A recruiter is a specialist in finding talented personnel and attracting them to work in the company. Searching and selecting candidates, interviewing each one, familiarizing them with the terms of the job, and offering them a place in the company are the recruiter’s key tasks. Job analysis, sourcing, and selection for recruitment are the foundation upon which the work of a recruitment specialist rests. Success in these three stages leads to an offer to the ideal candidate.
What Should a Recruiter Be Able to Do?
To pique the interest of—and even more so, to win over—a talented specialist is not an easy thing to accomplish. To be successful, it is not enough to just have searching and communication skills—that’s just the beginning of what a recruiter needs. There are a number of hard and soft skills required as well.
Components of hard skills:
Technical literacy. This is an important skill for a tech recruiter to have because they usually need to recruit specialists for technical positions. And this means having specific knowledge of programming languages, development processes, and terminology, as well as generally being aware of trends and changes in the world of technology. Such skills are needed to evaluate a technical specialist adequately and communicate with them on an equal footing.
Recruiting tools. The recruiter’s goal is to find worthy candidates, and to achieve this, they need to use special tools. The typical recruitment channels are sites for posting job vacancies—places like Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Dice, and Monster. For communication with candidates and colleagues, the recruiter must often use programs like Zoom, Skype, and Hangouts video services. Finally, recruiters use tools like Jira, Trello, and Asan to effectively organize the work process within the team. They help at almost all stages of the hiring process.
Candidate evaluation methods. A good recruiter doesn’t evaluate job applicants intuitively or superficially but instead uses optimized methods.
Examples of evaluation methods:
- Competency interviews (a structured interview based on real previous experience).
- DISC technique (a four-step model for analyzing people's behavior under certain circumstances).
- PAEI model by Ichak Adizes (determines predisposition to management and managerial qualities).
Ability to work with texts. Crafting competitive job ads, letters directly to candidates, and final offers requires the recruiter to have good writing skills. The job posting should be well-written, concise, and attractive to increase the chances of a response from potential candidates.
Components of soft skills:
Stress management. Recruiters communicate with a huge number of people. They must be able to control their emotions, react delicately to inappropriate behavior, and be ready for extremely difficult candidates.
Knowledge of behavioral psychology. The recruiter interacts both with teams and managers about requests to find new employees, as well as with job applicants. The ability to build trusting relationships and get along with anyone in any situation will make the job of an IT recruiter much easier.
Critical thinking. This is a necessary skill when evaluating and analyzing candidate resumes. Potential applicants can provide a lot of information about their achievements and skills, but understanding the extent to which what is written corresponds to reality is up to the recruiter.
Aiming. Good recruiters can get and keep valuable candidates when they work with a firm purpose. These types of recruiters aren’t frightened by rejection. On the contrary, it motivates them to find out the reason behind it, discuss the details, and return the interest of the job seeker.
Ability to sell. This skill will help you create a viral job vacancy and sell it, confidently proving the value of your company. Candidates will understand that the job is exactly what they need to further their careers.
Love for constant communication and emotional intelligence. Ninety-five percent of the time, recruiters are communicating with people: candidates, the development team, the hiring manager, etc. It’s necessary to be flexible and to treat each party with understanding—both the developer who doubts whether to accept the offer and the manager who wants to "see a few more resumes."
High level of self-motivation. Currently, candidates respond less and less to messages from recruiters and increasingly refuse offers. In such conditions, it is very easy to become burned out; a recruiter must be able to remain calm and motivated in any situation.
Willingness to continually develop. The tech field is growing rapidly. Some technologies are losing popularity, but others constantly see new tools being developed and the pool of vacancies rapidly turning over. In these conditions, it’s impossible to stop developing!
What a Recruiter Should Read and Watch to Improve Their Skills
Hire With Your Head: Using Performance-Based Hiring to Build Great Teams by Lou Adler
If you are a recruiter, you have no doubt heard the name Lou Adler, especially when it comes to performance-based hiring. With over forty years of recruiting experience, he certainly knows a thing or two about hiring great people.
Full Stack Recruiter: The Ultimate Edition by Jan Tegze
This book is a must-read for beginner recruiters, but it's also a great book for recruiters with years of hands-on experience who have never studied recruiting and selection theory. You will learn all the existing methods of searching for candidates and discover practical, useful methods for working on every aspect of recruiting: attracting candidates, marketing vacancies, building an employer brand, and so on.
Who: The A Method for Hiring by Jeff Smart and Randy Street
This book describes a vast body of research. Twenty billionaires and 300 CEOs share their experiences and funny stories about how they moved beyond emotions in hiring to select the right candidates based on a set of well-defined goals. This book teaches you how to set clear criteria for positions and offers ready-made questions you can ask candidates in an interview.
How to Hire A-Players by Eric Herrenkohl
This is an excellent practical guide for owners of small companies and startups who want to attract the best staff. Herrenkohl proves you can find unique specialists without attracting large groups of recruiters with the help of marketing and in the process of joint work in the network. He also gives examples from real companies. This step-by-step guide will help you hire truly valuable professionals.
Blogs can be a great source of up-to-date information from professionals in your field and like-minded people.
The website of the Society for Human Resource Management is useful for those interested in HR and recruiting. Here you can find information on how to prepare for the organization's membership exams and find out the results of research in HR, news about conferences, etc.
There is a lot of recruiting material here: from simple life hacks to serious research and educational materials.
This resource talks about recruiting from the point of view of the employer, recruiter, and candidate. Everyone will find something of value here.
The Social Talent blog talks about social recruiting (a current topic). There is also a lot of useful information on the site about building a recruiting culture.
Courses and Training
Dynamic digitization has led to a rapid transition of educational formats from in-person to online. You can find many courses for any profession. I want to talk about two in particular.
Coursera - contains courses from the world's best universities and the most successful international companies; many of them are free.
LinkedIn Learning - characterized by an interactive learning format. Courses contain several sets of short videos and quizzes to consolidate knowledge. This makes the information very easy to absorb.
A recruiter is the first person in a company a candidate meets, and that first impression can be decisive. It’s been said recruiters are ambassadors of the employer's brand, so they must live out the company's values and mission.
If you have chosen this profession for yourself, know that it will be very interesting. So be sure to continually develop and improve your skills!