Recruiting is a vital role for any business, particularly in today’s competitive talent acquisition market. At the end of February 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported over 11.3 million job openings in the United States, which far outpaces current unemployment numbers.
This has made great recruiters more important than ever. A talented recruiter can greatly improve a company’s ability to find and attract quality employees.
Now is a great time to enter a recruiting career path. Whether you’re considering a role as a corporate recruiter or working for an agency, or interested in joining an organization’s internal recruiting team, let’s look at how to begin your recruiting career path. By understanding what a recruiter does, how to start this career, and what growth and transition opportunities are available, you can decide if this is the right path for you.
What Does a Recruiter Do?
Recruiters work at the front lines of sourcing, screening, and attracting top talent to fit the needs of their company. Needless to say, this includes a wide range of tasks.
People in this role will typically work with hiring managers to understand which skills and qualifications would be accurate for a particular job description. Recruiters then use this information to start reaching out to qualified candidates. This could include cold calling, sending a message on LinkedIn, advertising job postings on hiring platforms and social media, or representing the company at conferences and other networking events.
These individuals must also determine which candidates are a good fit for the job. As such, they are typically responsible for going through applicants’ resumes, scheduling (and sometimes conducting) interviews, and keeping track of open positions and candidates in an applicant tracking system.
This job requires excellent organizational and communication skills, as recruiters will often multitask to fill several different positions. To take that even further, an agency recruiter may be trying to fill positions for multiple companies at the same time. Either way, the recruiter is often a candidate’s first interaction with the brand, which can set the tone for future relationship building with the company.
Starting a Recruiting Career Path
A recruiting career path can start with education. While there aren’t specific college programs dedicated to recruiting, an estimated 68.7% of recruiters have a bachelor’s degree while 9.2% have a master’s degree.
Earning a college degree can be a valuable starting point if you want to be considered for a staffing job. It shows you can do hard work and have critical thinking skills, which will come in handy when making sure you’re reaching out to the right talent.
When looking at your educational background, you might consider a related field, such as communications, business administration, sociology, or psychology.
Those who are interested in recruiting as a career might also consider interning or job shadowing while completing their undergraduate degree. This can give you firsthand experience and valuable insights from those who are already working in this field.
Strong interpersonal communication skills and resilience are essential for working as a recruiter. You will spend much of your time interacting with other people — and often getting rejected.
Experience in recruiting-adjacent positions, such as customer service, business administration, and human resources can also help prepare you for a role as a recruiter.
Career Growth Possibilities in Recruiting
There are ample opportunities for growth within a recruiting career path. Entry-level recruiters are mostly engaged in promoting open positions, initial candidate outreach for lower-level positions, scheduling interviews, and reviewing applicant resumes. In a recruiting agency, they may work directly with job candidates to match them to the right position based on their skills and background.
As you develop more experience within your organization, you can move up to the role of senior recruiter or hiring manager. Such growth tends to be based on years of experience as well as a successful track record of making valuable placements. You may also begin to specialize in recruiting for a particular industry based on your own expertise and background, such as IT.
Recruiting operations is another emerging role in the industry. This position focuses on monitoring and evaluating relevant metrics to best position recruiting teams to succeed. Though not directly involved in candidate outreach, this position is vital for helping teams take advantage of new technology and recognize opportunities for improvement.
Senior recruiters oversee much of the organization’s recruiting work, taking on more of a managerial role. This could include overseeing the company’s onboarding program and ensuring that other recruiters have the resources they need to be successful.
Those in upper-level positions also tend to be more closely involved in candidate outreach and the interview process, particularly for higher-level positions. They also communicate the need for additional staff to senior management when necessary. In recruitment agencies, they may take on more of a “project management” role where they have chief responsibility for filling open positions for one or several clients.
A key part of development within the recruiting field involves obtaining industry certifications. For example, recruiters could complete the American Staffing Association (ASA)’s Certified Staffing Professional program to improve their knowledge of federal and state staffing laws. Such knowledge can be especially useful in a complex hiring landscape that often sees businesses use a mix of full-time and contingent employees.
What Career Transitions Are Possible From Recruiting?
Depending on your personality, you may be happy to remain in a recruiting role for your entire career — especially since there is ample opportunity for growth within recruiting itself.
However, if you are interested in a career transition, the skills you develop in recruiting can help prepare you for a variety of other roles. Skills such as communications, time management, relationship-building, data analysis, and using an applicant tracking system can easily transfer to sales. Sales people must use similar skills to sell a product or service to a client.
Many recruiters also transition to human resources because of its close involvement with other employees. A human resources manager provides tools and resources to help employees succeed within the organization.
HR professionals help ensure a positive, inclusive culture so the company can retain the best talent. Because similar skills are used between recruiting, sales, and human resources, it also isn’t unusual to see sales or HR professionals transitioning to a recruiting career path.
Though less common than transitioning to a human resources or sales positions, some recruiters leverage their knowledge and skills into an administrative or business development role. Successful leaders know how to engage with the people they work with, providing mentorship and support while also holding everyone accountable for their work.
The people skills that recruiters develop through their day-to-day work make them uniquely suited for successfully managing a large team.
Get Started With Your Recruiting Career Path
No matter what your end goals for your recruiting career path might be, to be a successful recruiter, you need to deliver a positive candidate experience. While the right recruiting skills are an absolute must-have, you also need tools that will make your recruiting job more efficient.
Prelude helps with your recruiting goals by enabling you to create a personalized hiring and onboarding experience, schedule interviews, and even provide training and development resources to improve your team’s skill set. With our innovative platform on your side, you can improve your recruiting capabilities and deliver great results to accelerate your own recruiting career path.