What Is a Corporate Recruiter? Definition and Job Information

What Is a Corporate Recruiter? Definition and Job Information

Corporate recruiters play a critical role in helping businesses grow, often rounding up the strongest applicants to present to the hiring manager. But their job duties can extend beyond just finding new workers.

If you’re interested in employing a corporate recruiter for your business or are seeking a career as a corporate recruiter, you’ve come to the right place.

This article explains what a corporate recruiter is, how they differ from other types of recruiters, the things they look for when filling open positions at an organization, and what it takes to become a corporate recruiter.

What do corporate recruiters do?

A corporate recruiter fills open positions within an organization. They generally work as part of the human resources (HR) department—meaning they typically receive a salary and only work with one company.

These professionals have a strong understanding of full-cycle recruitment. When the business has a new opening, a corporate recruiter will develop a job description, distribute the job posting, and create job ads to find qualified candidates. When people apply to the position, they’ll sort through the applicants, including screening resumes, and begin the job interview process.

After the hiring manager makes the final hiring decision, the corporate recruiter may extend the job offer and help with onboarding.

Generally, the process looks a little something like this:

  1. The hiring manager determines a need for a new hire.
  2. The hiring manager or the corporate recruiter writes the description for the open position.
  3. The corporate recruiter takes the job description and distributes it to places where potential candidates might be found. This may include social media platforms like LinkedIn or popular job boards.
  4. The corporate recruiter screens candidates as they come in, including performing initial interviews to learn more about the candidates.
  5. The corporate recruiter determines the top candidates and sends their names to the hiring manager.
  6. The hiring manager conducts interviews.
  7. The hiring manager makes the final decision on the hire.

What is the difference between a corporate recruiter and other recruiters?

Corporate recruiters (also referred to as in-house recruiters) differ from other types of recruiters in a few ways. Let’s walk through the different types of recruiters so you can find the best one for your needs.

Retained and contingency recruiters

Compared to corporate recruiters, who are part of the internal company team, retained and contingency recruiters are hired on an as-needed basis.

With a retained recruiter, the business pays a fixed amount upfront or based on a schedule, and the rest is paid when the match is made. A contingency recruiter only gets paid after a successful match, often referred to as “no win, no fee.”

Staffing agencies

Organizations turn to staffing agencies for a particular role that needs to be filled on a contractual basis. With this arrangement, the agency, not the company, employs the workers. The people filling the role work for the contracting company on an as-needed basis.


Headhunters work outside the business. Organizations hire them to find people to fill particular roles. They research and recommend candidates for the job. They may also offer a probationary period on the candidates they recommend for a specific job.

Headhunters use a variety of resources when looking for professionals to fill positions. They might look at job boards and other common sources of job applicants, but they also consider suitable professionals who might not be actively looking for a new job. If the headhunter’s candidate gets hired, the headhunter is typically paid a percentage of the candidate’s first-year salary.

Outplacement recruiters

Businesses sometimes hire outplacement agencies if they know they’ll need to downsize and eliminate positions. These agencies work in reverse compared to other types of recruiters: They help unemployed professionals find new jobs. They also offer services for displaced professionals, such as resume help and interviewing assistance.

What do corporate recruiters look for?

After developing a job description, the corporate recruiter posts it on job boards and uses their preferred recruitment strategies, like posting on industry job boards and reaching out to professional organizations, to bring in potential candidates. They’ll then begin to review applications and move into the next phase of the recruitment process.

A corporate recruiter looks at various things that influence their decision to shortlist applicants. We break down some of the major categories.

Cover letter

Corporate recruiters want to find candidates who fit the posted position best. So, when reviewing cover letters, they want candidates to call attention to their skills.

They want to see a professional summary that articulates why the candidate applied for this position and what makes them perfect for it. The letter should be written with a professional attitude and stay brief, recognizing that recruiters have to get through a number of applications and don’t have time to read long descriptions of a candidate’s background.

The letter needs to be tailored to the position, demonstrating that the candidate has put in some effort to learn about the specific opening and why they would be a good fit.


Corporate recruiters often use automated systems, known as applicant tracking systems (ATS), that help them give applicants an initial scan. This lets them quickly sort out candidates who don’t have the necessary skills. So, the layout and language of the resume matter, as the resume needs to highlight how the applicant meets the job requirements.

Flow also matters within a resume. It should demonstrate the progression of the professional’s career, including how they’ve grown in the field, to prepare them for this position.


Recruiters want to see evidence of both hard and soft skills. They need to know that candidates meet the minimum criteria for the position, and a hard skills section on the resume helps with this.

Resume styles (e.g., functional or hybrid) help to highlight these critical traits. However, candidates must also support their skills declarations with accomplishments and examples. To bring soft skills into the resume, candidates should focus on the areas that outline their achievements and responsibilities.

For example, a candidate who wants to highlight their management skills might explain how they helped bring a team together to accomplish a common goal. If a candidate wants to show how they accept and integrate feedback, they might discuss how they used customer feedback to improve brand processes.


The job description will have core requirements that job seekers need to meet. Part of the job of a corporate recruiter is ensuring that candidates meet these criteria.

They want to see how candidates have used their years of experience to build their skill sets and arrive at this position. Some recruiters will also look for potential new hires among passive candidates. For example, they might search resumes posted on job boards for particular skills and reach out if they find a match.

LinkedIn presence

Corporate recruiters also review LinkedIn profiles. They often use the professional social media site to identify potential candidates by searching for particular titles and skill sets. They can also research candidates who have submitted applications to verify their credentials and learn more about their backgrounds.

Corporate recruiting as a job

Corporate recruiters play a critical role in organizations, helping businesses find valuable workers. We explore corporate recruiter task responsibilities, help you better understand the importance of this position, and outline the skills needed to excel in the role.

Let Upwork help you find the right recruiters and recruitment consultants for your hiring needs. The platform makes it easy for businesses to find talent and for independent professionals to find their next opportunities.


The corporate recruiter controls most of the recruitment process. Once the need for a new hire has been established, the recruitment professional searches and finds applicants suited for the role. After identifying potential candidates, the recruiter determines the best possible hires and passes those recommendations to the hiring manager for a final decision.

Core responsibilities for corporate recruiters typically include:

  • Finding potential candidates for a job opening through job boards, referrals, and professional organizations
  • Screening candidates and investigating referrals
  • Initiating the interview process, including conducting phone interviews and ensuring candidates have the hard and soft skills needed for the job
  • Recommending top candidates to the hiring manager
  • Maintaining relationships with professional organizations, alumni groups, and other places where candidates can be found
  • Participating and presenting at job fairs and similar events that can help attract candidates
  • Preparing hiring packages that will bring the best candidates to the business


Since corporate recruiters work as part of the HR department, they often receive a base salary. However, corporate recruiters may earn additional pay through bonuses, commissions, profit-sharing opportunities, and tips.

Overall, the total estimated pay for corporate recruiters in the United States is approximately $83,000 per year. This includes an average base salary of about $55,000 per year and an average additional compensation of around $28,000 per year.

However, average salary can vary widely for professionals in this field. The top base salaries can be as high as $169,000 for those with seniority.

What do you need to be a corporate recruiter?

Professionals often need at least a bachelor’s degree to become a corporate recruiter. Typical concentrations include business and HR. These professionals may also pursue further certifications and credentials through organizations like the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Those interested in pursuing a career as a corporate recruiter should cultivate a few skills.

  • Excellent communication skills. Corporate recruiters must promote available jobs and communicate job responsibilities and expectations thoroughly and clearly.
  • Strong decision-making skills. A corporate recruiter needs to look at the applications of several qualified candidates, weigh different criteria, and determine the best fit for the job.
  • A good sense of character. Based on a resume and any initial interviews, the corporate recruiter often has to decide whether someone will fit the position and company culture. A good sense of character can help them make the best decisions.
  • Quality research skills. A corporate recruiter needs to thoroughly investigate applicants’ backgrounds and understand their skill sets. They also need to know where qualified job applicants go online when looking for jobs.
  • Great networking skills. A corporate recruiter also needs to understand the importance and have the skills to maintain professional relationships with local universities and professional organizations. These resources can help them find suitable candidates to fill important roles.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills. A corporate recruiter needs the necessary skills to evaluate potential candidates for their job openings and get people excited about new opportunities. The recruiter often needs to attend job fairs and related events for sourcing potential job candidates.

Is corporate recruiting stressful?

Corporate recruiting can be stressful, as it often requires professionals to fully immerse themselves in the recruiting world. To be successful, they have to maintain a vast network and quickly and efficiently make matches for open positions.

When working as a corporate recruiter, it can be gratifying to make a match with an open position. However, sometimes even experienced recruiters can struggle to find the right fit for a particular job.

Those interested in succeeding in the field need to have good stress management practices, genuinely love interacting with people, and keep a positive outlook even when nothing seems to go right for a particular match.

Find simple staffing solutions

Corporate recruiters play a critical role in business growth and development. Understanding how they can help businesses find the best possible workers and knowing the position’s different roles and responsibilities can prove the importance of finding a recruiter that works well for your business.

While corporate recruiters can be the right fit for some businesses, you may not need someone to fill a full-time role. Consider engaging an independent recruiting professional from Upwork to help attract and engage talent with the skills you need. Simplify the process of finding a skilled freelance recruiting professional by using Project Catalog™. Browse fixed-price projects or one-on-one consultations and select the option that aligns with your recruiting goals. Get started—search available talent acquisition and recruiting projects today.


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What Is a Corporate Recruiter? Definition and Job Information
The Upwork Team

Upwork is the world’s work marketplace that connects businesses with independent talent from across the globe. We serve everyone from one-person startups to large, Fortune 100 enterprises with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways that unlock their potential.

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