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How to Become a Technical Recruiter

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Even amidst the burgeoning unemployment rate in the United States, and the rest of the world for that matter, there are still companies that offer employment to qualified professionals. Usually, these companies belong to the information, communications, and technology industry that continue to be a source of careers that pay well both in terms of finance and fulfillment.

Definition and Duties

With that being said, you can have a related career as a technical recruiter for these companies. What exactly does a technical recruiter do?

You will be involved in the research and recruitment of prospective job candidates such that the right person is placed in the right position. As such, you will be required to understand corporate culture, advertise and network for jobs available, check backgrounds and references, and interview and coach applicants. In short, you deal with people all the time!

Clients and Companies

Actually, you can straddle both sides of the job fence. On one hand, companies hire independent technical recruiters to fill in confidential positions, of which there are many in the technology industry. Also, the in-house human resources department may not possess the necessary knowledge to determine who will best fit the position.

On the other hand, professionals hire a technical recruiter as an integral part their employment search. Plus, a technical recruiter knows the ins and outs of the industry and, thus, will be able to assist the professional in his long-term career path.

Indeed, with every client that you place in the right job, you will have a sense of fulfillment, not to mention a share of the recruiting pie! Keep in mind that technical recruiters can earn in the six-figures per year.

Steps and Stages

Why was that entire introduction necessary? Well, you need to understand the requirements of the job as a technical recruiter before you even think about becoming one. After all, the ideal in your head is often far removed from the reality around you.

First, you have to acquire an education related to the field where you will function as a technical recruiter. Although you can become one with just a high school diploma, it is more advantageous and more preferable if you have a college degree. After all, you will be required to understand highly technical job requirements and deal with highly-educated professionals. It pays to be on their intellectual level.

Second, you must acquire extensive on-the-job training. You will learn the ins and outs of the industry, establish a strong network of contacts and acquire knowledge about the tricks of the trade. More often than not, careers are made on experience, of which becoming a technical recruiter is not an exception.

Usually, on-the-job training can be acquired by becoming employed within the human resource departments of various companies. Other avenues include becoming an apprentice to a master recruiter while supplementing the hands-on education with books and resources. Or you can become a self-taught technical recruiter.

Third, you must develop professional and personal characteristics that most companies and clients look for in a technical recruiter. These include, but are not limited to, excellent recruiting skills, strong knowledge in database management and Internet technology, enthusiastic and personable attitude, innovative and resourceful personality, and the ability to work as a team.

Of course, all these skills can be acquired and honed during on-the-job training. However, keep in mind that what you may know today may not be applicable tomorrow due to fast technological obsolescence. Thus, you may have to adapt to changing conditions everyday.

Fourth, you need to understand the process that each client and each company adopts during the employment search. When you work as an independent freelance technical recruiter, the ability to understand and adapt to significantly different career policies and personalities will set you above the rest of the competition. Indeed, more than other careers, being a technical recruiter involves dealing with the most challenging of products: people.

Again, your on-the-job training should have provided the requisite knowledge of the processes involved in technical recruitment. More important, you should have acquired the ethical values as a career matchmaker, for although you wheel and deal with people, you still deal with people who have feelings, aspirations, and talents like you do.

Fifth, use your network of contacts, the traditional media, and the Internet to compile the available jobs for the industry if you work as a freelancer, or for the company if you work as part of an in-house team. Either way, it is very important to understand the needs of both the job candidate and the hiring company so that you can match the right person with the right job. And that's how you earn your employee salary or professional fee.

And speaking of professional fee as a freelancer, you will be paid for your services in various ways. You can be paid based on an agreed percentage of the hired employee's salary or on a pre-determined sum per hire or on a retainer basis. Indeed, you will enjoy the benefits of a well-paying career and/or employment.

As a final advice on how to become a technical recruiter, don't be shy about being one. With all the careers in the professional world, you have a value that can neither be overestimated nor overemphasized. You can make a difference in a professional's life by becoming the matchmaker to his dream job and you can make a difference in your life, too.
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