ? 
  • If I talked to your manager and peers about your work, what would they say? 
  • How many reqs/job orders do you handle at a time?  
  • Walk me through the entire process and please don't leave out any steps. (how a bill becomes a law). 
  • How does your firm treat candidates that don't get the job? (agencies are infamous for making fun of candidates and ignoring the ones they can't place. This doesn't fly on the corporate side. Every upset candidate could hurt our brand. 

Note: Corp recruiters don't get to pick and choose which reqs they work.  Agency recruiters often get overwhelmed with the amount of bureaucracy involved with corp recruiting. There is actually not a whole lot of time spent recruiting.  You have lots of pointless meetings, video conf calls, team functions, special projects, hand holding, etc. I'm trying to figure out if the agency recruiter is too much of a hunter to stay at her desk and not alienate herself from the team. Many talent acquisition teams deal with HR regulations, OFCCP, process audits and the last thing I want is an agency recruiter who thinks process is a waste of time. Sorry, I've gotta go but I hope this helps.  Feel free to email me. There is a ton more but this should give you an idea. I'm actually going to make an online training course on this very topic to help agency recruiters prepare for the transition. 

  • What is the most important step in the recruiting process? Hint: it's the intake meeting(qualifying the req)
Comment by Cristina Lewis on January 19, 2016 at 12:59pm

Thank you to Larry and Derdiver for your comments. I had my interview yesterday after a LOT of prep. Your comments tremendously helped me. I am hoping for the best and feel I did well. 

Larry, I am going to private message you about the online training course you will offer. It sounds interesting. 


Comment by Ben Foster on January 22, 2016 at 9:33pm

Hi Christina, 

Like you, I teed-up my career specifically to move from agency to corporate recruiting after a few years, though interestingly enough, I've been back in agency recruiting and love it. Anyway, I understand that you've already completed the interview you were referencing at this point, and the input you received here is sound. 

In comparing agency to in-house talent acquisition - for the purposes of your interview and once you get in there - my thoughts are that corporate is more about:

- Completely owning every one of your reqs;

- Taking a 'project manager' focus on recruiting; 

- Customer service (of your 'internal' clients);

- And hands down most significant, in my opinion...ability to influence the process and everyone involved, and drive those reqs home (hence, the 'project manager' focus). This includes advising your hiring managers (sometimes hand-holding and sometimes hand-slapping), and working cross functionally with non-recruiter HR people (generalists, benefits & comp, etc.), as well as teaming-up with legal counsel every now and then. 

You can feel free to email me with questions if you'd like: Cheers!

Comment by Cristina Lewis on January 27, 2016 at 12:33pm

Thanks, everyone! I passed the phone interview and have been moved on to a face-to-face interview for tomorrow morning. I'm a bit nervous, but also confident in my skills as a recruiter. All tips for the face-to-face interview are welcomed! :) 



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