4 Tips to Start Your Career in Recruiting

It’s easy to imagine all the ways being visited by your future self could help you make decisions in the present: Can I trust this stylist at SuperCuts, or should I pay up? Is this three-hour movie I’m about to start with a friend any good?  But unless you’re Brandon Stark or you possess otherworldly intuition, you don’t get that privilege. 

Fortunately, for those of you considering starting a career in recruiting (if you’re not, here’s why you should be), you’re about to be visited by the Ghost of Your Recruiting Future. We know that despite everything else, recruiting—especially in the beginning—can be incredibly challenging, so we wanted to share tips that we think the younger versions of ourselves would’ve loved to have heard. 

Be Honest with Yourself 

Not everyone views recruiting as a lifelong career. For some, it’s just a stop along their journey — a well-paying job that they’re happy to pay the bills with for now. Neither perspective is “better” than the other, but it matters to identify which viewpoint you consider to be true for yourself early on. 

Recruiting is a challenging, complex industry that can take a lifetime to master. Having clarity on your perspective is incredibly important as you start out. Take the time to reflect and define what your job means to you, identify what is fulfilling and unfulfilling, and adjust your expectations and timelines accordingly to prevent you from bailing or burning out prematurely.  

Build Relationships and Network

Because recruiting is sales-oriented, it can be tempting at times to view the work as transactional and impersonal: if I make “X” amount of placements then I make “X” amount of money. While the basics of this concept are true, good recruiting is done by effectively building relationships—between both clients and candidates. 

Recruiters act as a powerful advocate on behalf of the candidates and a trusted partner for clients. The key to functioning well at both roles is a relationship built upon trust, empathy, and communication. Take the time to develop a real, honest rapport with everyone you do business with. Not only with this help you carry out your current search effectively, but these relationships (if developed well) will also add to your network and develop your talent pipeline down the road for future business. 

Leverage Technology

For a long time, recruiters relied on phone books, Rolodexes, and newspaper ads to reach most of their clients and candidates. Thankfully for you, things have gotten a little more sophisticated since then. 

These days, there’s an incredible amount of technology at your disposal to help you organize and stay on top of the myriad engagements, correspondences, events, and more that effortlessly populate your calendar. But you still have to use them to take advantage of the money-saving and money-making capabilities they offer you. 

Applicant tracking systems cut down on an incredible amount of tedious tasks and make keeping track of all candidate statuses and communications immeasurably simpler. Use it. Actively update the candidates it houses. Put the time into understanding the full benefits your ATS provides for you and make sure your usage habits extract all of them.

LinkedIn is home to the largest population of professionals; it’s a virtual goldmine for recruiters adding more candidates to their network. Use it. Make sure your profile design and search habits are optimized for it to offer you the full benefits of its partnership with you.

The ol’ trusty telephone, lunch meetings and other more personal methods of engagement will still always be the backbone of recruiting, but the best recruiters know how to supplement this with modern technology to become as efficient as possible. 

Find a Mentor

Recruiting will always reward the self-starter. A willingness to figure things out on your own, fearlessly develop your own business and a knack for thriving when the pressure is on you will get you far. But only so far. 

As unemployment rates have plummeted and the talent shortage has increased in recent years, the hiring market has become ultra-competitive. To combat this, cross-collaboration among recruiters at a firm has become increasingly more common. Senior recruiters and directors now understand the importance of sharing networks and combining resources to gain any amount of competitive advantage during such a tight hiring market. 

You can capitalize on this increasingly collaborative environment by seeking out more senior recruiters to take you under their wing. As much as you can learn, discover, and accomplish on your own, the guidance and advice from someone who has been there before can be invaluable. Find time each week to sit down with them and mull over the past few days to develop your recruiting methods and sharpen your processes. Odds are they’ve benefited from mentor relationship throughout their own career and will be more than happy to pay it forward. 

RHM Staffing Solutions

If you made it this far, you’re probably considering a career in recruiting. There’s no better place to start than RHM Staffing Solutions. At RHM, we take pride in providing our staff with everything they need to be successful, and our entry-level recruiters typically receive their first promotion within the first year of their employment. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our openings.