What Do Recruiters Actually Do?

Though recruiting has recently come to be more important than ever, many people are confused or unaware of what recruiters actually do. On the surface, it seems simple enough: they find people to fill roles. But there is a lot of work that goes into the steps it takes to hire the right talent for the right role … and none of it is simple.

Let’s explore what recruiters actually do and the many skills they need to do it; this will help to clarify some of the misconceptions people have about them. It will also help to underpin the importance of recruiters to an organization, shedding light on why they’re more valuable than ever.

Recruiters Are Key Points of Contact–and Often the First Face That Talent Sees

Recruiters are ambassadors for the organizations for which they work. Whether they’re networking at events and job fairs, using social media to reach talent, or conducting interviews, they are both representative (and reflective) of the company. They need to know the company’s history, organization, structure, and culture–as well as having a fairly deep understanding of the role for which they’re hiring. This also means that they have to be fairly talented researchers; if they don’t know these things, it’s a poor reflection on the client organization as whole.

They Research–A LOT

Frankly, it takes a lot of time and energy to learn the details of a job, industry, or market that you don’t work for. Recruiters have to learn the intricacies of roles that they’re recruiting for– educational background and beneficial experience, industry lingo, and technical jargon–and they have to be able to do this quickly and thoroughly.

They also have to be able to find people. While many people think they just use an applicant tracking system to match key words from resumes, their work is much more nuanced than that. They also proactively seek out individuals who they want for particular roles, even though those people may not be looking for new jobs—called “passive candidates.”

Add to this the research they have to do on potential candidates (e.g. their social media presence)—it comes out to a lot of research!

Recruiters Are Constantly Selling and Marketing

Recruiters are always on the hunt for the cream of the crop when it comes to talent;  sometimes to find the best fit, they have to employ traditional sales and marketing skills. Part of their role is to advertise opportunities and firms to attract the right person. Occasionally they cold-call or attend networking events, in an effort to “sell” job opportunities to the right person.

In fact, there are recruitment-specific marketing technologies that need to be leveraged and mastered to benefit the organization. These can include candidate job portals, employee onboarding and offboarding portals, and specialty tools that foster sourcing via job boards and employee referral networks.

It’s takes a multi-talented individual to learn how to use these technologies and take advantage of marketing and sales techniques effectively.

They Match Talent to the Right Organization

When filling a position for an organization, recruiters liaise between the firm’s hiring manager and candidates. The organization and role have to fit the candidate well—and vice versa. This is extremely important, because poor matches cost a lot in the long run; the company has to spend more money on a candidate that doesn’t fit, and more time is needed to find the right fit. On top of this, the recruiter can also get a bad reputation, which has a big negative impact on their business: reputation and word-of-mouth referrals are crucial to a recruiter.

There’s more than meets the eye to recruiting than simply hiring people. There are many hours of work–not to mention many diverse skills–needed to hire the right talent for the right organization.

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