A recruiter is a human resources professional that recruits, qualifies and interviews candidates for organizations. These professionals can work in a variety of environments. Job recruiters are often paid in one of several ways depending on their skills, abilities and drive to succeed. Many of these professionals specialize in a specific disciplines, industries or job types.


Qualifications for job recruiters can vary by employer. Recruitment agencies typically require an experienced recruiter with a proven record of accomplishment. Consulting and business organizations typically require at least a bachelor’s degree in human resources, psychology or related discipline. Some organizations hire recruiters after college graduation and provide on-the-job training.

Direct Hire

Organizations that hire job recruiters to recruit specifically for their organization pay a salary and sometimes bonuses. Job recruiters that work for these types of organizations understand the company's culture, personality type of potential candidates and goals of the organization. Organizations that offer a salary and hire these professionals will require the skills of a dedicated recruiter to successfully match candidates to the organization.


Some organizations contract recruiters to find candidates for job openings. This is considered contingency or retainer recruiting. For recruiters to be paid in these types of contractual agreements, they must successfully place candidates with potential employers. Contingency recruiters earn a percentage of the candidate’s salary. Retainer recruiters charge a fee to start the candidate search, a fee after presenting an agreed-upon number of qualified candidates, and a fee when the candidate is hired. In many cases, recruiters that offer these services also offer a refund for the services if a candidate is terminated within a specific timeframe, such as 90 days.


Some job recruiters work as a consultant. Organizations who engage these services pay hourly wages for a designated length of time. Consulting contractual agreements are negotiated, which involves organizations and the consulting recruiter to agree to the number of employees to be recruited in specific time frames.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2009, employment, recruitment and placement specialists earned annual median wages of $46,200. The 25th percentile earned annual median wages of $35,430 and the 75th percentile earned annual median wages of $64,308.