It is so hard to figure out the “rules” of job search. Probably because there aren’t any, really. But you should know the difference between HR, recruiters and hiring managers. Each has a different set of priorities.
I have sat on both sides of the hiring desk. I have worked as all of the above: HR, recruiter and hiring manager. I also know colleagues in all three functions. I thought it might be helpful to help you understand the different roles they play so that you can understand where they are coming from when they provide advice or when they don’t return your calls.
These are typically people who work for the organization (sometimes they can be contracted). Their roles are to ensure rules are followed and processes are in place. If the company does a lot of hiring, they may even have internal recruiters who are solely responsible for hiring.
Mission: to enforce rules around HR policies and procedures
- They know the organization/company
- They may or may not know the true nature of the job
- They usually serve as a filter, screening candidates that don’t fit the criteria
This term usually applies to people outside the organization who have been hired or engaged to find talent. They could be working for a firm or have their own business. They could be Retained or Contingent.
Retained means that they have a relationship with the company (either exclusive or not), to help them find the right talent.
Contingent means that if they provide a candidate who ends up getting hired, they will be paid a fee. Otherwise, they are not compensated. They may even be competing with other recruiters to fill the position.
Mission: To find the right candidate for the company and make money
- They serve as a go-between and you can and should be more direct in how you answer their questions
- They will love you if you meet the qualifications of the job they are trying to fill
- Not all recruiters are created equal
- If they don’t need you, you probably won’t hear from them again
These folks have many responsibilities, one of which is to make the final hiring decision for new talent to their group or company.
Mission: To run a successful operation
- They know the organization/company and the requirements of the job
- They have multiple hats to wear and filling a job is just one of them
Who should you be networking with? Why is it so hard to get a call back? Who should you call back?
The answer depends, doesn’t it!?
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.