Written By Sanne Wouters

Corporate Recruiters and Agency Recruiters, Competitors or Partners?

Last week a corporate recruiter told me that well, quite frankly, he wouldn’t get paid any more or less if he filled more jobs. So he asked me, why he should go through the ‘hassle’ of exchanging terms, sending specs and interviewing candidates from agency recruiters? Aside from this there is also the prejudice that adds to the heavy competition and sometimes almost rivalry between corporate and agency recruiters: the idea that the agency recruiter might replace the corporate recruiter or make him/her look bad in front of their managers.

I do fully appreciate and understand that corporate recruiters receive a lot of calls, e-mails and LinkedIn connection requests from agency recruiters who at this day and age all call themselves experts in their market. However a corporate recruiter will also receive lots of different job specs on his/her plate, ranging from support, to development, to data, to sales professionals and business directors of all sorts. It seems like it is almost expected of a corporate recruiter to know everyone that could one day be of use to the business. Unfortunately, it is rather hard for one individual to have large networks and optimal market knowledge of each and every technology, sector and industry all around the world. This is where a specialist, agency recruiter can step in and help.

When I say specialist agency recruiter, I don’t mean, for example, a generalist IT recruiter. No, I mean a recruiter who really specialises within a niche market. For example: a Data Recruiter who you as a corporate recruiter can give a call and say: “Hey, I’m looking for a Data warehouse Consultant in Amsterdam with 5 years Data Vault experience, to start on the first of March for 6 months and this is my budget.” That specialist Data Recruiter will then immediately call potential candidates who she/he knows by heart and can come back to you within 48 hours with several matching CV’s of available candidates.

There are already companies out there who almost actively encourage corporate recruiters to work together with agency recruiters. One of my clients gives bonuses to their corporate recruiters for every vacancy that gets filled, even for those for which they used an agency recruiter. When you think about it, it makes total sense: why not reward your corporate recruiter for a role that has been filled within the budget by the best professional regardless of whether the corporate recruiter found the candidate or found a good and specialised agency recruiter who found this magical candidate?

Yes there might be hints of friendly competition between corporate and agency recruiters when it comes to who fills the role fastest, but isn’t that in the benefit of the company, of the end-client that we both want to serve? Isn’t it in the best interest of a company that all roles get filled by the right candidates as soon as possible? That’s why I truly do believe that in the end, both corporate and agency recruiters are striving for the same goal and shouldn’t be fierce competition but competitive partners.