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What Is a Recruiter? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.

Recruiters seek out potential job candidates by posting job descriptions online and directly reaching out to professionals who could be a good fit for open positions. Once they’ve recruited a pool of qualified candidates, recruiters keep the interviewing and hiring process moving smoothly. Here’s what to know about a recruiter’s salary, needed skills and how to become one.


What Is a Recruiter?

A recruiter serves as the initial point of contact for job applicants, guiding them through the interviewing and hiring process.


What Do Recruiters Do?

Recruiters evaluate a company’s talent needs so that they can effectively write job descriptions and source potential candidates. Their duties typically include staying in contact with prospects, scheduling interviews and maintaining the momentum of the hiring process.

Recruiter Responsibilities

  • Formulate recruitment strategy.
  • Identify opportunities to source new and diverse talent.
  • Collaborate with hiring managers and department heads to evaluate staffing needs.
  • Develop candidate profiles.
  • Make first contact with job candidates.
  • Manage interview schedules.
  • Conduct screening interviews.
  • Check candidates’ background and references.
  • Ensure applicants fit the job qualifications and company culture.
  • Follow-up with candidates on their statuses.
  • Onboard new hires.

Recruiters Within a Company

Recruiters may be part of a company’s human resources or people operations department, or they could be outsourced from a third-party recruiting firm. They typically work under a recruiting manager who oversees the overall recruitment strategy to make sure the process is as effective and efficient as possible.

Importance of Recruiters

A prospective employee’s first impression of a company often comes from a recruiter. The recruiter role is key in attracting the right match for an open position, as well as expanding a company’s applicant pool to include diverse and as of yet untapped sources of talent. Though they don’t conduct every interview or make the final hiring decision, the recruiter is important because they keep top candidates moving from one stage to the next in the hiring process.

Day in the life of a recruiter. | Video: Lucas Group


What Skills Are Needed to Be a Recruiter?

Qualifications to Be a Recruiter

  • An understanding of the talent acquisition process.
  • Knowledge of relevant laws regarding recruiting and hiring.
  • Ability to manage internal and external communications.
  • Experience screening and interviewing job candidates.
  • Familiarity with recruitment tools.
  • Understanding of important recruitment metrics.
  • A bachelor’s degree and at least a year working in HR or another relevant field.

Recruiter Prerequisites

  • A bachelor’s degree in human resources or another field that cultivates critical thinking and business acumen.
  • Courses and certifications to advance your career.

Recruiter Hard Skills

  • Familiar with laws relevant to HR processes.
  • Writing job descriptions and developing candidate profiles.
  • Strategizing with recruitment metrics.
  • Checking candidates’ background and references.
  • Experience with tools like applicant tracking systems and video conferencing platforms.

Recruiter Soft Skills

  • Problem solving and critical thinking.
  • Collaborating with other team members.
  • Working efficiently under pressure to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to balance and coordinate schedules.
  • Strong listening and communication skills.
  • Proficient at networking and building relationships.

Tools and Programs Recruiters Use

  • Job aggregator tools like LinkedIn and SmartRecruiters.
  • Applicant tracking systems like Workday, Greenhouse and JazzHR.
  • Tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite for managing employer brand and recruiting through social media.
  • Work management and collaboration tools like Asana and Slack.
  • Video conferencing tools like Zoom for conducting virtual interviews.
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How to Become a Recruiter

Recruiter Education and Experience

  • At least one year of experience in an HR role or another relevant field.
  • A bachelor’s degree in human resources or another relevant field such as communications or business.

Recruiter Certificates and Courses

Recruiter Career Path

Future recruiters can gain necessary experience by working an entry-level HR role such as an assistant or coordinator, but they can also go the route of working in a field like sales or marketing to begin developing the skills they need to work in recruiting. As recruiters advance in their career, they can move into a supervisory role like an HR manager or director, and eventually could move up the ladder to becoming a chief human resources officer.


Recruiter Salary and Job Outlook

Employment for human resources specialists including recruiters is estimated to increase by 8 percent through 2031, with more than 81,000 openings each year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The full compensation package for a recruiter depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average recruiter salary.


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