What Does a Recruiter Do?

The right recruiter can be an invaluable resource to a company. Recruiters often have bad reputations and like any profession, there are good ones and bad ones. There are also different kinds of recruiters; there are short term (contract) recruiters hired to help with volume or project recruitment, there are agency recruiters who search on behalf of companies and often have a commission structure of some kind, and then there are internal recruiters, which is where I’ve spent most of my career and so my opinions and experience will be based on just that, the role of an Internal Recruiter.

So what does a recruiter do?

An internal recruiter acts as a strategic partner and searches for the best candidate for a position in a timely manner. As an internal resource and partner, the recruiter is usually dedicated to a client group which can be by region(s) or function(s). They’re often looked to as the subject matter expert and advisor on the talent pool in the industry and the market. Luckily, there are a lot of great options for talent data analytics these days like Talent Neuron and LinkedIn Talent Insights that help to make recruiters even more effective and trusted in our roles.

A recruiter will usually manage multiple searches and in my career I’ve overseen anywhere from 5-50 open requisitions at any given time.

What does a search look like?

When there is a new vacancy, the recruiter will start the search process. The steps I’ve covered below don’t encompass everything and the process for a position may vary and include testing or another form of assessment but we’ll keep it simple.  

Research and Prep: after I’m alerted of a new role or vacancy, I schedule a meeting with the hiring manager and start my research. I familiarize myself with the job, pull data analytics on the existing talent pool in the market, do a quick search on LinkedIn Recruiter to see the talent available, pull some profiles from my pipeline to share (if I’ve got one) and prepare questions that I’ll need to ask the hiring manager in the meeting.

Kickoff Meeting: this is the opportunity to get clarity on the job by having the hiring manager walk me through the position in his/her own words. What are the must have attributes vs. nice to have attributes? What skills and capability gaps need to be addressed? What has past success has looked like and what challenges would someone face coming into the role? All of the data collected in this meeting helps me to be able to speak intelligently to the candidate about the position while also providing me with crucial information for headhunting passive candidates.

The kickoff meeting is also where I can establish expertise and build trust with the client or the hiring manager through presenting data, asking well thought out questions and providing some early profiles for review.

Posting and Sourcing: after the kickoff meeting, I post. For entry level or high-volume roles, you can usually post and attract a strong pool of quality candidates out of the gate. However, because most of the roles I hire for are not entry level I start sourcing as soon as I learn about the vacancy because my goal is to find the best candidate for the position, not just the best applicant.

Phone/Virtual Screens: as I receive applications and connect with passive prospects I conduct phone screens where I qualify candidates, look for red flags, ensure we can afford them and also ensure they align with the company culture through behavioral based questions.

Shortlist Presentation: by this point in the process I’ve got a shortlist of 5-8 qualified and screened candidates that are ideally a mix of applicants and sourced candidates. The profiles and my recommendations go to the hiring manager for review to decide who they’d like to meet with.

Interviews: interviews get scheduled by a coordinator and while they are in progress, I play the waiting game to see which candidates pan out and if we’re going to offer or if there will be a second round of interviews.

Offer and Negotiations: once a top candidate has been identified, I create an offer recommendation that goes to the hiring manager based on the data we have for internal equity, our internal ranges, and candidate expectations. Once the offer has been finalized, this is where recruiters get to give the good news and manage negotiations if necessary.  

Declines: at the end of the process, I decline all candidates who didn’t make it through by phone call or with an email and some feedback.

And then the cycle begins over again! Outside of the searches a recruiter manages, they’re usually working on other things like building pipelines of talent for upcoming roles, developing recruitment strategies, networking, coaching or participating in project work that falls in the talent space.

Would I enjoy being a recruiter?

As a recruiter you have to be client focused, collaborative and willing to go the extra mile to find the perfect candidate. You have to be able to build relationships and trust very quickly, establish expertise in what you do and be able to sell and negotiate, whether it’s negotiating a compensation package or selling a candidate to a hiring manager that doesn’t have the traditional background for the job.

Personally, the thing that I find to be the most rewarding about working in recruitment is working with the business as a strategic partner and an advisor. It’s also extremely rewarding connecting the perfect candidate with the right role for them within a company. Lastly, I love continuously learning about different facets of the business through my role while also getting to participate in and lead some exciting projects within the talent space.

If you have any specific questions, drop them below and I’ll be sure to post a response!