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May 27, 2024

360 vs 180 Recruitment

John Kim
Co-founder @ Paraform

The recruitment industry thrives on connecting businesses with the perfect talent.

However, how you approach that connection can vary depending on your agency's structure and goals.

Here's a breakdown of the two most common recruitment models – 360 and 180 – to help you decide which one best suits your agency:

The all-encompassing 360 approach

A 360 recruiter, also known as a full-cycle recruiter, wears many hats. They handle the entire recruitment life cycle, from understanding client needs and building relationships to sourcing candidates, conducting interviews, and managing the offer process.


  • Stronger client relationships: Building rapport with clients and understanding their company culture allows for a more tailored recruitment experience.
  • Streamlined process: Clients have a single point of contact for the entire process, leading to better communication and efficiency.
  • Higher quality placements: 360 recruiters have a deeper understanding of both client needs and candidate profiles, resulting in potentially better matches.


  • Steeper learning curve: 360 recruiters require a broader skillset, encompassing sales, relationship management, and technical recruiting expertise.
  • Time management challenges: Balancing client development, candidate sourcing, and managing multiple placements can be demanding.
  • Potentially higher costs: The wider skillset of 360 recruiters may be reflected in their salaries, impacting agency costs.

180 Recruitment

180 recruiters, sometimes called delivery recruiters, specialize in a specific stage of the recruitment process. Often, they focus solely on candidate sourcing and managing the interview process.


  • Specialization and efficiency: 180 recruiters can become highly skilled in their area, leading to faster and more efficient candidate sourcing.
  • Lower costs: By focusing on a specific task, 180 recruiters may require lower salaries than their 360 counterparts.
  • Potentially higher placement volume: Increased efficiency in candidate sourcing can lead to a higher volume of placements.


  • Client relationship dependence: The success of 180 recruitment often hinges on the initial client relationship built by a separate business development team.
  • Limited control: 180 recruiters may have less influence on the overall client experience and may not be as familiar with the specific company culture.

Choosing the right model

The ideal model depends on your agency's unique circumstances. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Agency size: Smaller agencies may benefit from the efficiency of 180 recruitment, while larger agencies can leverage the client-centric approach of 360 recruiters.
  • Industry specialization: Recruiting for niche industries might require the deeper client understanding offered by 360 recruitment.
  • Target market: High-volume recruitment for specific roles may be better suited for a 180 model.

The Hybrid Approach

Many agencies implement a hybrid model, combining 360 and 180 recruiters based on project needs. This allows for specialization while maintaining strong client relationships.

Ultimately, the best model is the one that allows your agency to deliver exceptional service, secure high-quality placements, and achieve sustainable growth.

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