By Cristal Nobles, Recruiter
Wondering if being a recruiter is a good job?
Maybe you’ve done some basic phone interviews in previous roles or a recruiter helped you land your current position. You’re intrigued. You think you have what it takes and it seems like an easy decision. Before leaping in, below are a few things that I’ve experienced as a recruiter for a Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) provider that may not be obvious.
1) Non-recruiters won't understand what RPO really is
My husband still thinks my job is like Mila Kunis’ in "Friends with Benefits," where she acts as a headhunter and recruits Justin Timberlake for a job in NYC. If only. Don’t even bother explaining the basics of sourcing and the importance of following compliance to family members or other outsiders.
Most people assume recruiters are one of two things: paper-pushers moving active applicants through an online database or a form of salesperson similar to a timeshare agent in Florida.
Solid recruiters won’t let their thoughts or judgments bring them down. Proud of the deep-web Boolean searching you devised that uncovered your top candidate? Do yourself a favor and pat yourself on the back.
2) Being a recruiter is about the experience, not the numbers
Of course, keeping up with your company’s metrics will ensure you maintain your job and have food on the table, but what will empower you to build upon your career? Numbers aren't the end-all-be-all. Referrals and building your professional network are your key to success. Just like candidates don’t care how many scheduled screens you have that week, hiring managers don’t want to hear about how many fills you had last month.
Recruiters sometimes get so caught up in the process that we fail to remember they're human. While the end results are important, what matters most to those on the other side is the experience and their interaction with you. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by the great Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people won’t remember what you said, and people won’t remember what you did; people will only remember how you made them feel.”
3) You'll feel like a therapist most days
There's no arguing that changing jobs is one of the most stressful life events, along with divorce and the death of a loved one. As recruiters, we have the responsibility to guide prospects through every step of the job hunt. Act as a viable resource. Educate them on interview tips, resume edits, and even share networking opportunities. Show genuine concern and act as their advocate. This will present you as an incredibly talented professional and make you feel like a good-hearted human along the way.
4) Passion is just as important as sourcing skills
Do you pride yourself on knowing the ins and outs of your applicant tracking system (ATS)? Are you a LinkedIn guru? Can you Boolean with your eyes closed? Even if you said yes to all of the above, it doesn't make you a good recruiter. Sure, all of those things are incredibly helpful when recruiting, but passion is the key ingredient.
The passion to recruit will:
- Keep your desk organized when your requisition load's piled high
- Motivate you to work during stressful times
- Empower you to think outside of the box to fill seemingly impossible positions
- Help you keep your cool in challenging situations
- Give you strength and the right words when informing your favorite prospect that they haven't been selected
5) Sourcing skills make you a bit of a creeper
A proper recruiter continuously educates themselves on the latest and greatest searching techniques. You need to know all the different ways to not only find people but find out what you need to know about them to see if they’re a good candidate. Most recruiters are happy to share their search skills with others who are willing to learn. The two most important steps to being a good recruiter are:
- Knowing which tools to use for your specific market
- Catering your engagement with them and demonstrating confidence all the while
Then pepper in that secret sauce, aka passion, and you'll be in solid shape.
Hopefully, this has shed some light on a few things you might not have expected to learn about being a recruiter. If it all still sounds like something you'd enjoy, then make that leap!