Recruiter Job Description: Duties, Skills and Career Path
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Recruiter Job Description
Recruiters are personnel search and selection professionals who are responsible for managing the recruitment process, from the creation and publication of job advertisements, right through to the selection and hiring of the best candidate for the position.
When a company needs to hire personnel, a recruiter’s job is to find suitable candidates to fill the vacant position. Their first task in this process is to establish the requirements for the role, together with the line manager and/or company management. The recruiter then creates a job advertisement announcing the vacancy. Job advertisements have to be complete but concise and to outline all of the skills, qualifications and other requirements the ideal candidate for the role should have, as well as what the company can offer in return to the right person for the job, in terms of salary, benefits, career opportunities, working environment etc.
A recruiter’s next task is to use all the resources at his or her disposal to attract the best potential candidates for the position. This is likely to involve publishing the advertisement on job search websites, on social media sites (i.e. social recruiting), as well as on the official company website (the websites of most medium-to-large companies have a section listing career opportunities and inviting candidates to submit CVs).
Recruiters are also responsible for developing alternative recruitment channels and active sourcing strategies, in close collaboration with the company’s marketing department. For instance, they may participate in job fairs, career days and recruiting events, run employer branding campaigns, set up partnerships with universities and training organizations and use their networks of contacts to approach “passive candidates”, i.e. people who, although potentially suitable for the role, are working for other companies and/or are not actively looking for other positions.
Once the advertisement has been published, recruiters compile and evaluate the CVs of applicants for the post. The aim of the first ‘screening phase’ is to filter out candidates who do not meet the minimum requirements for the role. Eventually, a shortlist of potential candidates is drawn up. This list is narrowed down further through one or more interviews (depending on the level and complexity of the vacancy).
Job interviews can take a number of different forms, including telephone, individual and group interviews. They may be conducted by the recruiter alone or by a panel consisting of the recruiter together with the head of human resources and the manager of the department the successful candidate will be working in. The aim of an interview is to test a candidate’s suitability, evaluate his or her knowledge, abilities, prior experiences and soft skills, and, finally, to identify the person who best meets the company’s requirements.
Once the best candidate has been found, the recruiter has the task of negotiating the terms of employment, preparing all the necessary hiring documentation and completing any administrative procedures.
Once the selection process has been completed, a separate recruiter analyzes and evaluates its key metrics, which include the time to fill (i.e. the time it takes to fill a position, from the date the vacancy is published until the successful candidate’s first day of work), the time to hire (the time from initial contact with the successful candidate to their first day of work) and the source of hire (a metric that measures the efficiency of the various recruitment channels).
Recruiters are also responsible for updating CV databases and managing candidate data, using HR tools such as ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems), CMS (Candidate Management Systems) and HRMS (Human Resources Management Systems).
A recruiter may be employed in an in-house human resources department or else work for an employment agency, recruitment company or HR consulting firm providing search and selection services. Some recruitment experts operate on a self-employed basis, typically offering recruitment consultancy services in specific sectors (e.g. IT, finance, engineering, logistics, marketing or secretarial and admin).
Recruiters typically have standard full-time working hours. Their work is mainly office-based, although they may occasionally be required to take short business trips (e.g. to meet with clients and candidates or attend careers fairs).
Recruiter Responsibilities and Tasks
The main tasks of a recruiter include:
- Searching for candidates who meet the requirements of the hiring company
- Writing and publishing job advertisements
- Managing recruitment channels (e.g. internet, social networks, executive search, careers fairs etc.)
- Screening CVs and calling candidates for interview
- Conducting selection interviews (e.g. assessment centers, group and individual interviews)
- Presenting candidate short lists to management
- Administrative activities (e.g. compiling documentation and conducting hiring procedures
- Monitoring recruitment KPI
- Developing recruiting and talent acquisition strategies
How to Become a Recruiter - Education, Training and Requirements
To become a recruiter typically requires a degree, for example in economics or in a humanities discipline, such as psychology, sociology, literature or communication. Alternatively, aspiring recruiters can attend courses for search and selection professionals organized by training centres and academies.
There are cases of people becoming recruiters without a degree or specialist human resources qualification. However, more often than not, these are senior professionals with extensive knowledge of a specific sector (e.g. engineering or IT) and a vast network of contacts with leading organizations in that sector, who are able to use their experience and expertise to establish a successful career as a headhunter.
Recruiter Skills and Qualifications
Personnel recruitment professionals typically require the following skills and personal attributes:
- Ability to manage a recruitment process
- Knowledge of recruitment channels
- Ability to screen CVs and select suitable candidates
- Ability to conduct a job interview
- Ability to use applicant tracking systems (ATS)
- Knowledge of employment law and contract drafting and negotiation issues
- IT skills
- Communication and interpersonal skills
- Result-focused mentality
- Precision and reliability
- Ability to cope well with stress
- Flexibility and problem-solving skills
Recruiter Career Path
The typical career path of a recruiter may vary depending on the size and structure of the company they work for. In companies with small HR departments, for example, junior recruiters may find that they need to change employer in order to grow professionally. In larger companies with a sizeable workforce, on the other hand, recruiters may be given the opportunity to take on increasing levels of responsibility within the in-house HR department, progressing to a role as team leader and then HR Manager. Meanwhile, in personnel selection agencies with multiple branches, a recruiter may advance to become branch director or manager and then later be promoted to area manager.
Another route open to recruitment professionals looking for a fresh challenge is to work as a freelance HR consultant, perhaps specializing in a specific industry, such as IT, legal, finance, or engineering. A further option is to become a headhunter, providing executive search services to companies looking to fill vacancies in middle-management and top-management roles, both nationally and - frequently - internationally.
Finally, additional HR-related career opportunities for recruiters include brushing up on their marketing skills and going into social recruiting, working as a talent management specialist, or even providing careers advice and guidance as a career coach - either at universities and training organizations or on a self-employed basis.
Top Reasons to Work as a Recruiter
Why should you consider working as a recruiter?
A job as a recruiter comes with a significant amount of responsibility, since human resources are one of the key success factors for business. For any company or organization that wants to achieve its goals, having the right people in the right positions is today absolutely essential. The task of a recruiter is thus to bring together supply and demand in a job market that is increasingly competitive and in which companies are placing a growing importance on attracting and retaining the best talents.
Another interesting aspect of the role is the opportunity it provides to come into contact with people from a wide range of backgrounds, to build relations with them and, hopefully, to have a positive influence on their professional lives and careers.