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What is a third party recruiter?

As graduation creeps closer, you may be using all available resources to find a full-time job: Purdue’s Center for Career Opportunities, myCCO postings, career fairs,, newspapers, LinkedIn, etc. The methods of finding jobs are numerous and have vast differences. One recruiting trend that is growing is third party recruiting.

What Is A Third Party Recruiter?

Until a few months ago, I could not have defined exactly how third party recruiters work. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), third-party recruiters are “agencies, organizations, or individuals recruiting candidates for temporary, part-time, or full-time employment opportunities other than for their own needs.” In general, they fall into 3 categories:

  • Employment Agencies – Post job positions for various client organizations and receive payment when a referred candidate is hired.

  • Search Firms – Perform searching and screening functions for organizations to identify qualified candidates.

  • Contract Recruiters – Act on behalf of an employer in the recruiting and employment process

Should I Use One?

The following table from the American Staffing Association (ASA) shows common reasons for using third party recruiters:

Tips To Keep in Mind

If you use a third party recruiter in the job search process, you want to find a company that has job openings in your field, assures that your information will only be shared with the company that has an open position for you, treats all candidates fairly, and does not charge a fee.

For example, Brill Street, a third party recruiter, places candidates with companies in the Chicago area. Throughout the recruitment process, Brill Street communicates clearly with job seekers about their fit for the open positions. Upon obtaining a position, Brill Street will send the candidate the official offer; it will not be from the company. However, the job seeker is never charged a fee.

Although you will not see third party recruiters attending career fairs or conducting on-campus interviews, Purdue’s Center for Career Opportunities does allow third party recruiters to post jobs through myCCO. However, they must indicate they are a third party recruiter and include the name of the company that has a position open. As you continue your job search, remember that third party recruiters can be a beneficial tool to help you obtain a full-time position after graduation. To see more job postings for Purdue students and alumni, follow @Jobs4Boilers on Twitter.

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