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Recruiter Type Guide:What Kind of Recruiter Are You?

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Choosing a career path can be mind-boggling, even for those who help others get hired. The starting point to define your career path in recruitment is to find out what kind of recruiter you can be: Not just in terms of the recruiter’s job that interests you but also in how you approach your job as a recruiter.

In this guide for recruiters – by recruiters – we’ll discuss a typical job description of a recruiter, their required skills, the various types of recruiters, and also the most popular career paths of a recruitment professional. But before you read on to discover what all can hold in your career, let’s begin with a recruiter quiz to identify your professional personality type.

Table of contents

Recruiter quiz: Your recruiter personality type

Below we have prepared a few questions to help recruiters identify their recruiter persona. As you take this recruiter quiz, remember to note down your honest answers.

What does your desk look like?

  • Cluttered with gadgets: your tablet, work cell phone, and personal cell phone are easily accessible, and at least two computer monitors are up and running. There are also a few coffee mugs and pendants emblazoned with your alma mater’s logo.
  • Bright and colorful: You are a recruiter with lots of photos of family and friends on your desk, and there are fresh flowers and plants for good vibes.
  • Neat and orderly: You have a large desk calendar for keeping track of appointments, and there are interesting articles and news stories pinned to the walls.
  • It’s a bit of an organized mess: Your coworkers might not be able to find anything on it, but you know where everything is!

Your boss just assigned you to a new open req. What is the first thing you do as a recruiter?

  • Rack your brains and scan your social networks. You’re pretty sure you already know someone who would be a perfect fit for the job.
  • Call the hiring manager to determine what kind of person would be the best fit for the position—do they need a compassionate employee? An ambitious employee? A collaborative employee? Matching a candidate’s personality to the job personality is the key!
  • Begin writing a carefully crafted job description to post on multiple job boards. You make sure that the description is thorough and clearly states what the required skills and experience are.
  • Look through your short list of high-potential candidates, and start banging out phone calls. You want to fill this position as fast as possible.

If your coworkers had to compare your working recruiter self to a character from a TV show, who would they choose?

  • Lisa Vanderpump from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
  • Phil Dunphy from Modern Family
  • Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory
  • Olivia Pope from Scandal

You’re going to an event with your significant other, and word on the street is that there will be a C-Level executive in attendance that would be beneficial for you to meet. What’s your game plan?

  • You find out who your mutual acquaintances are, so you’ll have a reason to strike up a conversation and an immediate connection.
  • You’re aware that an important person will be there, but you won’t spend your entire evening trying to find them and introduce yourself. If you happen to meet them, great! If not, it just wasn’t meant to be. The recruiter in you rests while you have some time with your significant other.
  • You extensively research the executive and create a detailed list of talking points to guide your conversation.
  • You don’t need a plan—you love a good challenge. Besides, your confidence and winning personality have never let you down in the past.

What is the most important thing you look for in a candidate?

  • A good reference from someone you trust.
  • The right personality. It’s about more than what you can find on a resume!
  • Skills and experience. All a recruiter needs to know is – can the candidate do the job well or not?
  • Candor. You want a candidate who is upfront and honest about what they have to offer but is also confident in their ability to excel in the job.

How many close friends do you have?

  • It’s hard to say…you have your best friends from college, your childhood friends, your work friends, your friends from the adult softball league…
  • About 4-5 best friends, but you seem to easily make new friends all the time!
  • 2-3 best friends that you’ve been close with for as long as you can remember!
  • You’ve got a group of about 10-15 good friends that you hang out with pretty regularly.

What is your spirit animal?

  • A dolphin: You are extremely social, and you would be completely lost without your pod of family and friends!
  • A puppy: You get along great with most people, but you can also quickly tell when someone is a bad apple.
  • A bumblebee: You are methodical, diligent, and hardworking. You love sticking to schedules and following an established process!
  • A fierce lion/lioness: You are used to being the leader of your pride of friends, family, and coworkers.

Got your answers ready? Great!

But hold on – We’ll reveal the answer to this recruiter quiz at the end of this guide.

Because before you begin looking at the interpretations of your choices in the recruiter quiz, there are a few things to be aware of. This will help you understand the big picture of professional and personal requirements to succeed as a recruiter.

What is a recruiter?

A recruiter may be an individual or a team of professionals dedicated to finding high-quality candidates for a company by matching qualified individuals to open positions. Recruiters are the bridge between a candidate and the job. Their goal is to ensure that the demands of the employer and candidate align.

A typical recruiter job description

Below we lay down the duties and responsibilities of a recruiter as well as the desired skillsets:

  • Maintain steady communication with managers regarding open positions, skill requirements, and the status of recruitment.
  • Screening and filtering applications.
  • Hands-on experience with cutting-edge application tracking, candidate management, and recruitment tools.
  • Analytical and organization skills to match employees to relevant jobs and maintain records.
  • Staying updated about the latest recruitment laws and ensuring the organization meets them.
  • Strong communication and candidate engagement skills.
  • Experience in conducting different types of screening tests and interviews at the initial level.
  • Adhering to recruitment best practices.
  • Tasks related to employer branding.

Recruiter vs. hiring manager

Although both recruiters and hiring managers aim to fill vacant positions, their involvement with the candidate/employee and their role in the hiring process are quite different. Here’s a look:


Hiring manager

Creates and publishes job descriptions and carries out the actual search and first-level screening process to identify eligible candidates.

Raises the requirement and specifies the core skills and soft skills of the candidate. May specify the salary range, and hiring duration for short-term vacancies.

Screens job applications, conducts first-level interviews, shortlists candidates for the hiring manager to take the final call, and negotiates the terms of employment with the candidate.

Has the final say in who is hired, conducts the last stage interviews, and decides whether the candidate fits the team and possesses the required competency to accomplish the tasks.

Is usually the first point of contact for a job seeker responding to an open position.

Is the immediate supervisor or team leader who inducts and guides the employee in their new role.

Most in-demand recruiter skills

As for any job, there are certain critical skills an individual must possess to be a successful recruiter:

People Skills

Good communication and the ability to extract the necessary information are key skills every recruiter needs. A large part of the job is interacting with candidates and the hiring manager. A recruiter needs to communicate with the hiring manager to discover what qualifications, soft skills and work ethics an employee must have and with the candidates to determine whether they can meet the job requirements and inform them of the benefits the employer has to offer.

Critical Thinking

Since a recruiter does not have hands-on experience in the job they are hiring for, they must carefully examine resumes. They need to verify that the core skills and experience match what the hiring manager desires. Further, they should be able to gauge whether a candidate will accept a certain compensation, job title, etc. They need to evaluate whether their performance metrics match their claims.


Filling open positions is a complex process. Often recruiters have to identify wild card candidates who can meet the hiring manager’s different requirements. Cross-matching skills with job roles is critical, especially if a candidate is switching careers. They also have to deal with situations like last-minute abandonment by a candidate to quickly start looking for a replacement.

How to become a recruiter?

Becoming a recruiter requires passion for interacting with and assessing people. It requires an inclination to match requirements to assets. Here’s a definitive guide to becoming a recruiter:

Get an undergraduate degree

That is the minimum qualification to get a job as a recruiter. Popular majors for making a career in recruiting are psychology, business, marketing, sociology, and human resources. However, any bachelor’s degree works, till one can hone people skills, adaptability, and problem-solving.

Get an internship or some relevant experience

This is the best way to enter any domain. Become a recruitment aid or campus recruitment partner or get an internship with a recruitment agency. This helps to gain some experience as well as practice time management, talent management, client management, communication, and negotiation.

Get a certification

A certification in recruitment lends credibility to your experience. It adds value and removes entry barriers for certain organizations. Some of the popular certifications are:

  • American Staffing Association certification
  • AIRS recruiting certification
  • Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) certification
  • LinkedIn Recruiter certification

Apply for recruitment jobs

Once you are set with beginner experience and certification, you are ready to seek a job as a recruiter. Remember to showcase all your achievements and build a connection with the people interviewing you. This helps initiate a network and gives you the opportunity to learn from their experience.

Don’t forget to celebrate your first job as a recruiter!

Types of recruiter

Based on skill, association style, and engagement duration, recruiters are segmented into the following types:


Headhunters use diverse sources to find candidates who fit a position. They generally monitor qualified professionals in their industry to have a ready list of ‘passive candidates.’ They often ensure that the selected candidate stays in the job and even offer refunds if the employee does not continue the job beyond the probation period.

Executive recruiter

Executive recruiters specialize in hiring executive-level candidates who can take on transformational roles. They work exclusively in matching candidates with experience in a niche or leadership skills for management positions. They often seek candidates through a classified network and conduct meetings to gain a perspective on what the candidate is looking for and whether this matches the open positions.

Technical recruiter

Technical recruiters focus on hiring for entry-level or mid-level technical positions. They perform all activities like interviewing and screening candidates based on the description and often technical skill requirements shared by the employer. Tech recruiters work in-house for a company or are part of a recruitment agency that specializes in technical recruitment.

Corporate recruiter

Corporate recruiters are also known as in-house recruiters. They are a part of the company and are responsible for ensuring all types of open job positions at the organization are filled. They are on the organization’s payroll and enjoy benefits similar to other employees. They are often embedded within the company culture and manage human resources as well

Contingency recruiter

Contingency recruiters continuously search for and maintain a pool of contingent workers. They have a large network of eligible candidates for a niche or an industry. They take care of screening, interviewing, and initial recruitment of skilled employees. Whenever a company needs contingent workers, they connect them with qualified candidates and inform them of this being a time-bound or project-based job. They are paid only after the successful placement of a candidate and the payment is typically a percentage of the employee’s monthly or yearly salary.

Retained recruiter

Retainer or retained recruiters are third-party recruiters. Companies hire them to fill critical positions. They are paid an upfront fee for initiating the search for highly qualified and experienced candidates. This is followed by additional milestone-based payments, such as candidate shortlisting, scheduling interviews, successfully negotiating employment contracts etc. The nature of their work is more of talent acquisition. They are incentivized to maintain high engagement and minimize delays in filling vacant positions.

Outplacement recruiter

Outplacement recruiters assist downsized or displaced employees in seeking jobs outside their organization. They are often hired by companies that have let go of employees for any reason. Sometimes candidates who have been laid off reach out to them to help polish their resumes. They also provide career counseling and skill development guidance to candidates to get them placed at the earliest.

Average recruiter salary and highest paying recruiter jobs

According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a recruiter in the US ranges between $35,000 and $75,000[1]. Your career may begin as an entry-level recruiter and go all the way to talent acquisition director. The highest-paying recruiter jobs include talent acquisition manager, sourcing specialist, recruitment manager, and principal recruiter in multinational corporates. These positions often get paid more than $100,000, including additional compensation like a hiring bonus[2].

How has covid-19 impacted recruiter’s jobs?

Just like any other profession, recruitment has been deeply impacted by the pandemic. Here are some key changes introduced by covid-19 that are here to stay:

Virtual interviews

The pandemic has transformed the complete hiring process into a digital one. A physical discussion comes only at the final step before onboarding. All the steps prior to that can be conducted online, like scheduling virtual discussions and conducting online assessments. This has expedited the hiring process and made it more transparent.

Brand positioning

As the workforce and opportunities have become global, talented individuals go off the job market fast. This emphasizes the need for brands to position themselves as desirable employers. Further, there has been a shift in the mindset of candidates from materialistic benefits to work culture and mutual alignment of purpose. This has changed the way interviews are conducted. The interview process has become an opportunity for organizations to sell themselves to skilled individuals in order to hire them.

Unlimited talent pool

With virtual-only and hybrid modes of working, the workforce has gone global. This has made a larger pool of talent accessible to recruiters. However, the proliferation of applications has increased the first-level filtering workload. Technology has driven the transformation with advanced hiring tools such as Arya Quantum to help recruiters manage the candidate pipeline and enrich their talent pool.

Recruiters play a bigger role in ensuring DE&I

As diversity, equity, and inclusivity have become imperative to business success, recruitment can prove instrumental in enabling organizations to achieve the same. Recruiters are working towards removing entry barriers like education level and years of experience. Data-driven hiring tools are helping them create distributed talent-sourcing pipelines, while fostering accountability for giving opportunities to diverse candidates.

Suggested reading on DEI at workplace: Blueprint to drive DEI hiring in the workplace

Social media making hiring social

Social media, not just LinkedIn and Indeed, but also Instagram and YouTube, are becoming increasingly popular sources of hiring great talent. These platforms were initially used to gauge the social presence, political viewpoint, or ethical suitability of a candidate. Now they are being used to directly reach out to prospective employees. This is especially the case for MSMEs that require a certain skillset, as highly talented individuals showcase their expertise via these mediums.

Career path of a recruiter

Recruitment is a popular career path, especially for those who are good at interacting with others and building networks. As a recruiter, one could consider the following career paths:

  • Explore different areas of recruiting, such as with an agency that serves a wide array of clients or an enterprise that allows them to recruit multiple open positions at the organization.
  • A strategic human resource business partner is responsible for strategizing the complete workforce building and management plan and simultaneously meeting open position requirements.
  • A diversity, equity, and inclusion leader is in demand as employees and companies need diversified work environments to foster innovation and creativity.
  • Recruiters, with their vast knowledge of how hiring works, can also choose to become career counselors to guide jobseekers in choosing career paths that match their skills.

For those who wish to switch careers, there are many paths to choose from based on their transferable skills, such as human resources, sales, business development, operations manager, etc.

Tips to Succeed as a Recruiter

Here are the top 13 tips to become a successful recruiter:

  1. Gain a deep understanding of the organization, its competitors, and the talent it seeks.
  2. Get versed with hiring tools and applications used by the organization you are hiring for.
  3. Prepare for the first level interview, so that you can answer questions that candidates may have, such as job role expectations, hiring timeline, company culture, etc.
  4. Build a network with other recruiters and hiring agencies for times of mass scale requirements.
  5. Be proactive and maintain a candidate pool to fill urgent requirements more promptly.
  6. Be attentive to what candidates say and document all your conversations.
  7. Always be on top of your emails.
  8. Shift your approach from screening out to talent segmentation, as every skill can be used somewhere.
  9. Track the performance and response rate of your job postings.
  10. Be prepared to provide valuable interview feedback.
  11. Avoid blindly following referrals. Instead judge them as thoroughly as you would non-referred candidates.
  12. Sharpen your negotiation skills, as you may be the only point of contact till the onboarding stage.
  13. Keep up with market trends and the latest in hiring tactics and talent acquisition methods.

So, what kind of recruiter are you? — Recruiter quiz answers

The moment of the reveal! Identify your recruitment style based on the options you picked in the recruiter quiz:

Mostly As: You are the Networker

“I know of a guy who would be great for this…” is a phrase that you often hear yourself saying. You are a total people-person, and you use that to your full advantage as a recruiter. You are a firm believer in the power of social media, and you often use it to place the right people in the right jobs. Your social nature is crucial to your ability to win over candidates and clients alike.

Mostly Bs: You are the Intuitive One

All it takes is five minutes of conversation for you to know if you like someone or not—this same intuition strongly influences your work as a recruiter! Phone calls and in-person meetings are crucial for you. You strongly believe that a candidate’s personality and attitude can outweigh a lack of skills or experience, and vice versa. Although trusting your gut might have led you to a few bad placements over the years, most hires you submit are right on the mark.

Mostly Cs: You are the Logical One

In stark contrast to the Intuitive One, the Logical recruiter never bases their actions or decisions off of emotion. You approach everything with reason and a level head. You consider all options but trust data and facts above all else. Though you don’t often go out on a limb, you are great at determining who the right fit for a job is, and you are great at communicating why.

Mostly Ds: You are the Closer

You mean business and everyone you meet knows it. You pride yourself on your willingness to tackle any challenge that is thrown your way and on your high success rates. Your confidence and persuasion skills have helped fill countless jobs over the years, and many of your colleagues look to you for leadership and guidance.

Over to You

As a recruiter, you are expected to be a great communicator, decision-maker, and multitasker that play a critical role in workplace management. However, sometimes prejudice may creep in, or the volume of applications may become overwhelming. Using AI hiring tools like Arya Quantum can help you source, sort and select high-quality hires at unprecedented speed and scale. Request a demo today to see how it can accelerate your recruitment process.


What is a job of a recruiter?

The job of a recruiter is to identify, attract, evaluate, and hire qualified candidates for job openings within an organization.

How do I become a HR recruiter?

To become a HR recruiter, you typically need a relevant degree, experience in HR or recruiting, and strong communication and interpersonal skills.

What is the difference between HR and recruiter?

HR encompasses a broader range of responsibilities, including employee relations, benefits, training, while a recruiter focuses solely on talent acquisition.

What makes a good recruiter?

A good recruiter possesses excellent communication, relationship-building, and assessment skills, along with a deep understanding of the job market and company culture.

What are the types of recruiters?

Types of recruiters include internal recruiters (hiring for their own company), agency recruiters (hiring for multiple clients), and executive recruiters (specializing in high-level executive placements).


[1] https://www.glassdoor.co.in/Salaries/us-recruiter-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,12.htm?

[2] https://www.theladders.com/jobs/highest-paying-corporate-recruiter

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