The Staffing Business – Inside The World Of Your Recruiter

There is no Series 7 of recruiting, and yet the industry has the potential to be as lucrative as the field of finance. Even though experts believe that the staffing business dates back to ancient Egypt, it did not get rolling in its modern form until WWII, when a shortage of male workers became a problem for businesses looking to hire throughout the U.S.

However, even after the end of the War, the recruiting industry continued its streak of being able to charge significant fees because with the end of WWII came a boom in technology. Thanks to that new technologically driven economy, there proved to be a shortage of male applicants.

In the world of executive search, when demand spikes for employees, so does the ability for the staffing vertical and all its incumbents to charge exorbitant fees.

However, fees and potential revenue generation aside, ever wonder how your recruiter works, what their day is like and whether you should pursue a career in the field?

Here is some insight regarding the above inquiries:

How Your Recruiter Works:

Recruiters do business either on a contingency or retained basis.

Usually, a retained contract is quite preferable for a staffing firm, as the company gets a portion paid upfront (due upon signature of the agreement) and typically obtains an exclusive on the job. That translates into no other executive search firm or headhunter potentially being able to monetize on or duplicate the placement efforts.

On the flip side of the coin, some headhunting firms will work on contingency-based agreement. That means the staffing company receives no upfront fee nor do they have exclusivity on the account.

In this scenario, the search firm usually charges the client a percentage of the base salary of the successful recruited employee. Depending on the firm, this percentage could be anywhere from 15% to upwards of 30% of the candidates salary or total compensation package that would encompass variables such as insurance, 401k and any form of bonuses.

Either way, your headhunter is bound to make a nice commission off of you getting that job.

What Is A Recruiter’s Day Like?

Depending on the firm, this varies significantly. Staffing agencies designate certain necessary tasks to various individuals. If the search firm is smaller, as with any smaller company, the recruiters will wear multiple hats.

Remember, recruiters work for their clients, i.e. the hiring companies. Those are the parties cutting the checks. However, many staffing professionals leverage this as a way to treat applicants poorly – a practice that is never justified, yet rampant in the recruiting world.