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Recruiter Career Guide

Are you a great communicator that loves working with people? Would you consider yourself detail-oriented and organized? A recruiter position may be the role that’s right for you. 

Employees known as recruiters are essential to any company because they help make hiring decisions that will directly impact the team. They work closely with the executive team and leadership to get a better idea of the type of candidates that they are hoping to hire. They also work closely with the applicant to identify if the position they are applying for would be a good long-term fit for them as well.

As a recruiter, you are responsible for processing applications, scheduling interviews, and onboarding candidates as needed. They work with hiring managers in order to define the job description and identify a good fit for the role. They act as a liaison between the applicants for the job and the employer.  

The ideal candidate for this role will have experience in either human resources or customer service related jobs. They must be great communicators, organized, and be able to be an advocate for their candidates. Recruiters must be able to research jobs they are hiring for, have good interviewing skills, and stay up to date on industry trends, in order to assist companies in major hiring decisions. 

Sample job description

At [Your Company Name], we have a steady belief in transparent and direct communication. We’re searching for an experienced recruiter to join our team and help us recruit top talent in our region, ensuring our customers and clients are happy. To be considered an ideal candidate for this role, you need to have good interviewing skills and decision-making skills, and have great organization and verbal skills. You should have a knack for seeking people out and analyzing character on the spot. Ideally, you’ll have at least 1-3 years of recruiting experience, or a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Recruit and source different candidates by using social media, databases, job boards etc. 
  • Screen candidates’ job applications to job postings and resume searches
  • Conduct interviews with various candidates to ensure they are the right fit for the job
  • Assess whether candidates have the right soft skills and experience for the position 
  • Act as a liaison for the candidate and the company
  • Build a relationship with candidates in order to create a long-lasting partnership, and get referrals as well 
  • Promote the company, and sell its best features
  • Ensure that the company attracts, hires, and retains the right candidates for the job

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field such as human resources or a related field such as business administration is preferred 
  • Some companies will work with a few years of on-the-job experience 
  • Some employers may require professional certifications or on the job training as needed

Required skills and qualifications

  • Must have great interpersonal skills and be extremely organized
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Ability to make good decisions quickly
  • Passionate about networking
  • Must be reliable and punctual

Preferred qualifications

  • Previous experience with recruitment  
  • HR background 
  • Ability to make sound decisions and think critically
  • Adaptable and takes initiative

Typical work environment

Recruiters work in an office as part of a team, but they more recently have had the opportunity to work primarily remote as well, depending on the company. 

Recruiters work with the executive team to ensure they are on the same page about openings that they have to fill. Depending on the jobs they are recruiting for, they will be working with individuals that are in the job market and actively looking for work. 

Recruiters usually have regular office hours. They will occasionally need to work late or over weekends to meet deadlines. The schedule can vary significantly based on what openings they are working on.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a recruiter in an office setting are 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, but recruiters often need to schedule candidate interviews during evenings. These hours can vary depending on the time of year and if you are working on specific projects that require more time or different hours. For example, if you are working on an opening in a different time zone, recruiters may shift their hours to reflect the other time zone’s hours in order to have more call time. 

Available certifications

Although a certification is not required to work as a recruiter there are some certifications that can certainly benefit you in the job hunt. There are a few institutions that offer certifications, including:

  • Certified Professional (CP). This certification requires a certain level of human resources experience to enroll. This exam is made for HR professionals in senior levels who have more strategic roles and work to develop strategies and policies. However, it’s also useful if you want to become a recruiter. If you are a member, the program is $375, and if you are not a member the program is $400. 
  • Associate Professional in Human Resources. This is for newcomers in the human resources field, and it can help you get your foot in the door of this industry. No experience is required for this exam, one just has to study and apply for the exam to get this certification. The application fee is $100, and the exam itself is $300. 
  • Professional in Human Resources. This exam is mainly for HR professionals who have many years of experience under their belt. The people receiving this certification typically are in the department of HR that handles laws and regulations that pertain to employment. You must have at least 1 year of experience and your master’s degree, 2 years of experience and your bachelor’s degree, or 4+ years of experience and a high school diploma. The application fee is $100, and the exam itself is $395.

Career path

The journey to becoming a recruiter begins by earning a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field, like business administration or communications. Students who aspire to be a recruiter should apply to an entry-level recruiter job and gain the skills to work their way up. 

Many recruiters stay in the same role they started in, but earn more as they go due to base raises as well as higher commission structure year to year. Recruiters need to develop soft skills, like being an excellent communicator and being extremely organized. They need to have these skills in order to keep candidates informed throughout the process and to be able to form long-term professional relationships with their candidates.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 13-1071

2020 Employment674,800
Projected Employment in 2030745,100
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 10% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift70,200 increase

Recruiter is a good career move for someone looking to get into higher levels of human resources, or someone looking to work in a commission-based role. Recruiter roles are not going anywhere due to how important it is for companies to hire the best candidates and to have these candidates be onboarded and compliant with company and state guidelines. They are a big part of growing teams for companies around the world.