What Is a Recruiter? A Complete Guide

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 4 March 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Recruiters are an important part of the HR department, and they specialise in finding the best talent for the company. Professional recruiters can find candidates who are qualified and well-suited for the company's business culture. In this article, we define what is a recruiter and what their primary responsibilities are.

Related: Technical Recruiter Job Description: Meaning And Contents

What Is A Recruiter?

What is a recruiter, can be defined as an HR professional who specialises in recruiting new employees for a company. Recruiters may work independently with clients and recruiting agencies or as in-house recruiters for companies. A recruiter has a variety of duties that relate to enabling their clients or company to hire the right candidates for open positions.

What Is An In-House Recruiter?

An in-house recruiter is an employee of an organisation, usually from the human resources department, responsible for managing the recruiting and hiring process of the company. In-house recruiters use inputs from managers and company stakeholders to source, screen and communicate with candidates. They work directly for the organisation to fill a variety of positions across different departments.

Related: What Does A Technical Recruiter Do? (With Skills And Salary)

What Is A Recruiting Agency?

A recruiting agency manages all the recruiting and hiring functions of another company. These organisations focus solely on sourcing candidates, developing candidate databases and matching these candidates to available positions at client companies. Recruiting agencies typically work with many clients at the same time and may specialise in specific fields, such as healthcare, education, media and sports.

What Is A Mass Recruiter?

A mass recruiter is a large company, usually a multi-national that conducts large-scale recruitment or placement drives for different markets. These recruitments typically happen once or twice a year and target graduate and postgraduate candidates from both private and public education sectors. Mass recruiters usually aim to recruit and train a large number of candidates within a short time. After the training, they shortlist the top candidates and offer them permanent jobsin the company.

Related: How To Write A Recruiter Resume (With Examples And Template)

Recruiting Vs. Hiring

Many people use the words 'recruiting' and 'hiring' interchangeably, but they have many differences. Hiring is reactive, meaning it often responds to an immediate need. In comparison, recruiting is a long and in-depth process. It involves the use of vacancy postings, social media and professional networks to match a company's specific needs. In a hiring situation, you ensure that your skills apply to the job. You are also responsible for presenting yourself and your resume effectively.

If you use a recruiting agency, you work with a professional who assesses your skills and matches them to available job openings. They may also try to fulfil your other demands regarding salary, benefits and work environment. Recruiters can use their experience to edit your resume to meet specific client needs and preferences. They may prepare you for interviews and answer your questions. Recruiting agencies normally retain your resume and present new opportunities to you, even after you have a job.

Related: Guide: How to Succeed at a Hiring Event or Open Interview

Responsibilities Of A Recruiter

Some of the primary responsibilities of recruiters are:

  • Determine staffing needs: The recruiter assesses the scope of work and necessary skills when determining the staffing needs for a company.

  • Create systematic recruitment strategies: Recruiters create efficient systems for finding the best candidates.

  • Screen resumes and applications: They filter, tag and sort candidates and match them to client or company needs.

  • Perform candidate interviews: Recruiters interview candidates to better understand their potential and their specific aspirations.

  • Coordinate company interviews: A recruiter may manage the details of interviews between candidates and company representatives.

  • Attend job fairs and hiring events: Recruiters frequent these events to find potential candidates for a client or company.

  • Act as a communication channel: A recruiter helps facilitate effective communication between candidates and companies.

  • Manage background checks: To ensure a candidate is best for the position, a recruiter may perform background or reference checks for candidates.

  • Track staffing information: By gathering and storing data about candidates and companies, recruiters can improve their performance and provide information to their clients.

Related: What Are Recruiter Skills? (Plus How To Improve Them)

Benefits Of Working With Recruiters

Recruiters share information about vacancies, screen candidates for companies and may even offer you a job on behalf of a company. Seeking the assistance of a recruiter saves you time during a job search by unlocking information that would otherwise be obtained through extensive research on your end. Additionally, recruiters have access to inside information about vacancies and open positions in different companies and the nature of their staffing process. This information is rarely available in the public domain and is very difficult to acquire through your own personal research.

A recruiter can give you practical advice on how to a job that suits your skills and experience. Recruiters may also help increase your visibility to employers by utilising their network and expertise. For companies, recruiters are important because they help the company find talented individuals who value the same principles as they do.

Related: Show Hiring Managers That You're Ready to Work

Recruiter Outreach Email Examples

Here are some examples of emails you can use when reaching out or responding to a recruiter:

Example one

Dear Amit,

My name is Roy, and I applied for the Production Designer position at Zaveri Studio, Bangalore, in February. I am writing this mail to provide a formal introduction and convey my enthusiasm for having received the opportunity. I believe the role is a great match for my specific skills and abilities. I would love to speak with you to run you through my work history and learn more about the studio's specifications for this position. Would you be available to connect via phone this Thursday?

Thanking you for your consideration,

Roy Abraham,
+91 79436 72855

Example two

Dear Ms. Neha,

I am writing to carry forward our last communication at the Mumbai Technical Arena Job Fair. Since that time, I did some technical research on the company's business model and I am confident that my experience working with Yash Corp's marketing department has prepared me for the responsibilities and functions of a consultant in this company. I have attached my resume for your perusal.

Can we connect via a phone call sometime next week to discuss this in greater detail? I have provided my contact information below.

Thank you in advance for your help. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Vipul Jain,
+91 80888 34921

Example three

Dear Mr Ajit,

My name is Neel, and I recently showed interest in the Production Supervisor position at MNS Labs. Because you have worked with that company, it would be great if you can share your experience and help me learn more about their values and work culture. Please let me know if you have time for a brief call next week to share your experience in detail, including the specific skills required to succeed in this organisation. My schedule is not so rigid on Thursdays and Fridays, and I can accommodate whatever works best for you.

Thank you for your help. I look forward to hearing from you.


Neel Singh,
+91 70521 19837

Related: How To Respond To Recruiter Emails: A Guide (With Samples)

What Questions You Are Required To Ask A Recruiter?

After selecting a few recruiters who have the proper qualifications, ask questions to find out who may be the most helpful during your job search. It is okay to interview your recruiter, similar to how a company interviews a candidate. That can help you assess how well a potential recruiter is likely to perform. By gaining more insight into their background and experience, you can also build a working relationship with them. Consider asking these questions to screen potential recruiters:

  • How long have you been a recruiter in my speciality? Get details of their recruitment experience regarding your specific field. This can help you know if the recruiter has enough connections to help you find the right job in your industry.

  • Do your clients have vacancies in my specific area of expertise? Try getting information about your specific job market to accurately picture the potential of your engagement with the recruiter.

  • What type of positions would you recommend for candidates with a background similar to mine? Knowing the ballpark for positions and pay helps you make informed decisions during your job search journey.


  • Interview Question: "Why Should We Hire You?"

  • 20 Interview Questions For Recruiters With Sample Answers

Tips Recruiters Give Candidates

These are some general tips that recruiters often share with candidates:

  • Promote professional experience: Establish a positive and professional presence online.

  • Proofread your application: Thoroughly edit all application materials and correspondence to ensure communication is formal and appropriate.

  • Follow up with employers: Send thank-you notes and maintain connections to improve your opportunities.

  • Practice interviewing: Practice answering common interview questions to improve your confidence.

  • Attend industry events: Find hiring opportunities and job fairs to engage with recruitment processes regularly.

Related: Tips From a Recruiter: Mastering the Virtual Interview

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

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