Corporate vs. Agency Recruiting

Posted on 13. Dec, 2013 by

I started my career with a large, international recruitment firm, moved on to a local firm and then made the leap that so many in the recruitment field do. I became a Corporate Recruiter. I, like many others, thought the grass was greener on the other side. I, like many others, had a few misconceptions of what a Corporate Recruiter’s day is like, so I wanted to share a few things I have learned being on both sides of the fence.

From the Corporate Recruiter –

1.) I may have given you the purple squirrel, but I promise it was not mine to start. I have probably been working on the purple squirrel job for quite a while and am now asking for help, knowing full well of the challenge I have given you. The purple squirrel actually belongs to the hiring manager.

2.) I want feedback just as much as you do. Yes, I sometimes have easier access to the hiring manager, but that doesn’t always mean I am going to get feedback more easily.

3.) I usually do appreciate your efforts and wants to partner with you. When I was a Corporate Recruiter, I always found myself having the best of intentions, but I sometimes found myself being a terrible client. Most of the time it was because of what was on my plate or changes within the position or company. No excuses, but definitely unintentional.

From the Agency Recruiter –

1.) We will accept the challenge of the purple squirrel if along with it comes the opportunity to partner with you. In an ideal world, we will be able to work together to help the hiring manager see candidates that may only check eight out of ten boxes, but can learn how to check the other two and maybe even bring something else unique to the table.

2.) The feedback I request is really to help you. I want to be able to narrow down the search in order to find you the perfect candidate, but need to know where candidates are falling short or why you really liked someone. Sometimes it may seem like we are badgering you, but it’s with the best of intentions.

3.) We really do want to build a long term relationship with you. We want to learn about your company culture, structure and add value to your process.

So after spending three years in corporate recruiting, I did what few others decide to do. I went back to the agency world. It’s been great being back and has been helpful to have seen the other side. I hope that sharing some of the experience I’ve had in both settings will help to bridge the gap a bit.