Learn the Role of an Employment Recruiter

Types of Headhunters and Recruiters

meeting with a recruiter

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What is a recruiter? An employment recruiter solicits individuals to fill a particular job. Some recruiters (known as headhunters) work for a recruitment agency and endeavor to help fill positions for multiple organizations at once. These types of recruiters find candidates for a variety of different employers.

Other recruiters work for an organization’s human resources department, and may have other job responsibilities besides recruiting. There are also in-house, or internal recruiters, who source candidates for their own company.

What Recruiters Do

Recruiters seek out, screen, and interview candidates before presenting them to the client. Typically, the recruiter will source applicants, review their resumes and applications, and create a short list of the most qualified candidates for the hiring manager to review.

All recruiters search for qualified applicants for jobs. Some recruiters work directly for employers, while others work for a recruitment agency. Their responsibilities can vary depending on the type of firm they work for and type of job they hold.

In addition, recruiters accept resumes from applicants who are seeking assistance in getting hired. Many recruiters advertise their availability so the job seekers can contact them directly for assistance in getting connected with a hiring company.

When a recruiter finds a candidate who is a good match for a job, the applicant is referred to the company's hiring manager. 

Different Types of Recruiters

The following are examples of the various types of recruiters that work to connect organizations with candidates for employment.


A headhunter is a term used to describe an individual who works for an employment agency that recruits qualified personnel for various jobs. Headhunters actively seek qualified applicants for jobs using LinkedIn, social media, online databases, networking, and other sources. 

Here’s more information on how to choose a headhunter or employment agency to help with your job search. 

Executive Recruiter

An executive recruiter specializes in hiring executive personnel. These types of recruiters work solely with high-level executives seeking management positions, and the companies seeking employees for leadership roles. 

Health care, for example, is one industry where specialized executive recruiting may be needed. Here is a list of the best health care executive search firms.

Internal Recruiter

An internal recruiter works in the human resources department of a company or organization. These recruiters hire employees for their own company. They may also perform other human resources duties when not hiring new employees.

Information Technology (IT) Recruiter

An information technology (IT) recruiter specializes in hiring individuals to fill information technology positions in a variety of industries. The recruiter may fill either permanent positions or temporary, project-based jobs. These recruiters will seek job candidates who have the specific skills the employer wants, such as programming skills or technical expertise. 

Legal Recruiter

A legal recruiter specializes in hiring individuals to fill a variety of legal jobs, including attorneys, paralegals, and law firm management positions. The recruiter may focus on one or a number of legal specialties, including law firms and corporate legal departments. They often specialize in different categories, such as associate, partner, or counsel recruitment, but may also work to satisfy other hiring needs of the firm like advertising and administrative tasks.

Management Recruiter

A management recruiter specializes in hiring individuals from a variety of business sectors. Management recruiters may focus on hiring corporate executives, but they may also fill middle management and sales positions.

Military Recruiter

A military recruiter specializes in hiring individuals to enlist in a variety of military positions. The military has established a number of recruiting commands that serve to enlist individuals in specific military branches.

Pharmaceutical Recruiter

A pharmaceutical recruiter specializes in hiring individuals to fill a variety of pharmacy positions, including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmaceutical sales representatives.

Sales Recruiter

A sales recruiter specializes in hiring individuals to fill sales positions in a variety of industries. The jobs filled range from entry-level to executive-level sales and marketing positions.

Sports Recruiter

A sports recruiter specializes in hiring athletes for one or a number of sports. Sports recruiters can be employed by colleges, sports teams, or sports agencies. People in this role visit high schools, colleges, and local or minor leagues to find talent. Some recruiters also hire coaches, managers, and others involved in the sports industry.

How to Find a Recruiter

For applicants interested in working with a recruiter, there are sites you can use to search for and connect with recruiters in your career field, industry, or location. Here's how to find a recruiter. 

Unfortunately, there are also fake recruiters out there, dedicated to deceiving job hunters and stealing either money or personal identifying information. Discover how to detect telltale signs of a scam recruiter.