Recruiting 101: How to market people and companies
Is recruiting the right career path for you? Consider the qualifications and responsibilities of recruiters in this career spotlight.
What Can You Expect From a Recruiter Job?
Recruiters connect their clients (businesses) with the right candidates for vacant positions; they're often intermediaries between hiring companies and potential employees, responsible for conducting preliminary interviews and assessing resumes to determine potential fit. Although recruiters are primarily employed by businesses, they also act as advocates for job seekers, coaching them on interview techniques and sometimes advising them about new job opportunities in their industry as positions arise. Recruiters often specialize in matching job seekers with vacancies in specific locations, industries, and companies.
What recruiters do? As a recruiter, you'll help businesses fill vacant positions with qualified, motivated, personable candidates. Although responsibilities may vary, a recruiter's job description typically features the following responsibilities:
- Meeting with clients to discuss open positions and assess business needs.
- Developing and regularly updating job descriptions and requirements for clients.
- Posting job advertisements to employment websites, newspapers, and elsewhere.
- Evaluating response rates to postings and developing strategies to improve performance.
- Recruiting job candidates for open positions through social media, email, etc.
- Assessing applications — noting candidates' education, experience, skills, etc. — and matching them to open positions.
- Interviewing candidates for vacant positions.
- Verifying candidate references and conducting background checks.
- Referring the best job candidates to hiring managers.
- Building databases of candidates who may be appropriate for future vacancies.
- Designing and implement recruitment strategies for clients.
- Monitoring job market trends and compensation practices
Many recruiters work for employment agencies; some also work for employment brokers who represent multiple agencies. Others, known as internal or corporate recruiters, work directly for companies seeking to expand their workforce, usually in human resources departments. Internal recruiters typically work for large firms across a range of industries.
As in many roles, an increasing number of recruiters telecommute, working remotely from their homes. For the moment, however, a majority of recruiters still work in offices, where they conduct meetings with clients and candidates in person. Recruiters tend to work independently or on small teams; however, attending trade shows, networking conferences, job fairs, and other events frequented by potential clients and candidates is also an important part of the job.
Recruitment firms are typically no more stressful than the average workplace; however, pressure may mount in certain situations, such as when a position must be filled quickly.
Recruiters typically work normal hours on weekdays. Occasionally, recruiters will have to work outside of normal hours, communicating with candidates in the evenings or on weekends. Events and meetings may also necessitate occasional travel.
What Qualifications Are Required to Be a Recruiter?
Educational requirements for recruiter positions may vary. Most commonly, companies and recruitment firms look for employees with bachelor's degrees in one of the following fields:
- Human Resources
- Business Administration
As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, more and more recruiters are pursuing master's degrees in human resources, business administration, or related fields to distinguish themselves from other candidates. Some employers also prefer candidates with professional certifications: the HR Certification Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management both offer aspiring recruiters a range of certification options.
Professional development seminars and workshops can also help recruiters stay up-to-date with shifts in their industry, such as new employment laws and policies.
Recruiters are able to better anticipate the needs of their clients and job candidates as they gain more experience — that's why employers in recruiting typically place as much value on experience as they do on formal qualifications.
Recruiters need a diverse skill set to perform their roles successfully:
- Communication and interpersonal skills: Recruiters must be able to interact with both clients and candidates of all kinds and facilitate communication between both.
- Sound judgment: Recruiters are responsible for judging whether or not job candidates are appropriate for vacant positions at their clients' companies.
- Sales and marketing: Recruiters also need to promote their services to companies and convince job seekers that they ought to work for their clients.
- Social media: Savvy social media recruitment strategies give recruiters and their clients a distinct advantage in the contemporary job market.
- Big-picture thinking: Recruiters need to understand the value benefits can add to their clients' companies and vice versa.
- Persistence: Recruiters must cold-call, reply to emails, and show due diligence to their clients and candidates.
- Organization and multitasking: Recruiters must be able to efficiently manage multiple clients and job seekers at any given time.
- Reliability: Job candidates and hiring managers rely on recruiters to deliver promised services within a given timeframe; reliability establishes trust and builds credibility.
- Industry knowledge: Recruiters typically specialize in one industry or field; they need to be experts in that area in order to identify relevant skills and stay ahead of trends.
How much do recruiters make? It depends, but entry-level recruiters usually earn about $42,000 per year; as they gain experience, recruiters can expect their salary to increase to an average annual salary of $60,000. Experienced recruiters stand to earn more in some markets: for example, the average annual salary for a recruiter is $67,000 in Denver, CO, $61,500 in Houston, TX, and $72,000 in New York City.
Job Outlook for Recruiters
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a growth rate of 5 percent for all human resources specialists, including recruiters, between 2014 and 2024; this growth should add over 22,000 job opportunities across the country within this time period, which is the about the same as the average growth rate for all industries.
Recruiters often transition to other roles in human resources departments after gaining experience, including managerial roles; they may also become corporate recruiters working for national or multinational organizations. It's also common to become a senior recruiter or recruiting managers, responsible for serving high-profile clients and training junior recruiters.
Pursuing additional qualifications, such as certification or an advanced degree, can help motivated recruiters climb the ladder. Recruiters who desire leadership roles will also need experience in areas such as organizational development, performance management, employee engagement, and workforce planning.
Working as a recruiter is an excellent choice for personable individuals who are passionate about connecting job candidates with the right career opportunities at great companies. If that sounds like you, start searching today!
Download our free guide: How to create the perfect resume