Published: 23 May 2022
Considering getting into the recruitment field? Good choice.
The career path of recruiting candidates for companies is an exciting and fast-growing sector to be in right now.
Whether organizations are in the process of staffing back up after losing employees during the Great Resignation, or they are increasing their recruiting as the economy heats up post-pandemic, there is a great deal of hiring going on in the spring of 2022.
Many companies are finding it increasingly difficult to secure the talent they need. Statistics Canada just reported last week that the unemployment rate in Canada has hit a new record low. At just 5.2 per cent currently, unemployment has never been at such a low point since comparable data began being collected in the mid-1970s. And, in April 2022, the UK’s unemployment rate had fallen to 3.8 per cent, the lowest since 2019.
The jobless rate has fallen to below pre-pandemic levels emphasising the risk of inflation pressure in the labour market.
Of course, even if we were in an employer's market where there was an abundance of available candidates for every role, finding the right person to hire can still be a challenge. That is where recruiters come in. This is where you shine.
A talented recruiter is a valuable resource for companies across industries. These professionals bring a complex and diverse range of skills to the table. From sourcing candidates, assessing their skills, and motivating them to apply for the job, to determining their fit with the organization and negotiating offers, this is a job for a multi-faceted person. So, is it the right career path for you?
Here's a closer look at who recruiters are and what they do.
Why work in recruitment
One of the most rewarding aspects of a recruiting career is the fact that you genuinely get to help other people advance in their careers. Every successful placement that you make is a potentially life-changing event for a candidate. You are also helping organizations to thrive. Having the right people in the right roles is one of the key ingredients for an effective business. Helping them to accomplish that is satisfying work.
Plus, recruitment is an inspiring field to be in. The work involves constantly meeting new people, getting to know candidates, expanding your network.
Who you are
Put simply, recruiters are the people responsible for hiring candidates for a company's open jobs. But that does not even begin to tell the whole story of who these talented professionals really are.
A natural people-person, recruiters must be good judges of character. They develop an instinct for recognizing talent and evaluating communication and work styles to assess fit. They empathize and scrutinize. As much as a recruiter might want to help a candidate land a job or fill an open position quickly, they have to make the hard choices. Placing someone in a role where they will not fit in or be successful isn't doing anyone any favours.
What you need
While many recruiters have a degree or some training in Human Resources, this is not absolutely necessary for a career in recruitment. A great many people come to this field with a degree in business, marketing, English, or psychology. This is because having the honed writing, presenting, and communications skills that come from earning a university degree are very useful to the work of recruitment.
Other times, people transition into a career in recruitment from some other area of specialization. For example, if you have worked in the IT sector, you could find your expertise in high demand sourcing and screening candidates for roles in technology. Having such an industry-focussed proficiency is an asset for specialized recruiters who are sought after in sectors such as finance, sales, or construction, as well as technology.
More important than your background or the details of your education, recruiters need to have the range of skills that are routinely used on the job.
The skills you have
Recruiters are salespeople and marketers. They are communicators and customer service reps. They are detectives. That's a lot of hats to wear and shoes to fill.
As a professional recruiter you need to be able to write a compelling job posting that reaches your target audience, engages their interest, and compels them to apply for the job. That is sales and marketing. It's knowing your customer and making the pitch.
The detective work comes in putting the pieces together. You will need to listen to the needs of the company you are hiring for, of course. But recruiters must also actively listen to candidates. The details of their communication style and how they describe their work can help you assess whether or not they would be a good fit with the employer.
Their body language can also provide valuable insights into how professional they are, how confident, and whether or not they seem to be telling the truth.
Recruiters are relationship-builders. This takes a high level of emotional intelligence. You are able to recognize your own reactions and responses, and realize the impact these can have on other people. This combination of emotional expression and regulation, self-awareness, and empathy allows you to build a rapport with candidates and help successfully match them with relevant opportunities. Your clients want their positions filled yesterday, so you need to manage expectations and keep the lines of communications open. You are the match(maker) that helps spark a relationship between candidate and company.
It also helps if you are tech-savvy, organized, hard-working, creative, and entrepreneurial.
So, is a recruitment career right for you?
The answer to that might come down to what kind of lifestyle you are looking for in your career. There are two main categories of careers in recruitment that you could pursue. These are internal and external recruiters.
External recruiters are either independent or work as a part of a recruitment agency. They are not actually employees of the companies for whom they are filling roles. This career path has more of a freelance, entrepreneurial vibe to it. Along with sourcing candidates, external recruiters have to be finding clients and managing those relationships as well.
Internal recruiters, on the other hand, are employed in a talent acquisition role by one specific organization to source, screen, and hire new staff.
Independent recruiters enjoy more freedom and flexibility as they can choose how many clients to work for, the hours they want to put in, and as a consequence, how much they earn. In-house recruiters have a more 9-5 lifestyle with the stability and security that comes along with full-time employment with one company.
External recruiters who work for a recruitment agency fall in between the two. Rather than being freelance or contract contributors, they also enjoy the security of a full-time job. However, they have the added challenge – and excitement – of getting to know many different employer brands and cultures as they source talent for different clients.
Either way, however, if you are someone who enjoys meeting new people, helping others advance in their careers, negotiating deals, and keeping up with the latest job market trends and technologies, then this could be a great fit for you.
The rapid changes we're seeing post-COVID in what candidates are looking for, the ways that people work, and how workplaces are evolving right now makes this a very exciting time to be in the recruitment sector. Our team takes it up a notch. We're in the business of helping recruiters recruit recruiters. (Rec2Rec.) Stay tuned for the latest updates from the front lines of the front lines.