The difference between a recruiter and a consultant

The term consultant/head-hunter and recruiter get thrown around as if the two terms are similar, but they are not. I have spent two years as an Allied Health consultant and one thing that ACM Healthcare have proven is longevity. Have you noticed the same fold of recruiters contacting you from their new employer? You might be wondering why that is? There are a handful of consultancy agencies I have come across, and I have written this article to highlight the unwritten difference between the two types of agencies.

Okay, I’m listening. What is the difference?

It is true that the results don’t particularly differ between the two titles, but where you might notice the difference is in the approach:

  • A recruiter will work on a numbers approach by contacting candidates who have already expressed interest in entering the market for a new opportunity through utilising advertisements and platforms such as Seek. This can be referred to as a “shotgun approach”.
  • A consultant will take a more advocative approach for their client and utilise all aspects of their network inside and out. Consultants find the candidates with the experience and approach them with an opportunity. I refer to this as a “sniper approach”, as it is targeted and accurate.

Recruiters find candidates. What’s the difference between the candidates a head-hunter would find and the candidates a recruiter would find?

That is a fair question to ask. A consultant will gather as much information about the role requirements in terms of;

  • Experience
  • Why the role is available
  • Specific skillsets a client is looking for
  • What your client’s vision for their business is
  • What the culture of the business is, and
  • Many other areas of the role that a ‘typical’ recruiter wouldn’t deem important.

Why is it important to understand the client?

When a consultant is screening a candidate, it is important to understand their client’s business. By understanding what they are looking for and asking the right questions, the consultant is better equipped to find the right candidates. This goes both ways. There might be a candidate with the perfect experience for a position but ultimately wishes to NOT continue down that path. I personally wouldn’t take a pushy approach to try and get them to change their mind. I would ask, “what is the reason for that?”. By doing this, I can get a better understanding of why that particular role wasn’t the right fit for the candidate and see how I can help them further.  

Why is networking important?

Network equals opportunity. Opportunity equals growth. Growth equals success.

Of professionals who are not actively looking to change positions, 84% will show interest when you present them with a better opportunity. Roles evolve, company objectives change, professionals become less challenged, leadership retires, and companies grow. By being more in-tune with their networks, consultants are able to understand these changes and find better candidates for roles. 

I sincerely hope you have enjoyed this article and found it insightful.

If you are interested to learn more about ACM Healthcare and how we operate, please contact me or one of our consultants!