It is not an easy job. Far from being a sedentary position, recruiters must spend a lot of time on the phone, computer, or on one side of a desk talking to other people face-to-face. It does not require a college degree, and the most successful recruiters do pretty well. A recruiter usually receives commissions to be deducted from the person they recruited for the first year of employment, but such terms of remuneration can differ. Being a recruiter is similar to project manager jobs. You have lots of things you need to juggle at the same time.
A recruiter needs to be able to use communication devices to do many things. A telephone is a basic tool, and this is likely to be the most used tool for this job. The fax machine may also be needed, depending on how you would choose to receive applications and send responses. The personal computer is extremely useful, as it will allow you to formulate and print response letters, recommendation letters, and so much more. Electronic mail or e-mail is one of the most popular media for communication today, and in this modern age the recruiter should be able to use e-mail effectively and efficiently. Thus computer literacy and preferably proficiency are important to any kind of project manager job.
The way you present yourself is part of the job. As a recruiter, you are the face of the company, especially since yours is the first face that prospective employees will see. This means that you need to conduct yourself in a manner that will show that you know what you are doing. A recruiter should be confident, but not cocky. Confidence shows that you have experience in your job, you know what the deal is about, and that you cannot be pushed around. This will be important in dealing with applicants who think they are “more than qualified” for the job. Confidence will be your shield against people who put too much credit in their own skills and are arrogant about them. Be careful though; there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Taking it too far will just annoy people and make it harder for you to do your job.
A network of contacts is your most powerful tool. Maintaining rapport with other recruiters will help you network and find employees you would not be able to find otherwise. This way, you can pass referrals to each other for people who you think would be more suited to a job somewhere else. This works not only in your favor, but also for the prospective members of the workforce. If you plan to be a freelance recruiter, or a recruiter who works for several clients simultaneously, then you will need a good list of contacts. Working for several companies means that you should try to distribute your screened employees between them, so as not to curry disfavor with anyone.
Communication skills are the most vital skills for this job. Both your written and verbal communication skills will be put to use every single workday. Your reading should be reasonably fast, so you can go through applications quickly and efficiently. Composition of written works is important in writing letters, which you will constantly need to send to clients and applicants. It is your verbal skills that will face the toughest challenge in interviews. As a recruiter, you will need to speak with applicants to ascertain their intentions, skills, conduct, and so much more that cannot be conveyed in written form. Learning to pick up subtle clues in an applicant’s behavior and responses during interviews will help you weed out the pretenders from those who are worthy for the job.
Understanding the requirements for the jobs you are recruiting for is the first step. You need to know what each item on the checklist of skills means. For instance, if it says that the applicant needs to have Skill A, it is not enough that the applicant has written Skill A on his resume. You need to know exactly what Skill A means and how it applies to the job. This deep understanding of roles and skill is even more important if you are screening and hiring for several positions or companies. Having this knowledge can help you spot those pretending to have the required skills for the job from among those who are prepared.
Have a game plan for your interviews. You may want to identify points to clarify beforehand and formulate questions to ask. How you conduct the interviews will affect the responses of your interviewees and may reveal different sides of their personalities. Be prepared for anything.
As a final note, some applicants will not take rejection calmly. As a safeguard, try to give away as little personal information as possible when dealing with jobs like this. People may hate you for dropping their applications, even if you are justified.