Throughout my recruiting career, there have been many people who have told me they would love to break into recruiting. Honestly, recruiting is an easy business to get into, but it quite often ends up being something completely different than the rookie recruiter expected, making it difficult for many rookies to stay and develop a career in the industry.
There are several traits that one must have in order to be successful in recruiting. Having each of these traits does not guarantee you recruiting success, but it can help you to decide if you believe it to be the right career path for you.
1. Are you numbers driven?
Recruiting is sales. Yes, RECRUITING IS SALES. It is not social work or “helping people find jobs.” While it is great to guide a skilled candidate through the hiring process and see them receive a job offer, it is important to know that recruiters do not focus on finding people jobs.
Instead, recruiters focus on finding companies the talent that they need. Most of the time,that talent is not going to be knocking down your door or ringing your phone off the hook. Quite often, the best talent must be searched out and sold on the job opportunity.
With this in mind, recruiting is a numbers game. You must have a certain number of jobs that you are recruiting for, and a certain number of skilled candidates you are reaching out to and presenting to your client each day. These numbers are not the same for every recruiter. Each recruiter needs the discipline to track their numbers and understand how many phone calls, interviews, and presentations they must make in order to achieve a hire.
The most important thing to remember is that recruiters do not make money unless they are making placements.
If you are numbers driven and have a sales personality, then recruiting could possibly be the career for you.
2. Are you good with people?
Recruiting is a communications business. If you are not talking to the right people each and every day, you will never make it in this business. This means that you must enjoy speaking with people, learning about their work history and understanding what they are looking for in the next job.
Good recruiters are excellent readers when it comes to deciphering if a candidate is the right fit for a client. A star recruiter knows the candidate’s and hiring manager’s push buttons and can communicate to the hiring manager and the candidate what is needed from both sides in order to make an offer and acceptance happen.
Being a good communicator and reader of people are necessary skills needed in recruiting.
3. Do you love a challenge?
Recruiting is a very challenging business. Recruiters are tasked with finding the right talent for hiring managers. Quite often, hiring managers seem to be looking for a needle in a haystack, or a candidate who simply doesn’t exist. As a recruiter, you will need to stay focused and do what it takes in order to identify the best talent. This means that you will need to get creative and think outside of the box. Where can you find this top talent and how can you attract them to your job opportunity?
Recruiting is not easy. If you enjoy a challenge, then it could be the right career for you.
4. Are you able to overcome disappointments?
As I mentioned earlier, recruiting is sales. Just as sales reps are continuously turned down, hung up on, and left rejected, recruiters are faced with all of the same disappointments.
Candidates will hang up on you.
Candidates will leave you hanging, never showing up for interviews that you worked diligently to set up.
Candidates will fail background and drug screens, in spite of their stellar skills and experience.
Hiring managers will disappear, not returning your calls or emails even after you have worked many unpaid hours, identifying top talent for their jobs.
Hiring managers will fill the job, forgetting to communicate this fact to you until after you have finally found and presented the perfect candidate.
As a recruiter, you must be able to overcome these disappointments and move on. You will need to ask yourself what you could have done differently and then concentrate on putting that knowledge to test while you are recruiting for future openings.
Do you think you have what it takes to be a recruiter? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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