In-House Recruiter vs. Agency Recruiter

In my e-Course and book, I cover a great deal about what it takes to be a kick-ass recruiter. But do you know what kind of recruiter you want to be? Generally, recruiters either work for an agency or as an in-house recruiter for a company looking for people to hire.

happy recruiters collaborating

There are many similarities between both. As an in-house or agency recruiter, you must be great at sourcing talent, understand HR tools (email, project management software, resume databases, and Applicant Tracking Systems), and be proficient at long-term relationship building. Beyond these, there are also many differences to think about when deciding what path to take. These are the main areas to consider:

Sales

An agency recruiter must be sales savvy. They must sell their services to hiring companies and candidates, presenting their ability to find talented professionals and connect them with employers. On the other hand, in-house recruiters serve a single company’s hiring needs. You may be working on filling multiple positions while thinking how to limit employee turnover.

Branding

An agency may let you be your own brand ambassador. This is great if you’re comfortable working directly with clients and candidates and growing long-term personal relationships. As part of an in-house team, you must focus on building your employer’s brand and take on tasks that benefit the company, such as creating resume databases.

Responsibilities

When working with an agency, you get to serve multiple clients, in different industries. You may hire short-term staff and be dedicated to filling specific roles. On the staff of an organization, you’re tasked with managing only that company’s hiring needs, factoring in each hire’s fit with the industry and company culture.

Personal Skills/Qualities

A recruiter for an agency must be a go-getter, take initiative, and be a master at sales. Essential qualities also include a competitive attitude and comfort with multi-tasking. You must thrive in a fast-paced environment and be able to juggle different clients and tasks.

Working in-house is different. You must play with the team and follow procedures and administrative guidelines. The candidate experience is extremely important, and you’re a part of the entire recruitment life-cycle. It’s your job to hire employees on a long-term basis, while managing everything from sourcing to onboarding and training.

Your Career

In an agency, your work may shift from small accounts to focusing on high-value clients. You can also be a team leader. As part of a larger company, a recruiter is often a member of the talent acquisition team. At times, you may be assigned important recruiting duties, but must be willing to take on administrative tasks as needed.

How to Become a Recruiter

The recruiting role you fit in depends on your personal desires and style. If you long to become a recruiter and be your own boss, sign up for my e-Course, “The Millionaire Recruiter” to learn the ropes, gain valuable recruiter tips, and focus on learning where you want to apply yourself.