Last updated 29th Nov 2022


The term recruiter is used to describe someone that helps to find individuals suitable to fill job openings within a company. Recruiters are oftentimes members of a human resources department. Alternatively, they can be an external service provider.


Also referred to as headhunters, job placement companies can specialize in the supplying of recruiters, which are compensated in a way that is similar to a sales commission. Before working directly with a recruiter, it's important to completely understand all the terms and conditions of their service, including the payment of fees when an individual is successful in finding a job.

The following types of searches are typically conducted by individual recruiters, search firms, and agencies:

  • Contingency Search: a fee is paid to the recruiter by the hiring company if a suitable candidate is found and accepts a position.
  • Delimited Search: an upfront fee is paid to the recruiter by the hiring company; however, the fee is refunded if a suitable candidate is not found, and placed, by the recruiter.
  • Retained Search: a non-refundable, upfront, fee is paid to the recruiter by the hiring company; typically used when an executive search is conducted.

It is important to understand the recruiter's perspective when constructing a cover letter or resume for a job. These individuals have very little time, and many job applications to review. Therefore, a well written cover letter and resume are needed to grab, and hold, the attention of the recruiter.

Related Terms

hiring manager, job hunter, resume format, cover letter, sales commission, executive recruiter, purple squirrel candidate

Moneyzine Editor

Moneyzine Editor