Depending on whom you talk to and their experience as corporate or independent recruiters, you will probably get a different answer to this question. The truth is there are tons of differences between the corporate and independent recruiting world. Below are some of the key differences that set these two professions farther apart than you might think.
Independent recruiters must build relationships with both clients and candidates in order to maintain their business. Their livelihood (and paycheck) depend upon their ability to market and sell themselves and their firm. On the flip-side, corporate recruiters have a steady paycheck from week to week and are assigned positions they must fill. They don’t typically have to develop new business accounts. Corporate recruiters may be more specialized since they only have to know about ONE company’s culture, products, or services. Third-party recruiters are more likely to have broad knowledge of companies, industries, and product lines as well as the functional roles for which they recruit talent.
Sourcing for independent recruiters and corporate recruiters can be quite different. Independent recruiters use selling techniques to connect with passive candidates who are not interested in leaving their current position. The independent recruiter must gain the trust of the candidate through a cold-call and a carefully tailored sales message. For the most part, corporate recruiters don’t use cold calling skills to recruit passive candidates. They may hire an independent recruiter to work for them, or use job boards and post advertisements to find candidates.
Independent recruiters need to be business savvy as for the most part, they will end up running their own business one day. The skills needed to run their own desk as well as manage other recruiters and the back-end of a business may be equally, if not more important than the skills required to successfully place candidates. Corporate recruiters may do much more than recruit. If they are functioning in an HR role, they may also be responsible for insurance, benefits, company policies, disputes and complaints, etc.
Having an independent recruiter or corporate recruiter skill set doesn’t make you any more or less successful. However, it’s important to note that there are definite differences between the two.
What are your thoughts about the differences between independent recruiters and corporate recruiters? Does a corporate background provide recruiters with the experience necessary to be successful in independent recruiting?