Understanding What Role You Are Applying For: Associate vs. Specialist

The difference between an associate and a specialist is a key distinction that comes up when you work with a staffing firm. The terms create a template to assist in the recruiting process. They help define what kind of jobs you'll likely pursue and what kind of role you're likely to fill at client companies.

Knowing what you're getting into when you sign up with a recruiter is important for getting the most out of the experience. You probably understand the benefits that come from working with a staffing firm. However, if you're a little fuzzy on the details on how the relationship works, it could lead you to delay making contact.

That would be a shame. Partnering with a recruiter can speed up the process of landing a job, while simultaneously putting you on a better longer-term career path. Once you understand the role you're applying for, either specialist or associate, it will be easier to get started.

What Do You Need to Know about These Roles?

First, understand that your partnership with a particular staffing firm can take a variety of forms. While recruiters are usually capable of handling a significant subtlety, they do tend to use categories and designations to speed the placement process.

The most common distinction involves those two widely-used titles: Associate and Specialist.

What Do the Terms Mean?

Of course, workers are all different. Each person looking for a job has a unique blend of skills and experience. However, the associate/specialist distinction helps your recruiter steer you to a position where you can thrive. It's the first step in finding you that perfect placement.

Think of "associate" and "specialist" as a kind of job title within a staffing firm. The terms act as a shorthand, letting your recruiter know what kinds of roles they should search for.

What's the Difference Between an Associate and a Specialist?

When working with staffing agencies, and even some individual employers, you’ll encounter a couple of categories used to describe the types of work. The terms “associate” and “specialist” mark the distinction.

Broadly speaking, “associate” refers to workers in most situations. The work involved doesn’t require specific training for a particular certification. It’s more general in nature

On the other hand, a specialist operates with a very narrow skill set. As the name implies, they specialize. They are considered experts in their field. You might think of positions like accountant or computer programmer as falling into the “specialist” category.

What Does the Difference Mean in the Workplace?

As you might guess, the pay for a specialist is usually higher that of an associate. Specialists typically have more training and offer a rarer set of skills.

However, there are often more associate positions available at any given time than specialist ones. The process for landing specialist position might take longer than seeking an associate-type situation.

Learn About the Recruiting Process with Qualified Staffing

Learning the details of the recruiting process will help you achieve your maximum potential. Of course, the best place to get this kind of information is from a staffing company itself. By talking to an industry-leading firm, like Qualified Staffing, you open up new opportunities and make possible a new level of professional development.

Contact Qualified Staffing today to get detailed information about the process and to get started on the next stage of your career.

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