What is the difference between a specialized recruiter and a generalist recruiter?
The basic tenets of recruiting run across both specialized and generalist recruiters. The main difference is that specialized recruiters have more expedient access to a niche talent market than generalists.
Take supply chain, for example: If a supply chain recruiter sourced 100 procurement candidates in a single year, they’d have easier access to that talent pool than a generalist recruiter. Specialization allows one to quickly screen a job description for what an employer may or may not need in a candidate. They also know exactly where to look for candidates because they probably placed a few.
The more experienced and specialized recruiter can also work closely with an employer to give them better, real time feedback on the requirements for the position. An example of this would be pay-scale and comp packages for a senior level procurement professional. They also can ensure that the compensation packages reflect competitive offers for different skill-sets or lack thereof.
Typically, a generalist recruiter will more closely adhere to the job description and place more of an emphasis on sourcing a high volume of possible candidates from which to choose. The specialized recruiter can be more methodical with a smaller candidate pool because they usually have hands-on experience with what the employer needs.
Why use a specialized recruiter
One reason employers choose specialized recruiters is because 85% of submitted candidates from a specialist get interviewed. Compare that to 85% of employers saying that they’ve received candidates that don’t match what they asked for or the job description.
In short, specialists are able to more closely align a candidate with not only the needs of the employer but the needs of the position.
What does this mean, you ask? Well, it means that the expertise of the specialized recruiter allows them to consult with their clients. They oftentimes can offer more insight into what they should be looking for and hiring trends for that particular industry. Because specialized recruiters work exclusively in a given field, they’re more knowledgeable about trends, compensation, organizational charts, technology, and other real time changes in the field that generalists lack visibility on.
Relationships are also a stock and trade for specialized recruiters. They not only have established access to a niche talent pool but they also likely have a lot of functional relationships from working in the industry. If you wanted to hire a logistics professional with a lot of experience in low acid bottling, it would serve you well to retain a recruiter who once worked with the Coca-Cola Company’s supply chain. This is a very highly specialized role which means that there are not many people out there equipped with the knowledge and experience required to thrive in this role.
The more specialized your need is, the more specialized your talent professional should be.