Stephanie Mauney

2 min read


How to Become a Recruiter

The human resources field is filled with specializations. For those who are people centric, they may consider a path to recruiting. In the current job market, the demand for both internal and agency recruiters is on an exponential trajectory. Companies are realizing the value of hiring recruiters who can dedicate their full-time work to sourcing, screening, vetting, and bringing on new talent. Not only can they bring in talent quickly, but they can begin to optimize a candidate pipeline that makes hiring even more efficient and effective. Recruiters tap into their wide ranging network to increase hiring efficiencies.

For those wanting to specialize in talent acquisition, there are a few ways to narrow your path, acquire the right skills, and inject yourself into the recruitment industry.

Lay the Foundation

Depending on the current level of career, it may be helpful for someone wanting to enter recruiting to gain basic human resources knowledge by obtaining a PHR (Professional in Human Resources) certification. This will lay the foundation for understanding legal compliance, industry terminology, and standard hiring protocols.

Find a Recruiting Niche

Recruiters are typically focused on a niche. Whether its tech, finance, manufacturing, or healthcare, talent acquisition partners typically have a niche market in mind when filling roles. A good first step to becoming a recruiter would be to analyze the desired niche market. Become a subject matter expert in the industry. Follow recruiters who are succeeding in that industry. Learn the insider language of the industry.  KNOW the business. For example, if it’s an inspiration to be an IT recruiter, find out what the companies who hire primarily in tech look for. How does the technology department fit into the grand scheme of the business? What are the primary required skills for tech hires? Answering all these questions will level up the ability to hold knowledgeable conversation with those in the industry. Immersion in the desired niche market will take you from average to expert in the minds of those hiring for the talent acquisition team.

Network, Network, Network

Take two candidates. One has an outdated, never touched, LinkedIn profile and little proof of interaction with professionals in the industry market. The second has a large LinkedIn network, an expertly designed profile, and a community of already engaged employees to draw on. Who will look more desirable to a recruiting hiring manager? Obviously, the second. 

All would-be recruiters should begin by updating their LinkedIn profile to begin attracting a wider network. Start connecting with both other recruiters and those in the desired market in a meaningful way. This doesn’t mean hitting ‘connect’ with as many people as possible. It means engaging in a way that provides value. Be curious. Provide helpful information. Begin to build a marketable skillset that people find useful. 

Upskill Your Recruiting Skills

Both soft and technical skills are required to be a successful recruiter. In the category of technical skills, its necessary to understand the basics of online research. Talent acquisition applicants should be competent in Boolean queries and sourcing techniques. It would be additionally advantageous to have familiarity with applicant tracking systems. 

More difficult to learn are the required soft skills. According to Forbes, there are six required soft skills in recruiting; communication, conflict management, succeed under high pressure and flexibility, teamwork, confidence, and critical thinking. In order to leverage past experience towards a future career in recruiting, it would be helpful to perform a gap analysis. In what ways has past experience demonstrated one or all of these skills? Write down quantifiable ways to define situations that put these skills on display. 

Go For It

For anyone considering a jump into the recruitment sector, NOW is the time. Consider your passions. If that list includes helping people, analyzing data, or problem solving, you may be the right fit for a career in recruiting. Don’t let having a mediocre career path hold you back from jumping into an exciting and challenging career. Recruiting is not going to be an easy road, as with any job that deals primarily with other humans. But, the rewards are endless. Recruiting holds the possibility to change lives, build meaningful relationships, foster diversity and inclusion, educate employers on best practices, and more.

Stephanie Mauney is freelance writer and content curator specializing in Human Resources.

About Emissary

Emissary is a candidate engagement platform built to empower recruiters with efficient, modern communication tools that work in harmony with other recruiting solutions.

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