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The Difference Between Recruiting a Staff Worker and a Director

Over the past 15 years, I’ve recruited in a variety of industries and at all levels of organizations. When I was working mainly staff and sales positions, I always desired to recruit at the Management and Director level. Once I consistently began recruiting at the Director level, I would get excited to get a staff level position thinking that I could fill that role quickly.

Then the reality of the difference in the mentality between staff and management set in. Here are a couple of examples of what I’ve noticed:


  • When working with Managers and Directors, they typically want to understand the position, the company, and the growth potential.
  • They understand that there might be some growing pains in a new position but that short-term pain may be offset by long-term gains.
  • They want to understand the compensation structure but aren’t stunned by the fact that they may make a lateral move or even take a step back in compensation.
  • They are more apt to shuffle their schedule in order to find a way to make an interview time work and they actually show up for the interview.
  • They communicate their thoughts on the position and where it ranks as compared to other interviews they may be in.
  • They prepare for the interview by researching the company and the hiring manager.


  • When working with staff level positions, generally the first question is “How much does it pay?” which is followed by “What are the hours?” and “What is the commute?” and “What are the benefits?”
  • Staffers are less likely to show up to an interview and often times don’t give the company or a recruiter a heads-up when they are unable to keep the appointment.
  • Often times, they are reluctant to share what they are making and try to make a game out their compensation structure.
  • They often times don’t show up prepared for the interview or don’t have any prepared questions to ask the person whom they are interviewing with.

Now, these are certainly generalities–and there are obviously exceptions to the rule–but in general these are the dominate traits of the people that I’ve worked with over the past 15 years.  If you are a staff level worker and want to move into management in the future, this is food for thought.

About the Author

Nate-SkowNate Skow has over 15 years of highly successful recruiting experience and consistently ranks among the top recruiters in MRINetwork. He is a native of Iowa and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Marketing from Winona State University.


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