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What Does a Recruiter Do? (+ How to Become a Good One)

February 28, 2023

what does a recruiter do

On the receiving end of every job application you’ve sent to a company is a person (allegedly).

Employees are an incredibly important resource for any organization. Businesses are nothing without the people that drive them, and finding the best people to do so is a key role owned within a company. This job belongs to the recruiter.

Companies use recruiting software to automate the way they hire and onboard. Recruiting tools can track candidates, customize applications based on human resources job description, post job listings, and improve overall communications with applicants and new hires. 

Recruiters play a vital role in the success of a business. If you’re considering becoming a recruiter (or want to know more about what recruiters do), keep reading. 

What does a recruiter do?

A recruiter can have any number of daily tasks related to employee sourcing. A recruiter’s main goal is to bring qualified people into the company. It’s not all about getting people through the door, though – a recruiter needs to ensure new employees are properly onboarded, fitting into the company culture, and feeling engaged at work.

A recruiter needs to utilize specific strategies like resume parsing, campus recruiting, and job fairs. They must also understand the interview process, salary negotiation, and candidate assessment.

Tip: Recruiters often use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to keep track of candidates and their stages in the hiring process.

The days are never exactly the same for recruiters. One day could involve qualifying resumes for a position, coordinating interviews, or posting job listings, while the next day may require creating a company culture video to help grow the employer brand.

Recruiting, screening, interviewing, and placing workers is a tough job. For many, it’s totally worth it.

How much money do recruiters make?

A recruiter can go by different titles, such as HR Specialist or Talent Acquisition. Each of these may have slightly different job descriptions and duties, but at the end of the day, it’s about finding the right people for the right job.

The median annual wage in May 2021 for Human Resource Specialists was $62,290, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Here at G2, we hold user-reported data in high regard. The salaries reported by reviewers on Glassdoor show a similar, but slightly different picture for recruiter compensation.

As the job market for recruiters grows at the same rate as all other occupations (roughly 8% annually, according to the BLS), it’s safe to say that recruiters will always be in demand. No matter how automated the recruitment process becomes, nothing can replace the human connection required to find the perfect fit for a job.

But not everyone has what it takes to be a recruiter.

Skills a recruiter needs

The skills a recruiter needs begin with formal education. Recruiters usually must have a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business, or a related field. The coursework typically includes business, industrial relations, psychology, professional writing, human resource management, and accounting.

It comes down to four key competency areas: communication, decision-making, detail-oriented, and interpersonal skills.

Communication skills

Listening and speaking skills are essential for recruiters. Being able to convey information effectively, and pay attention to questions and concerns from job applicants can make all the difference in a recruiter’s success.

Decision-making skills

Recruiters use decision-making skills when reviewing candidates’ qualifications. The ability to make a sound judgment on a candidate's abilities and show resolve if those decisions come into question is vital.

Detail-oriented skills

Recruiters must be detail oriented when evaluating applicants’ qualifications, performing background checks, writing job descriptions, or planning recruitment strategies.

Interpersonal skills

Recruiters continually interact with new people and must be able to converse and connect with people from different backgrounds. A recruiter needs to be a friendly face to the organization and a great first contact for applicants.

Developing these four key skills is crucial for success as a recruiter, but there are a few more ways you can ensure your career as a recruiter is a long and happy one.

Career tips for recruiters

There are a few things a recruiter can do to make their job easier in the long run. This may require some buy-in from upper management and leadership. Thanks to your exemplary interpersonal skills, this should not be a problem for you.

  • Put the candidate experience first. Every candidate that you interact with should feel good about the company and process regardless if they’re hired or not. This is a huge part of your employer’s brand, and creating a bad candidate experience can turn people away from your company and make your job incredibly difficult.
  • Create a strong value proposition. It’s important to communicate to potential applicants the salary, benefits, culture, and recognition they should expect if they are hired by your company. What can you provide them that a similar position at a different company can't?
  • Ask better questions. There are a number of common interview questions you can adapt to your interview process and ensure that your candidates are properly assessed.
  • Seek and embrace diversity. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to every company, and it’s no different in your recruitment process. Consider all forms of diversity and how to make your hiring process more friendly and inclusive to people from any background.
  • Think like a marketer. Anyone can hop online and read Glassdoor reviews, or find YouTube videos and Instagram posts about your company. Take some control of the message and make sure the first information they find is the information you’re giving them.

Get ready to read a lot of resumes

Being a recruiter can be an enriching experience, and while it comes with its challenges, you’re sure to feel incredible when you find that fit and place someone in the perfect role.

The role of a recruiter allows for great interpersonal connection and creativity. If you feel like this is the job for you, then what are you waiting for?

Are you a recruiter looking for the best way to find candidates? Learn more about how to do talent acquisition like a pro. 

This article was originally published in 2019. The content has been updated with new information.

recruiting software Hire better

Use automation to improve the hiring and onboarding process with recruiting software.

recruiting software Hire better

Use automation to improve the hiring and onboarding process with recruiting software.

What Does a Recruiter Do? (+ How to Become a Good One) Interested in being a recruiter? Learn exactly what it means to be a recruiter along with the skills, expected salary, and tips to help you be successful.
Derek Doeing Derek is a former G2 content associate. He can usually be found discussing pop music, politics, or digital marketing on the internet. (he/him/his)

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