We are hired by companies on a "contract." The contract might be for a specific period of time or for a specific number of candidates. We're usually hired when organizations need to recruit and hire many candidates over a short period of time. So, rather than hire a permanent employee or pay fees to " third-party " recruiters, they hire me for the period of time they think they will need me. They usually pay me on an hourly basis with maybe a bonus for each individual that might be hired. I'm really an independent contractor and work for myself. I will contract out to usually one organization at a time for a specified period of time, usually six months to a year, with the understanding that my "contract" can be terminated at any time.
I am paid a premium for my time and effort but not as much as the company might pay in fees if they hired each individual from an external recruiter. Since I am an independent contractor, my short-term loyalty is to whomever I am not working for, but my long-term loyalty is to myself. I make a lot of money when I'm working on a contract but am often between contracts, i.e. looking for work. I need to get people hired and do it quickly or I won't be kept.
My advantage to you: Since I am compensated and kept as a recruiter based on performance, I'm going to try to get you through the hiring process with the company I am contracted with to fill it as fast as possible. I usually know the organization that I'm working with fairly well and what they're likely to hire. So I will be able to give you every bit of information that will help you in the interviewing process. Since I am paid on volume, I want to see you get hired.
Since I am an independent contractor, I may very well put your information in my personal database and call you about opportunities with the firms that I might contract with in the future.
My disadvantage to you: In most cases I am only working for one the company that I contact you about. So I will only be presenting you to this one firm, helping you out with their process. But it is not likely that I'm going to present anything to you other than the one organization that I am working for.
I may very well keep your information if you don't get hired by the organization that I am working for now. I may take that information with me and call you about opportunities with companies that I contract with in the future.
How to deal with me: You may not even know that I am a contractor. Most of the time I will appear to you to be an employee of the organization that I represent. You don't really care as long as I can get you a job that might be of value to you.
I'm not going to mess around and spend a lot of time coddling you and holding your hand. I'm usually "runnin' and gunnin'" to fill as many opportunities with the company I'm working with as fast as possible. The firms I work with are usually hiring many people over a short period time, so I may very well get you in the process with them, but they are not going to spend a lot of time "romancing" you.