6 Types of Recruiters You Should Know – Part Two

*This post is part two of a three part series: 6 types of recruiters you should know.

6 types of recruiters you should know - part two

Contingency or Staffing Recruiter – many recruiting professionals today are both.

If you’re searching for a job a recruiter can be a huge help. Doing a Google search for recruiters will yield numerous results and a lot of staffing industry jargon you may not be familiar with telling you what “type” of recruitment a firm or individual does. It’s up to you then to decipher their lingo. One such job seeker reached out to us for clarification:


I’ve been contacting recruiting firms and see where their services are “contingency” and “contract staffing”; sometimes these services are within the same company and other times it is not. I read something similar on the neteffects website, too. Can you please clarify this?”

Thank You, Ravi

‘Hi Ravi,

Thank you for reaching out. Perhaps this will help. We put together a series titled: The 6 Types of Recruiters You Should Know to help make deciphering the differences between recruiters (and the services they offer) easier, some advantages to working with each type and a few expert tips to help you avoid common pitfalls as a candidate. Part two of the series, covers contingency and contract staffing. Be sure to check out part three as well, which speaks to consulting and outplacement recruitment.’

6 Types of Recruiters You Should Know – part two

Contingency Recruiter

A contingency recruiter is an outsourced recruiter who conducts full-time employee searches for a client on a contingency basis; meaning they are paid by the client only if they find and place a candidate. The contingency fee is either paid as a flat-fee or as a percentage of the new hire’s first year salary (ranges run from 15 to 35% depending on difficulty of the role/placement). Most staffing firms offer contingency services and will list these types of roles as “Direct Hire” or “Contract-to-Hire” in order to categorize them differently from temporary or contract jobs.

For more details on direct-hire and contract-to-hire roles, check out this post where we dug deeper to decipher that lingo.

Advantages of working with a Contingency Recruiter:

  • There’s no fee to work with this type of recruiter for the candidate, but do carefully review the terms of any employment agreement you sign for any Employee Payback Agreement outlined within. With an EPA, if you decided to voluntarily depart the role before an agreed-to amount of time, the employer may require that you pay them back for the fee they accrued to hire you. While this isn’t standard, it does happen
  • They want a great fit. Some contingency contracts will allow a full or partial refund to the client if the candidate leaves the job before 60-90 days. Or, if a candidate ultimately doesn’t work out (before 6 months to a year of employment) they will replace the candidate for the client at no charge. In either case, the recruiter doesn’t what that to happen. They want you to be happy and their client to be happy because happy people make for more business and referrals
  • Direct-Hire Opportunities. Unlike temporary/contract jobs, these are full-time direct hire roles. For job seekers who would be leaving a full-time position for a new opportunity, this can offer greater peace of mind when considering an offer from a recruiter

Interested in direct-hire and contract-to-hire roles? Check out our current openings!

Common Pitfalls: 
  • Cutting out the recruiter. Working around the recruiter deliberately on your own or the recruiter’s client’s part is unprofessional and frowned upon. Recruiters have agreements in place with their clients to keep such activities from occurring
  • Asking to be submitted for job you have no credentials for. There are always a few exceptions to this rule – if you can clearly show the recruiter what skills and experiences you possess that are transferable. But if a client specifically asks for the resumes of candidates that have 10+ years of experience, fluent in 3 languages and you don’t have any of those, it’s going to be very hard for a recruiter to sell you as a candidate to their client
  • Not giving feedback. Contingency recruiters want to make a good match for you and their client. If during the recruiting process you have concerns regarding the role or your potential for a fit, let your recruiter know. Your feedback will help the recruiter match you to jobs that closely align to what you and their clients are seeking

Contract | Temp Staffing Recruiter

Contract | Temp recruiters hire contractors to work for a duration of time for their clients. These jobs can last anywhere from a few days (ex: covering a vacation) to several months (ex: covering extended leave). The contractor reports to and is managed by the client, while the staffing agency pays all of the wages, employment taxes, and any benefits that the contractor is eligible for. The client company pays an hourly rate which includes the contractor’s pay plus a markup for the staffing firm to take care of their costs for employing the contractor and costs for recruiting and HR services.

Advantages of working with a Contract | Temp Staffing Recruiter:

  • Variety and flexibility. One week you could be managing a project for a consumer product goods company and the next you could be writing code for a tech start-up – it will all depend on your experience and what type of work you’ll accept. Once a contract ends, you can ask to be put to work again right away, or take time off for your own personal pursuits. These recruiters have access to all sorts of opportunities
  • Try before you buy. Want to test the waters with a company you think you might want to work for longer-term? Working as a contractor on a temporary basis is an excellent way to do so
  • Expand your professional network. For every contract opportunity you work or interview for, you’ll be meeting new people to network with which may lead to a career opportunity while on assignment that you can discuss with your recruiter or sometime down the road

Looking to add some variety to your work? Check out our current openings!

 Common Pitfalls:
  • Flaking on a job. If you start a contract job and decide it isn’t for you, speak to the recruiter who placed you or another member of the staffing agency right away. To not show up for work or quit with no notice is not professional
  • Not reporting all hours worked. Every hour you work for the client should be reported. If a client asks you to not report hours, speak to your recruiter/staffing agency representative right away. You should be compensated for all the time you work on behalf of a client
  • Failure to manage your own career. Think of your contract opportunities as stepping stones towards more longer-term or ideal opportunities (if that’s what you desire). Communicate to your recruiter or recruiters what you’re ultimately seeking and start taking the steps you need to get there. Additional training or education, more projects or experience; whatever you need a recruiter can’t do it for you