Welcome to the Perry iSearch Career Talk blog! The goal of this community is to educate people on all things related to job search from the perspective of the recruitment or search industry professional (recruiter). We will use this forum to give tips on resume writing, interviewing, networking, job boards, negotiation, and much more. But before we can get to the good stuff, we should start with…

Who am I, and why do I want to share this information? My name is Peggy, I am the Owner of iSearch Partners Inc. (Perry iSearch). We are an Employment Agency and Consulting Firm based in Marlton, NJ. I began my career in the recruitment industry in 1995 (right here at Perry iSearch). From early on, I realized that people don’t fully understand our industry, therefore, there are many pre-conceived ideas and stereotypes about recruiters that I would eventually like to clear up. But first, you should know that all recruiters are not the same. To clarify this, I feel it is important to cover some basics…

What is a recruiter? Well, the answer is complicated. To simplify, a recruiter is someone who finds the people with skills and qualifications needed to fill open positions within a company. Here’s where it starts to get confusing, there are a few different types of recruiters:

  1. Internal Recruiters: These are part of a company’s internal human resources department. They may recruit positions directly and/or use outside agencies to recruit talent.
  2. Contract Recruiters: These are independent recruiters that have been contracted by a certain company or companies to help them recruit talent.
  3. Agency Recruiters: These are recruiters who work for employment agencies, companies hire agencies to help fill positions for them. FYI, this is what we do here at Perry iSearch!

With respect to agencies, they can be categorized into three kinds of companies:

  1. Staffing Firms: Primarily staffing temp and contract roles.
  2. Professional Recruitment Firms: Primarily direct-hire roles and interim professional contract roles.
  3. Executive Search Firms: All direct-hire roles.

To complicate things even more, there are also different types of job placement. Here are some terms that you may hear associated with a position that an agency recruiter is trying to fill…

  1. Direct-Hire or Permanent (Perm) Placement: A person who is hired as a direct employee of a company. This can be through any type of recruiter listed above. Many large companies use agency recruiters in conjunction with their own internal team.
  2. Temporary (Temp) or Contract Placement: A person who is hired by an agency to work onsite at another company’s location. Typically, this a short-term assignment, but could also be for a longer defined (contract) or undefined period-of-time, based on the company’s specific needs.
  3. Contract-to-Hire (Temp-to-Perm) Placement: A person who is hired by an agency as a temporary or contract basis with the intention that the company will eventually hire this person directly after the contract (trial period) which varies but is usually tied to the number of hours the employee needs to work before being hired directly. This method allows for both parties the opportunity to evaluate each other before committing to permanent employment.

Let’s add one more level of complexity, most recruitment agencies have certain specialties in which they focus their recruiting efforts. This could be one or more of the following:

  1. Industry (Consumer Packaged Goods, Manufacturing, Retail, Government, Banking, etc.)
  2. Type of Positions (Sales, Marketing, Finance, Engineering, Information Technology, Human Resources, etc.)
  3. Level of Positions (Entry Level, Skilled Workers, Professional, Executive)
  4. Geographic Territory (Local, Regional, National, International)

Now you know why our industry is often misunderstood. There are a lot of recruiters out there but not all of them are able to help you, this can be frustrating to job seekers. So, the best thing that you can do is to ask questions about a recruiter’s areas of expertise to see if they align with your interests and career goals. I hope this helps you understand our industry a little better, more to come soon!

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