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Recruitment Specialist vs. Recruiter: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A career in recruitment can be both rewarding and challenging. Two common positions in this field are that of a recruitment specialist and a recruiter. Though these roles share some similarities, there are several key differences between them.

In this article, we discuss the differences between a recruitment specialist and a recruiter, and we provide additional information about working in recruitment.

What is a Recruitment Specialist?

Recruitment Specialists are responsible for identifying and recruiting top talent for their company. They may post job ads, screen resumes, conduct interviews and reference checks, and extend job offers to candidates. Recruitment Specialists typically work in-house at a company in their human resources department. They may also work for a staffing agency that places candidates at different companies. Recruitment Specialists typically have a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field. They should be excellent communicators with strong people skills.

What is a Recruiter?

Recruiters are responsible for finding and hiring new employees for their company. They post job openings, screen resumes, conduct interviews and ultimately decide who to hire. In order to find the best candidates, they often use a variety of sourcing techniques such as job fairs, online job boards and social media. They may also work with external recruitment agencies. Once they have found a pool of qualified candidates, they will narrow it down to a select few who will move on to the next stage of the hiring process. Recruiters need to have strong people skills and be able to quickly assess a candidate’s suitability for a role.

Recruitment Specialist vs. Recruiter

Here are the main differences between a recruitment specialist and a recruiter.

Job Duties

Recruiters and recruitment specialists may perform different duties because of their different levels of experience. Recruiters are more senior professionals, so they may manage larger recruitment campaigns with multiple teams working on various aspects of the campaign. For example, a recruiter may create an advertising campaign to attract candidates, set deadlines for team members and evaluate candidate submissions.

Recruitment specialists are entry-level or mid-level employees who support recruiters in the workplace. They may conduct telephone interviews with candidates, organize files related to recruitment campaigns and assist recruiters with campaign management.

Job Requirements

Recruitment specialists and recruiters typically need a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business administration or another related field. Some employers prefer candidates to have a master’s degree as well, but it is not required for entry-level positions. Additionally, many recruitment specialists and recruiters pursue certifications through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) or the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). These organizations offer training programs that teach professionals how to use recruiting software and other tools they might need on the job.

Work Environment

Recruiters and recruitment specialists work in a variety of environments, depending on the industry they’re working for. For example, recruiters who work for manufacturing companies may spend most of their time at job sites, observing employees as they complete tasks and interacting with them to ensure that they understand the requirements of the position. Recruiters who work for retail stores may spend more time in office settings, reviewing applications and interviewing candidates before presenting them to hiring managers.

Both professionals can also expect to travel frequently, especially if they work for large corporations or agencies. This is because many positions require recruiters to visit different locations to meet with clients and conduct interviews. Some recruiters may even travel internationally to attend conferences or meet with potential candidates.


Both recruitment specialists and recruiters use customer service skills when they are working with clients and candidates. They need to be able to build relationships, understand needs and provide solutions.

Recruitment specialists also need to have strong administrative skills. This includes being organized, paying attention to detail and being able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. Recruiters need these skills as well, but they also need to be able to sell the benefits of their company to potential candidates. This requires active listening skills, as well as the ability to ask probing questions and identify key selling points.


Recruitment specialists and recruiters both work to find qualified candidates for open positions within a company. Recruitment specialists earn an average salary of $55,368 per year, while recruiters earn an average salary of $63,192 per year.


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