You’re reading:

How to build a successful career in recruitment?


Interview by Marina Zapolska for Jooble, the international job search platform.

Recruitment is a fascinating profession that allows you to interact with a large number of people from different professions on a daily basis. Pre-interview preparation for each new vacancy is a small training course that inevitably entails an initial immersion in the discipline. So, how to make a successful career in recruitment?

In-house recruiter or agency work

There are nuances and special features to both. Both are good for starting a career. In an agency, in addition to working with the candidate, you will learn how to work with the client: correctly formulate the requirements to the vacancy, receive detailed feedback. As a rule, good agencies value their reputation and therefore offer their services at the highest level and good training for beginners. It is a good opportunity for a beginner to work with different vacancies, companies and industries. 

Starting a career as an in-house recruiter will give you more opportunities to delve deeper into a particular industry. There is an opinion that candidates are more likely to respond to enquiries from company recruiters than agencies, but this is more about the level of expertise of the recruiter than about where they come from.

Where to begin as a recruiter with no experience? 

Recruitment is part of a company's HR cycle, there is an opinion that good recruiters come from HR. And in practice, we often hear: I started in the company as an office manager, but then I was asked to do recruitment. 

Well, recruitment is not rocket science, of course, but you should start this professional activity with training. If you weren't lucky enough to join a professional team as an assistant or trainee, it is worth taking special courses. There are many of them now, and they can be found with a focus on IT recruitment and executive search, as well as with a focus on search in some specific channels. Most courses are held online, which makes them accessible in terms of time and convenience. 

Choosing a school to study in you should pay attention to: 

  • The personality of the teacher. The most important criterion for choosing courses. If everything fits together on this point, the others are secondary. How many years the person has been in the profession, and what successful, well-known, and not-so-successful companies they have worked in. Go to the personal page of the teacher in social networks, and look for his comments and publications in the press and information portals. Pay attention to his views and manner of communication. If all these things resonate with you, sign up.
  • Course content. Most courses tend to be very similar. There are some that place more emphasis on interview techniques or on describing and understanding the process in general. I would recommend the second option as a starting point. Initially, it is important to understand what the process consists of, what the important steps are, how vacancies are described, how to identify the source of the candidate search, and how the candidate is managed. Especially valuable are courses on recruiting on LinkedIn - as one of the most popular search channels among recruiters and candidates. I recommend Olga Silverman's materials on this topic and also LABA courses.
  • Period of access to training materials. How long the course provides access to learning materials: long-term or indefinite?
  • Lecturer feedback. A great option, for the novice practitioner, is to ask their questions directly to the expert. Most often represented by a closed chat in Telegram or other messengers. 
  • Availability of a certificate and rating among candidates. This will also be important, for newcomers, as it is important to demonstrate them to a future employer. 

Once you have completed the course, you can apply for a junior recruiter position in a company or agency whose field of work interests you. You can find such positions on social media, for example. It is good if you are recommended by a colleague or a respected user in special Facebook or LinkedIn groups. If not, write a post about yourself. There are good blogs on recruitment and there are experts to suit everyone. I recommend Kira Kuzmenko and Vika Prydatko, Alena Vladimirskaya writes well on trends, does interesting reviews of specialists in various professions, and on trends in recruitment.

What qualifications and skills are important for a recruiter to have in order to succeed

To develop successfully in this profession, it is important to be able to " catch" new information quickly and to extract the essence from it. Otherwise, how else can you work simultaneously with a job as a mathematician, game designer, system analyst and, for example, a Java developer? At the least, you should understand the requirements: what these people have to be able to do, what tasks they have to perform, and what competencies they have to possess.

A natural empathy (or developed emotional intelligence) will also be a great help in this matter. It is important to understand that you are working with a very subtle matter - the candidate's personal assessment. Even the most confident candidates become vulnerable in the interview process because you are questioning their competence. You are testing them. This is especially important to consider when working with candidates who are on an active search or have been looking for a long time and are starting to get discouraged. Remember that our profession is not to make fortunes, but to find individuals and talents capable of solving our employer's or client's problems.

A focus on results. Recruitment is not about processing people, it's about achievers. So if the enjoyment of the results you achieve is what you're aiming for - the recruitment profession may well suit you. 

Dealing with objections. This is a serious part of the job, and it's great if the professional has this skill. The best techniques for this are taken from sales. A skill that can, and should, be learned. It helps us when a candidate says: "I want to think about it", and I say: "OK, but tell me exactly what you want to think about?" - it is important for me to understand what you have doubts about. Where I haven't delivered the information or failed to understand what the candidate is looking for.

The main task is to show your own expertise to the candidate (not in the area of professional knowledge of the vacancy), but specifically as a recruiter. Allow the candidate to bring out their best side, articulate their expectations of the new job accurately, understand their motivation, give detailed feedback and keep them informed about the process status.

Tips for the job description

There are a lot of great job posting materials now, and they are often published on different resources. My advice is to get rid of excessive storytelling. It looks nice in a social networking post, but it doesn't always solve the problem of attracting a candidate. You can apply your artistic skills to other genres. A well-written vacancy is one where it is clear what the candidate will do and under what conditions, what opportunities he or she has in the company. 

Recruiters and HR have noted that the conversion rate of responses to vacancies, both on social networking sites and job search sites, is increasingly lower or represented by irrelevant responses. Therefore, the skill of the recruiter is to find the right candidate and approach him or her correctly. You can leave the job description as a standard job brief but focus on your first contact with the candidates. It is important to understand that for in-demand professionals, there may be more than one such referral per day. We encourage you to respect candidates' time and avoid flirty or inappropriate approaches. 

You should be polite, succinct, and clearly understand what your message is about. 

How to attract a disinterested candidate?

It's important to distinguish between the disinterested and the one who doesn't see the value of your offer.

With the first (he recently took on a new project, moved to a new company, is studying a new stack, and moved to another city) - you just need to stay in contact and keep in "event-based" communication (congratulations on holidays, birthdays, comments on his posts, for example). Not confusing interest with obsession and stalking:) 

For the second type of candidate - it is important to explain the value of your offer. 

In order to do this, research it yourself and only then reach out to the candidate. It's easy to find out what the candidate is interested in: look at their comments, what they like, and what articles or topics they repost. 

The skill of attracting candidates/customers is well-practiced in active sales courses. If you can't attend a course yet, read the material on the subject. We deeply respect and apply in practice the methods described by Radmilo Lukic.

What to do in a situation of crisis with an aggressive candidate. How to keep being a pro? 

The same thing each of us does when confronted with aggression, and boorishness in normal life. Stay calm and choose the appropriate strategy for dealing with conflict: evasion, compromise, and cooperation. 

I wouldn't say that we often encounter outright aggression, but rather boorish or inappropriate behavior (pushiness, long justifications of why the job is needed, or disagreement with the feedback from the hiring manager). Even if you didn't write Php-developer you can apologize and honestly say that you mixed up. If you clearly stated why you are applying to this particular candidate, and explained the value of your offer - you will get the same adequate response. 

How a beginner recruiter should communicate with experienced СЕО/СТО/СМО candidates?

The entry-level recruiter doesn't need to communicate with them. To develop successfully in any profession, it is important to become an expert in it. Which rarely happens at the beginning of the journey. A novice recruiter can act as a researcher when dealing with such a vacancy, helping to find specialist companies and finding information about candidates in the same media and social networks. But communication in the context of attracting such candidates to a job is best left to professionals for the time being.

On your way to developing yourself in the recruiter profession, in my opinion, it is important to understand that everyone has their own talent and mission, it is just very important to get to it, sometimes even the job seeker himself doesn't understand his uniqueness. And the recruiter's role in this matter is invaluable. You truly become an expert when you learn to see the uniqueness in each person, not to stamp the same people into a team, and to understand why it is important to always recruit at a level above the manager or other hiring manager. 

Your main task is not only to conduct the job application according to stated competencies and requirements, but to fully understand the business need as a whole and to determine what business problem a particular job applicant will help you solve.