Chris Russell

3 min read


How to Recruit the Recruiter

Recruiting recruiters is a huge challenge right now. They are in exceedingly high demand right now. A quick search for recruiter openings on various job boards yields:

  • 26,350 openings on Glassdoor
  • 49,676 openings on Indeed
  • 319,690 openings on LinkedIn

And these results are only for “recruiter” and not the other titles that are often used like talent acquisition specialist, talent consultant, headhunter, and more.

The pandemic caused a perfect storm for recruiting. Companies were forced to downsize while others placed freezes on hiring. HR professionals and recruiters were frequently included in the layoffs. And despite still being in a pandemic, hiring has started to pick up for industries. The Muse says there’s a 332.12% increase for recruitment consultants. Because of this high demand, recruiters saw a 14.2% inflation-adjusted pay increase in 2020-2021.

Therefore, if it’s currently a candidate’s market then recruiters are at the top of the candidate pool. But what exactly do recruiters want?


Almost weekly there’s a company announcing layoffs. HR doesn’t typically generate revenue, so it isn’t uncommon for recruiters to feel as if they’re constantly on the chopping block. Recruiters want assurance they won’t be included in the next layoff. Recruiters want to work for companies with a solid financial foundation. They want to know their role is not only pivotal to the success of the company, but also a role that will remain vital to the company years from now.

A mission they can get behind.

Recruiters are often the candidate’s first impression of the company, as they’re the one that primarily interacts with candidates. They set the tone for the candidate’s experience during the entire hiring process. When you have a mission a recruiter can support, it makes marketing your company to candidates easier because they support the mission and they’re also passionate about the mission. Candidates are often searching for companies with missions they can support and so are recruiters.


Have you ever seen a company where recruiters are looked at as glorified administrative assistants or order takers? Or when the non-recruiters tell recruiters how to do their jobs? Well, recruiters don’t want to work there. Recruitment is a partnership between the recruiter and hiring manager. When the entire hiring team values the knowledge and often years of honed experience a recruiter has, the hiring process has clarity, and everyone knows the role they play. The candidate experience is often elevated because of this.


The pandemic has shined an uncomfortable but necessary light on mental health and work/life balance. No longer are employees willing to sacrifice their mental and physical health for their job. Employees requires flexibility for their own health, but flexibility to support their families in ways that matter to them. Employees are juggling parenting, caregiving, living in a pandemic, and more. A company that truly values work/life balance and allows employees the autonomy to shift their schedule as needed is a company that truly puts their employees first.

Real fringe benefits.

Gone are the days where swag and ping pong games are attractive to candidates. Candidates don’t want to work at your company because you offer happy hours with alcohol. Recruiters want remote work, quality healthcare, unlimited paid time off, 16+ weeks of parental leave, student loan paydowns, fertility and transgender support, and more. They want professional support at work and personal support at home.

So how do you recruit the recruiter? The reality is that recruiters have more options today than they’ve ever had. Recruiters are also familiar with the hiring process because they recruit. They will figure out what isn’t right with the process because they know how to read the room and pick out red flags in company culture. Recruiters simply aren’t jumping from job to job because they can, they’re looking for something meaningful that has long-term promise.

If you’re looking for where to promote your recruiter openings, any job board will do. A few that stand out are:

However, I think two reliable and underused sources are LinkedIn and Twitter. Of course, you can use both to post jobs, but you should also use both to nurture passive recruiters. You can do this through several ways:

  • Deliver engaging content about your company and culture. This is in addition to whatever’s typically posted on your company’s page.
  • Join trending conversations and add to the conversation.
  • Spend time searching for influential recruiters, following them, and adding value to the content they post.

When you nurture the relationship before you need it, it’s easier to secure a passive candidate when you have an opening. And don’t be surprised if through this recruiters try to recruit you as well.

Contribution by Timara Nichols

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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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