Agency/Third Party vs. Corporate Recruiting

I'd love to get everyone's take on which side they think is better. In my job search I've been considering both but really kind of wary of going back to an agency. Maybe I'm the only one with a bad experience ?....
Agency has it's obvious advantages on the comp side but what I like about the corporate world is that you have direct contact with the Hiring Manager and have access to get your questions answered on the role. I've also found that I get more 'respect' as a corp recruiter vs. "headhunter".

Views: 183

Comment by Jerry Albright on September 21, 2008 at 10:39pm
As an "agency" recruiter I can not imagine not having direct access to my client/manager. It's me, the candidate and the person hiring. Sure there is contact and coordination with other parties (HR, Team members, etc.) but I am never spending my time working without a direct connection to the person hiring.

Can you shed a little more light on your bad experience? I had some very wacky/strange experiences in my agency days before doing my own thing. Maybe you've just run into some of the same things we all have?

I have no real idea what corporate recruiting is like but can certainly offer feedback on the various things I've seen in the agency world.
Comment by Susan Burns on September 21, 2008 at 10:47pm
Hi Alex - this could be a great Talent Talk Cafe topic! What are you doing on Tuesday at 3pm ET? IF your interested I'll make it our weekly discussion topic. You can reach me directly at
Comment by Alex on September 21, 2008 at 10:52pm
What I found in the agency world is that you had limited information on the role, most times all you basically had was a job description and no real insight into the role. Examples like what the corporate culture is like, why is the role open etc..I only had access to the account manager, not the client himself.
Comment by Jerry Albright on September 21, 2008 at 11:00pm
You might really enjoy then a move into being the account manager. Though I've never been a big fan of breaking the complete recruiting cycle down into the smaller parts and pigeon-holing a person to that and that only. I began recruiting in 1987. That was during a time when you had to do the complete process - locate the client, establish your fee, discuss their process/your process, go back to the database and start digging. Throughout the years many agencies realized that if someone learned "the whole thing" they could (and frequently did) move on much more easily. So they split up the job.

An account manager has a hard time on his own as does someone who would only be able to recruit. But now with so many different ways to network with other recruiters it's not such a dead end (only mastering one part of the process)
Comment by Cathy McCullough on September 23, 2008 at 1:49pm
I have done both agency and corporate recruiting and have enjoyed both. It really depends on what you want to accomplish at this point in your life. I think agency work is more exciting and fast pased. It offers you an unlimited upside and the ability to work with a wide variety of hiring managers and clients; but there is also a lot of risk involved. Corporate work doesn't offer the high salary potential or diversity of projects but you know what your paycheck will look like every week. If you have liked agency work in the past, why not look for an environment where you will have direct contact with the hiring manager? Whether you are corporate or in an agency, the deeper your relationships are with the hiring manager, the more successful you will be.
Comment by Judith Mare on March 17, 2009 at 6:19pm
Hi Alex,
Can you tell me from where we can source the best candidates for the requirements at Canada. I do have few Hot requirements to be filled in by this week.Please let me know whether you are helping out in providing consultants. You can reach me at


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