Recruiting firms come in many shapes and sizes, from the single freelance recruiter to well-known global temporary staffing agencies. Choosing the right recruiting solution will be based on the number of openings you have, how specific the required skill set is for the openings, and whether the position is temporary or permanent. The most common types of recruiting firms are general recruiting agencies, executive recruiting firms, staffing agencies, and recruiting consulting firms.

General Recruiting Agencies

General recruiting agencies, or contingency recruiters, usually focus on a specific industry, such as health care, hospitality or technology. They most commonly are contracted on a contingency basis to fill entry-level to mid-management-level positions, although they may be retained to fill higher positions if they are well established in the industry or regional market.

Executive Recruiting Firms

Executive recruiting firms, or boutique recruiting firms, typically specialize in sourcing for mid-to-high-level management positions. They also may have a particular niche that they focus on, such as engineering or logistics.

Staffing Agencies

Staffing agencies, or temporary agencies, offer a variety of solutions to help companies reach short-term staffing goals. They provide skilled and unskilled employees for temporary projects and seasonal work, and they help fill vacancies on a temp-to-hire basis. Staffing agencies most commonly work with companies in the clerical and general labor industries, although some temporary agencies have branches that focus in more specialized skilled workers, such as accountants and legal assistants.

Recruitment Consulting Firms

Recruitment consulting, or recruitment process outsourcing, refers to companies that are hired on a contract basis to help fix problems in a business's recruiting process or to assist with a short-term project. For example, a recruitment consulting company may be contracted to help a company through an expansion or merger, help get a new division or branch staffed, or to help determine the best internal candidates for promotions.