Who and When Your Business Needs: The Difference Between a Researcher and a Recruiter

1 August 2022

Maksim Antonov


At Rocketech, we divide searching and hiring tasks between recruiters and researchers. But the difference between these positions and the functions of such specialists remain unclear for many founders. In this article, I will tell you about the responsibilities of researchers and recruiters, using the Rocketech recruiting team as an example. We will also discuss when such role distribution will be effective.

What Is the Difference Between a Recruiter and a Researcher?

It is vital to clearly understand the scope of responsibility of specialists in each position.

The researcher forms a pool of relevant candidates for each new vacancy in the company. The average KPI for a researcher is three candidates per day for one vacancy.

To do this, they use the maximum channels available: social networks, specialised communities in instant messengers, freelance exchanges, free portfolio services, career platforms, etc. Different channels comprise different tools.

The HR researcher does not just place an attractive job description on available sites. They conduct an initial candidate screening based on their CVs, determine whether a particular specialist is suitable for a specific vacancy, and take only those CVs that are 100% consistent with the position requirements.

A recruiter is a specialist who receives CVs from a researcher. This employee analyses the candidate’s competencies, appoints and conducts HR interviews, and evaluates the soft skills and motivation. Plus, they organise a technical interview with the Hiring Team (technical specialist or a department lead and the recruiter themselves) for applicants who have successfully passed the first stage of the hiring process. The recruiter’s area of competence also includes communication with the candidate throughout all stages. They provide feedback and support for any questions (if the candidate has them) and prepare and send the job offer. The recruiter’s task is to select the best of all relevant candidates and make the interview process quick and comfortable for them.

Researcher’s and recruiter’s positions are interchangeable since both specialists are looking for candidates to fill current vacancies in the company. In small teams, the researcher’s duties are performed by a recruiter. But at the following stages of the company’s development, when the team grows rapidly, the distribution of responsibilities in the recruiting team helps to improve the hiring process significantly.

What Is the Effect of the Role Distribution in the Recruiting Team?

A quality and high-level assessment carried out by the researcher allows the recruiter to save time searching for candidates and increase the efficiency of this process. The recruiter gets contacts of specialists who are 100% relevant for a specific position.

Besides, the researcher and recruiter always work in sync. While the first employee looks for suitable candidates, the second conducts interviews for those who have passed the first selection stage. From our experience, we have seen that such a distribution of roles can significantly reduce the time for closing a vacancy and guarantee clients a quick team gathering and project start. 

Speed is also critical if the previous specialist quit or dropped out of the development process due to force majeure and the project was forced to stop.

Some benefits improve candidate experience from a researcher’s performance. It takes much less time from the first interview to getting an offer. Thus, both parties win.

When Should You Consider Hiring a Researcher?

For Rocketech, the role distribution experience in the recruiting team has been positive. But it is vital to understand that this strategy is not the only right and suitable for everyone.

The involvement of such specialists is considered justified in the following situations:

  • For a team of 100 or more employees, exponential growth is at least ten people per month;
  • There was a need to close the vacancy in the shortest possible time;
  • The range of recruiting department responsibilities has expanded (for example, employees have partially taken over the HR department responsibilities).

In each of these cases, the company should think about a more effective distribution of roles and reconsider its hiring strategy in terms of increasing efficiency.

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