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Employers, Find A Recruiter Now

Looking for a good Recruiting Partner? 

You have come to the right place!  Before selecting a Recruiter, let’s talk about what your specific situation is and what kind of Recruiter you’ll need.  In order to do that, let’s define the different types of Recruiters.

Find A Recruiter Now – Skip the Explanations; go Here or Here

Contingency Recruiter

A Contingency Recruiter works on a contingency basis for a Client Company.  In other words, they are paid by a Client Company only if there’s a successful hire (or placement). 

A successful Contingency Recruiter typically specializes in a particular industry niche and/or a particular geography and/or a particular title within a niche. 

If done properly, the Contingency Recruiter is very well networked in their specialty.  When they hear of an opening in their “space” they reach out to their network and see if anyone would be interested in the opportunity. 

Tip:  They’re typically only looking for people within their “space” and currently employed.  If someone’s not employed or is outside their “space” they’re perceived as “can’t helps".

Client Companies are willing to pay a Contingency Recruiter for:

  • The service of convincing someone who may not otherwise have found the opportunity on their own to take a look even if they’re happy and gainfully employed. 
  • The service of finding someone they couldn’t have found on their own.
  • The service of finding someone they knew about, but couldn’t (for a variety of reasons) recruit the Candidate on their own.
  • The service of finding the absolute best Candidate (that’s interested in the opportunity) to interview.

Want to know how they’re paid? The Contingency Recruiter is paid a percentage of the Candidate’s first year salary. The average salary on a Contingent Search ranges $60,000 to $150,000.

Want to know how much? The average percent charged ranges from 20% to 35%.  The Client Company pays the fee.  A great Contingency Recruiter typically makes $100,000 to $250,000 a year, with the top 1% earning in excess of $500,000 and more.  The average Contingency Recruiter makes $75,000.

Retained Recruiter 

The main difference between a Retained Recruiter and a Contingency Recruiter is the Client Company Pays the Retained Recruiter up front to capture the Retained Recruiter’s attention so they’re assured the Recruiter is actively working on their behalf. 

The Contingency Recruiter has no guarantee the Client Company will work with them (return their calls, interview their Candidate, etc…) so they often present great Candidates to multiple Companies.  While a Candidate may prefer this, a Client Company should be aware of the reality. 

Want to know how they’re paid?  The Retained Recruiter is paid 1/3 upfront, 1/3 at presentation of Candidates, 1/3 at placement.  The average salary on a Retained search ranges $120,000 to $300,000. 

Want to know how much?  The fee is typically 25% to 35%.  The Client Company pays the fee.  A great Retained Recruiter typically makes $150,000 to $300,000 a year, with the top 1% earning in excess of $500,000 and more.  The average Retained Recruiter makes $100,000.

Contract Staffing

A Contract Staffing Recruiter hires “Contractors” (a Candidate who works on an hourly basis for a Client Company to complete a project).  The Recruiter and the Contractor build a strong relationship because the Contractor knows their relationship with the Client is only for a limited time.  However, a good Contractor Recruiter relationship can last through several Client projects. 

The entire project relationship works like this; the Client engages a Recruiter to find a Contractor that can fulfill a Client’s project. There's usually no interviewing process with the Client.  If the Contractor doesn’t work out, the Recruiter pulls them from the project and brings another one in.  The Client pays the Recruiter based on the hours the Contractor works.  The Contractor turns in their time card each week to the Recruiter and the Recruiter pays the Contractor their wages. 

Want to know how they’re paid?  The Contract Staffing Recruiter charges an hourly rate to the client which includes the expenses relating to payroll.  There's a margin built in for the Recruiter’s fee.  Typically the margin is equal to what a Contingent Recruiter’s placement fee would be if the contract lasts 12 months.  If a contract runs over 12 months, the Recruiter may offer the Client a small conversion fee so the Client can offer the Contractor a full time position if that’s what all parties want.  A great Contract Staffing Recruiter typically makes $100,000 to $250,000 a year, with the top 1% earning in excess of $500,000 and more.  The average Contract Staffing Recruiter makes $75,000.

Want a referal to a good Contract Staffing Recruiter?  Just ask Here.

Outplacement Recruiter

This Recruiter provides placement assistance to Candidates who have been downsized.  The fee for placement assistance is paid by the Company that downsized the Candidate. The Outplacement Recruiter also provides resume, interviewing, and career coaching assistance, which is sometimes paid by the Company, but usually paid by the Candidate. 

Want to know how they’re paid?  The fees are varied depending on the services and there’s really no typical scenario. 

Want to know how much they make?  Since the services vary greatly it really depends on what specific areas the Outplacement Recruiter specializes in.  I would guess their compensation is similar to that of the Recruiters listed above.  Here is a link to an Outplacement Recruiter I highly recommend, Don Straits.  If you do reach out to Don, say “hi” from Lorena!

In-House Recruiter

This Recruiter works for the Company and is part of the Company’s HR team.  This is who Candidates on their own Career Search will most likely interface with.  You will notice throughout Lorena’s List I mention for the Candidate to connect directly with the Hiring Manager for the position and I always mention to cc the HR Department so they are also aware of the connection. 

Want to know how they’re paid?  They’re usually paid a salary and some companies give them a bonus for each hire they make.  Salary ranges from $35,000 to $60,000.  I do not have a solid number for the top 1% because the In-House Recruiter’s function varies greatly from Company to Company. 

Employment Agency

The Recruiter in an Employment Agency is normally working with active candidates (candidates that are actively looking for a job).  They typically are primarily dealing with candidates out of work.  Some employers do find value in this service as the fee is a lot lower than listed in the above definitions because they are not spending time actively recruiting those who weren’t looking (which takes a lot of time and resources, see Recruiter’s Journey in Hunting a Head, coming soon in a Blog entry.

Want to know how they’re paid?  By the Client (there used to be some that required the Candidate to pay, but that trend has gone away).  Want to know what they’re paid?  So do I.  I have heard through the grapevine it is typically 10% of the Candidate’s average salary, but can vary up or down.  If you have more insight, please email me.  I would love to share the most up to date accurate information.

Here is a short list of other terms used for different types of Recruiters

3rd Party Agency

This can be a Contingent, Retained or Contract Staffing Recruiter and simply implies they’re not an employee of the Company.
Executive Recruiter

This can be a Contingent or Retained Recruiter.  Typically they place more senior management from Director Level on up or Candidates that are paid $100,000 plus.


An endearing term Recruiters have been coined.  The term probably came about because some look at the Recruiter’s role as “stealing” (hunting) happily employed Candidates (head) from one Company and “forces” them to go to work for another Company that paid the Recruiter for “stealing” them.  Hmmmm, if the Candidate in question were that weak minded would the Company paying the Recruiting fee want them?  Or by chance was there another more solid reason the Candidate choose to make the transition.  I wonder could this term have come from someone who felt left out as they were never “hunted”?  Again, hmmmm... 

Search Consultant

Again, this can be a Contingent, Retained or Contract Staffing Recruiter.

Technical Recruiter

The name speaks for itself.  This Recruiter is solely focused on placing Technical positions.  This title has been used for 3rd Party Agency Recruiters as well as In-House Recruiters.

Still don’t quite understand why a Recruiter is so important. 

The following is a true story, names removed to protect the guilty: 

You have an opening.  You go through the normal steps:

  • Open Req is sent to HR
  • HR places ads, sends emails out to internal employees who may have referrals and networks within their network.
  • Resumes come flooding in and HR is inundated with reviewing all of them.
  • Two weeks later they find 10 candidates that “qualify” and send them to you so you can approve to set up interviews.
  • Another two weeks go by.  You’re really busy. You finally look at them.  You’re not impressed.
  • Four weeks into it, you call a Recruiter.  Within two weeks they find you 3 solid candidates that they’ve spoken to, are gainfully employed, are qualified, interested, and are ready to interview.
  • Another week goes by.  You’re still really busy.  The Recruiter has called incessantly, you are not calling back.  You’re busy, remember.
  • Finally, after another week, the Recruiter stops by your office, puts the 3 resumes they previously submitted back in front of you and says; “Here are the candidates I presented.  I challenge you to hire any of the 3.  As a matter of fact, I will forgo my fee.  These candidates are yours.  Now go get’em!”
  • You tried calling and left a couple of messages, but lost track again.
  • In the meantime, the Recruiter placed 2 of the 3 with other Companies.

Ouch!  Sound familiar? I hope not. This was real.  It does happen.

Want to know more?  I will give you more real life experiences in Recruiter’s Journey in Hunting a Head, coming soon in a Blog entry.  I will also explain how an In-House Recruiter hires a Candidate for the Company they work for in HR Recruits, coming soon in a Blog entry.

Find A Recruiter Now.  Go Here or Here

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