How to Become a Recruiter, According to 16 Experts

What skills and qualifications do you need to become a recruiter?

We asked experts to give us their insights.

Bob Prather, General Manager of Accounting & Finance Division, Lucas Group

Bob Prather

One of the great things about the recruiting industry is the diverse backgrounds from where recruiters come. Not many folks leave school with the intent of exploring a career in recruiting. In fact, most don’t even know that is an option. However, after getting a bit of education on the scope of the job and on the ability to make recruiting a fun, long-term career, it is a very attractive option.

My first recommendation is to understand what type of recruiting company may fit you the best

If you have relatively little experience, it may be in your best interest to find a larger, national company with training programs in place to introduce you to the world of recruiting and start with teaching you the basics. If you have sales or industry experience, you may find that a smaller, more-flexible environment fits your background.

However, I’d encourage someone that wants to get into recruiting to do their homework and find several different types of companies to engage with them.

You could try to engage the company by applying online

However, part of what makes a successful recruiter is being resourceful when it comes to finding hiring managers. Rather than applying online only and hoping for a callback, I would recommend finding the main number to the local office of the companies that look like potential fits for your background and ask for the person in charge of an internal recruiter or the local hiring manager.

The initiative will go a long way to show that you have the resourcefulness and willingness to find the right talent or contact.

Keep in mind that for good recruiters, recruiting is a profession and a career – not just a job

Like any profession, such as law or accounting, you will have to put in a lot of effort and hard work at the beginning to understand the basics and learn the consultative skills necessary to bring value to clients and candidates.

But, when you do put in that effort, recruiting can be a rewarding, lucrative, long-term career that allows you to impact peoples’ lives on a daily basis.

Tom McGee, Vice President & General Manager of Sales & Marketing Division, Lucas Group

Tom McGee

People become recruiters in several ways.

They talk with a recruiter about finding a job and that recruiter asks the candidate if they would be interested in becoming a recruiter themselves. In my experience, numbers one and two are usually how people get into the world of recruiting.

 

 

  • A friend of theirs who is a recruiter suggests they could be a great recruiter.
  • A person during their career realizes that they like the recruiting aspect of their job and decides to pursue it.
  • A person decides to make a career change and they figure out that, by going into recruiting, they can use their connections and knowledge of their industry to be successful.

If someone is interested in getting into recruiting, I would suggest they research the industry and learn which firms recruit for which industries. Then they should contact multiple firms that interest them. When interviewing, they should ask questions about:

  • The level of positions they place.
  • The compensation package.
  • How and when they will be paid on a placement.
  • How the firm handles splits between recruiters.
  • If their recruiters run a full desk or a split desk.

 

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