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What does a Recruiter do?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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If you’re looking for a job in a specific field, especially one that is technically based, you may want to look for a job recruiter who might aid you in your search. Oftentimes, if you have your resume posted in high profile places, like monster.com, good job recruiters will find you. You can also meet recruiters at places like employment fairs, or you may interview with recruiters prior to ever meeting anyone at the company you’d like to work for.

A job recruiter is either a private individual or may represent a company that specializes in finding the right people to fill jobs at companies. Sometimes large companies have their own recruitment staff, but more often, a private individual works for one or more companies to find a person who meets the specific requirements of a job the company has open. Frequently, the job recruiter is a freelance worker who will recruit for various companies at the same time.

Pay can be significant and may be on a contingency basis only. If the job recruiter is able to successfully place an employee with the company, he or she gets paid. If the recruiter doesn’t find an employee for the company, or is in competition with other recruiters, any work done to screen candidates is not compensated. Successful job recruiters can make a lot of money, when they are good at finding candidates and understanding exactly what the company needs. Those who aren’t so good at this may want to consider other career options.

On a more general basis, companies may request managers or human resources staff to actively practice job recruitment, especially at employment fairs or through networking. Many companies offer bonuses to employees who bring in a new worker. These bonuses can be as small as a gift certificate to several thousand US Dollars (USD) depending upon how great the company’s need is for employees. Even if you don’t want to be a job recruiter on a full time basis, it’s a good idea to be aware of any employee incentives for bringing in new workers. These can pad your paycheck if you have ideal candidates in mind for an available job.

Similarly, even if you can’t get the attention of good job recruiters, you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable about asking business contacts or friends if they have available jobs in their company. You’ll likely confer a financial benefit to others if a friend recruits you to a job. If they’re not comfortable with this, they can always say no.

There are some reasons why job recruiters might not even look at your resume, no matter how good it is. Recruiters tend to be searching for extremely specific qualities and experience in workers. When you send a resume to recruiters, instead of editing out work that doesn’t seem relevant, you’ll likely want to include as much information as you can. Something you don’t think is important might just be to a recruiter. Be as specific as possible and outline all your experience, skills and capabilities so recruiters have the most accurate picture of how you might fit with a company.

In general, job recruiters should not charge the person seeking work. Pay should come from the successful job placement of candidates. You should be wary of someone who asks for pay to find you a job since this may indicate they’re not very successful in their work.

PracticalAdultInsights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a PracticalAdultInsights contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By anon114424 — On Sep 28, 2010

I am looking for a professional headhunter that will seek, on my behalf, certain companies I am interested in working for. A fee, agreed upon by both parties, would be paid by myself if employment is obtained. Do you know of a company that does this?

By anon104785 — On Aug 18, 2010

Headhunting: Without any information, directly speaking to candidates through a third party.

Recruiter: Taking information from job portals and talking to the candidates.

By anon14987 — On Jun 28, 2008

What is the difference between Headhunter and Recruiter?

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a PracticalAdultInsights contributor,...
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