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EP 1566 I’m surprised that someone doesn’t understand the difference.  In my answer, I explained the specifics and offer thumbnail way to recognize where someone’s motivations lie.

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A recruiter is hired by corporations to identify and refer talent to them who need a specific set of qualifications. If the person, in fact, does meet those qualifications and is hired by the corporation, performs well enough during a set period of time that is been pre-agreed to, the recruiter is paid. Thus, a recruiter does not work for a job hunter; they work for the corporate client.

In contrast, a career coach works for a job hunter, because that is who pays them. They help the job hunter in many different ways and has no vested interest in the choice that the job hunter makes because they are not receiving a big payday from the corporation once the search is completed.

Both may help the job hunter improve their interview skills, but the recruiter is only focused on their client and helping the job hunter perform well with THEIR CLIENT. As we know, they will attempt to dissuade you from taking the job with a firm that they don't represent.

In contrast, a career coach is focused on you and helping you perform at a higher level. They want you to find the job but have no vested interest in which job you take. If the role, a recruiters only paid if you take a job with your client (please note that I am judging that you are junior enough to not make the grade for, a retained search firm. A retained search firm is compensated differently).

In conclusion, to understand where loyalty lies in professions, notice who was paying the bulk of the money. Recruiters are paid by corporations to find people who work for that firm for pre-agreed to period of time. That company then pays the recruiter a sizable amount of money.

A career coach doesn't care which firm you join because you are paying them. Thus, the loyalty is to help you perform at a higher level in order to get the result that you want


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1500 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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