Can a Recruiter play the role of a Counsellor? – Scalene Blog
Human resource

Can a Recruiter play the role of a Counsellor?

Trying to find a job opening which best meets a candidate’s need is a very tedious task. At the same time, companies with openings find it just as difficult to find the right fit. Professionals like career counsellors and recruiters help make this task easier. 

Though they seem the same, recruiters and career counsellors have different responsibilities. Read on to find out whether a recruiter or a career counsellor is the perfect fit for you. 

What does a Career Coach do? 

Career coaches aren’t exactly characterized in one particular field. There is no specific degree or educational qualification that makes an individual a career coach. They come in varying experiences, age, and professional background. However, career coaches can be characterized under two basic variations. First being the ones who have developed their experience by coaching individuals and have a specialization in career. The second type of career coach is the ones who have worked specifically in the field of recruiting and have experience in Human Resources.

Career Coaches are focused on the Job Seeker

Though there is no concrete education qualification that differentiates one career coach from another there is a way to assess one’s expertise. One may look for a coach who has expertise in the job search field or have certified accreditation in coaching.

What makes the career coach a good fit for an individual is the fact that the priority of any career coach is the job-seeker. The advancement of the candidate comes first. This means the coach may look for openings that they consider to be best for the individual. 

There are some preconceived notions already established about certain fields and sectors which de-motivate a candidate from applying to them.

Career Coaches Break Barriers

The job of a career coach is to break through barriers for the candidate and help them look at the bigger picture. The entire process of finding a job is more focused on the job seeker. Therefore, rather than looking for a job that the candidate suits best, career coaches look for jobs that best meet the needs of the individual. They help the candidate have a different perspective when approaching a job and try to help them find a different approach to set them apart from the crowd. To find a perfect fit for an individual candidate, the career counsellor will analyze one’s resume and experience alongside one’s passion and the desires that drive them.

What does a Recruiter do?

Though commonly known recruiters, these professionals can also be called head hunters or staffers. They are classified as job brokers and may work as an individual agent or attached to a firm. The main purpose of a recruiter is to find a job-seeker who has the correct qualification and experience which best suits a job opening in the client company. As the recruiter is hired by the company to fill an opening their job is focused on trying to sell the vacancy to a valuable candidate.

Recruiters are Business-Oriented

They work for the client company and their priority will be more company oriented. When it comes to recruiters, qualifications can vary from little to no experience or considerable expertise in recruiting. While their original educational qualification can be in anything, a recruiter needs to be well versed in the art of selling. A recruiter will create a list of professionals best suited for a particular opening. Then they will approach each individual trying to convince them to accept the offer. Once convinced, the relationship between the recruiter and the job-seeker. One can say that the relationship between these two is nothing more than a business transaction.

How to use a Recruiter?

A recruiter is hired by the client company to find a perfect fit for a job opening. Though their allegiance lies primarily with the company which has hired them, a job-seeker can still gain a lot out of working with a recruiter.

Recruiters are known to be very business-oriented keeping the needs of the company first. It is advisable to work with a limited number of trustworthy recruiters. It is beneficial to find recruiters from within your network who were effective in the past by colleagues.

 Since the recruiter has an agenda in their mind of filling a specific job profile, they can turn a little pushy. They may try to pressure you into accepting an offer that doesn’t suit your overall plan. In such a situation it advisable to take a step back and analyze the situation.

If a recruiter is not affiliated with any company which offers the jobs you are looking for, then a change is in order. In case the recruiter doesn’t believe you to be qualified enough for an opening then this must be taken as a cue for re-evaluation. Work on your presentation skills and resume to better your chances.

The qualification which makes a recruiter right for the job is the years of experience they have accumulated. Sitting down with a recruiter can help you by giving you the perspective of an experienced member of the workforce.

How do they Differ?

Career Counsellor

A career counsellor is best suited when 

The candidate feels unsatisfied in their current position

You need help in creating an eye-catching resume 

When the idea of the ideal job is clear by the path to it isn’t

If one lacks the required experience for their desired job-profile 

A candidate has gone through many interviews but all failed.


A career recruiter is best suited when 

You are clear about the job they want and require an interview

The individual is good at the art of interviewing but does not have enough opportunities.

You have been working with a career counsellor and are ready to apply for an opening 

Your skill sets are well defined and want to find an opening that best matches your needs. 

Who Pays?

A recruiter is hired by the client company to find a candidate to fill an opening. Therefore, it is understandable that the client company is responsible for paying the fees of the recruiter. Their services are free to the candidate. The downside, however, is that since companies control the payment, they also get to set the terms.

Career counsellors are responsible for guiding an individual with finding the best job-profile for them. Since they are hired by the job-seeker, they are responsible for paying the fees of a career counsellor. 


Having looked at all that we could about a career counsellor and a recruiter we can make an informed decision. Recruiters and career counsellors are both responsible for helping bring jobseekers and companies with vacancies together. If a recruiter takes on the added responsibility of guiding the candidate through the process of getting hired and changing their focus to the candidate rather than the client company, a recruiter can easily play the role of a career counsellor.

About Author

5000+ people strong organization with 3 primary business units - Consulting, Recruitment and Technology. The organization is considered by many as the first and only True end-to-end Talent Acquisition Solutions organization bringing together decades of experience in both Business Transformation & Technology Consulting as well as running HR & Talent Acquisition functions. Our main service offerings include: 1. Strategic HCM Consulting - Advising new & existing businesses on structuring high-performance HR and Talent Acquisition functions with high-maturity processes and technology interventions. 2. Managed Services -Setting up enterprise-class RPO/HRO. 3. Other Services -Developing best-in-class Competency Mapping/OD frameworks, providing scalable Compensation and Benefits solutions, Predictive Modeling techniques, aiding in M&A due-diligence for HR etc.

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