If you’re in recruiting, my guess is you didn't grow up seeking to join the profession (I sure didn't). Like most youths with stars in their eyes, you probably dreamed of space travel, dancing, acting, singing or playing professional sports in front of thousands, perhaps millions of fans.
If those dreams didn't come true, don’t fret; recruiting is a darn fine profession—one that offers a wealth of career development and growth opportunities, unmatched talent expertise, the building of relationships, consultative action and, well, the chance to be the smartest person in the room.
7 reasons being a recruiter is the best job on this side of the universe:
1. Your trivia skills will reach an unprecedented level. It’s trivia night at the local pub, and the host asks for the scientific term for extracting metals from their ores and modifying them for professional use (metallurgy!). Luckily, you recruited a Heat Treating Engineer a few weeks back, not realizing at the time this knowledge would be instrumental in launching team E=MC Hammer-Time to victory.
2. Even the dullest conversation partner will open up to you. In my pre-recruiting life, I struggled mightily in the hold-a-semi-interesting-conversation-with-a-complete-stranger arena. As a recruiter—continuously training, studying and growing in the field of talent acquisition/management—engaging in conversation at a cocktail party with engineers, scientists, executives and all kinds of complex professions has become as natural as tying my shoe. In fact, 45 minutes into the evening, we’re five questions in and ordering our second round of drinks.
3. You get to be the anti-Donald (“You’re hired!”). There are certain moments in each career when professional experiences reach their pinnacle. For athletes, it’s a championship. For business leaders, it may be exceeding yearly goals, growth and global expansion. For recruiters, the fate of a candidate’s future often rests in your hands; you get to tell the individual on the other end of the line, “We’d like to make an offer.” It’s an exceptional feeling. Even better, you can channel your inner-reality TV show host to add to the dramatics: “We received a lot of great candidates, making the decision very difficult for all involved… *extended pause* …but you were the best candidate of all!”
4. You can literally track down anything on the internet. Your “Google-Fu” (i.e., ability to find particularly difficult things online, quickly and easily) is usually reserved for uncovering quality candidates; but when you need to dig up a long-lost family recipe, the names of that one person who attended that one event and spoke on that one topic a while back—if the information is available online—recruiters can track it down. Expertise in Boolean, Facebook Graph Search, data analytics, social media, and an unnatural ability to stay organized are but a few of the attributes that become second nature to recruitment professionals.
5. A conversation with you can change someone’s life. Every professional, whether in recruiting, sales or another like position, needs motivation when cold calling. From experience, my best bit of advice is to remember that every cold call you make has the opportunity to change someone’s life. Candidates (active or passive) don’t always see cold calls this way—they may even believe you’re spamming them—but I can recall countless instances where I happen to catch a hungry candidate, found them to be a fit and had the opportunity to offer the job—changing the course of their life. Now that is cool!
6. You can help friends and family perfect their job searches. There’s a terrifying amount of misinformation about job hunting, both online and kept in the world of gossipy aunts and friends who mean well but are wholly ignorant of best practice. As a recruiter, you know what’s trending, what’s accurate and what should be avoided. You know what resumes should look like, how to write effective cover letters, and the skills/competencies companies are seeking. You’re an expert interviewer, who knows the questions to ask and what employers look for in an answer. Recruiters are brimming with valuable knowledge, and you have the opportunity to share best practices with friends and family—yet another opportunity to change lives for the better.
7. You'll never have a bad second date, ever. As a recruiter, through months/years of screening job applicants, you have become a well-honed truth seeker. You understand the professional experiences and qualifications employers demand from candidates, but you also have the ability to identify vital soft skills such as character, personality, leadership potential and cultural fit. Of course dating and recruiting are incomparable, but the crossover is apparent—you know what you’re looking for, and you know what to avoid. Happy dating!
Huh, recruiting is a pretty solid gig! Recruiters represent their organizations as brand ambassadors, customer service representatives, truth seekers and talent identifiers. The amount of work they put into making sure employers hire the best individual is a form of art never fully understood by those outside the profession. The next time you’re amazed at how smart, talented and adept to handle challenging life situations you are, stop and recall – Yep, I’m a recruiter.