What Is a Recruiter (and Why You Should Use One in Your Job Search)

November 6, 2022
By Brian Carberry

Navigating today’s job market can feel like a full-time job in itself. Applying directly to openings on corporate job boards and LinkedIn may work for some, but many job seekers could use a little assistance throughout the process.

Those applicants should work with a job recruiter.

What does a recruiter do?

In the simplest terms, a recruiter helps people find a job and companies find people to fill job openings. A recruiter’s job is to locate and connect qualified candidates with hiring managers.

There are three different types of recruiters you may come across during your job search. Each has similar goals, but the way they work with you might be a little different.

In-house recruiters

In-house recruiters generally work with a specific company or organization. Also known as internal recruiters, they’ll generally work with their company’s hiring managers to fill specific roles at the company. In-house recruiter often seek out candidates and screen applicants, but they may also serve as a point of contact throughout the hiring process.

Internal recruiters work at many different types of companies across industries, from technology, legal, and consulting firms to financial institutions, retail and manufacturing organizations, and more.

Staffing agencies and employment firms

Recruiters at a staffing or employment agency generally work with several different client companies to fill those companies’ vacant roles. Some staffing companies specialize in temporary roles while other offer temporary full-time, and contract positions.

Unlike recruiters who work for individual companies, recruiters at employment firms are often more invested in their job candidates. In addition to providing access to more job opportunities, these recruiters help potential candidates hone their resumes and interviewing techniques.

Executive search firms

Executive recruiters work to find candidates suited for senior or executive-level roles. These recruiters use their extensive networks and industry expertise to locate highly qualified candidates for critical specialist or leadership positions.

Executive recruiters are more likely to initiate contact with prospects, many of whom might be “passive candidates,” those who are qualified but not actively looking for a new role. However, if you’re in the market for a top-tier position, it’s a good idea to proactively reach out and establish a relationship with an executive recruiter.

Reasons to work with a recruiter

Not all job seekers work with a recruiter. But if you're looking for an expert to help guide your career progression, here are some benefits or partnering with a professional recruiter.

  1. Know when open jobs come on the market: Recruiting agencies work closely with their clients to fill open positions, so they often can connect you with a hiring manager before a position is officially posted. This potentially means more interviews for you.
  2. Resume and interview advice: Recruiters want you to be hired, so they will help you stand out from other applicants. From tips to improve your resume to interview prep work and even coaching around soft skills, a recruiting agency can make you a stronger candidate.
  3. Time savings: Rather than spending hours filling out random job applications for every role you see, working with a recruiter streamlines your search to the openings that best fit your skill set. This cuts down on wasted time during the application process and allows you to focus on the opportunities that are right for you.

Let a recruiter take the stress out of job hunting

You can reduce the stress—and increase your chances of success—when job hunting by working with a recruiter. It only takes a simple email or phone call to get started, and you'll see a major improvement in your career options.

If you're looking for a new role or considering a career change, we’re here to help. Contact us to speak with a Nelson Connects recruiter today.


Brian Carberry is an award-winning journalist and content creator based in Atlanta. He specializes in career and workplace trends, business solutions, and the rental housing market. His work has been featured in CNN, Forbes, Fox Business, Wall Street Journal, and hundreds of local media outlets across the country. 

Know now, read later.

Sign up for notifications, and we’ll let you know when we publish new articles and resources. So you can read now, or later.

Sign up for notifications

Know now, read later.

Sign up for notifications, and we’ll let you know when we publish new articles and resources. So you can read now, or later.

Subscribe Now!