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!

How to Get Poached From Your Current Job

Searching for a new job can be time consuming. Navigating through online application portals, creating new cover letters, logins and profiles each time you apply to a role at a different company. But what if you could potentially bypass this process and have opportunities come to you?

Passive recruiting or sourcing is a proactive approach recruiters use to identify and engage with qualified candidates rather than relying on applications. Sourcing is usually geared towards mid to senior level roles and industries or functions where there is a shortage of talent, but can also be geared towards high volume roles the recruiter might need to build a pipeline of candidates for.

So what can YOU do to get noticed? Thoughtfully building a complete LinkedIn profile can make a big difference in whether your profile even gets shown to recruiters based on their searches. Here are some tips to optimize your profile and make yourself easily searchable on LinkedIn.

Keep your Profile Up to Date and Complete

You want your LinkedIn profile to create a compelling picture of your experience and qualifications; it shows that you’ve put time and effort into your online presence. A bare or incomplete profile tells me that you’re not active on LinkedIn and thus more unlikely to respond to my InMail. At minimum, I recommend using a professional or high-quality photo for your profile picture and detailing your experience, education, certifications and accomplishments.

Your headline, summary and profile background are great places to customize and inject personality. Your summary in particular is a great space to optimize. When most users visit your Profile on LinkedIn they’ll only see the first few lines of your summary, but in LinkedIn Recruiter the entire summary is made visible to the Recruiter by default and can set you apart.

Lastly, including how to get in touch with you on your profile indicates that you’re open to hearing from Recruiters and thus more likely to be contacted. It’s as simple as including “Connect with me here or email me at myname@email.com!”

Make Your Profile Search-Friendly


Having relevant keywords in your profile on LinkedIn can greatly magnify your visibility to Recruiters on LinkedIn (the same goes for your resume when you apply to postings!). A great way to identify keywords to include in your profile are to review job postings of roles you’re interested in pursuing and pull keywords from there.

For example, if I was searching for a candidate in Data Science I might use more technical keywords for required knowledge like “SQL” or “Python”. If I was searching for a Process Manager I might search for “Lean”, “Agile”, or “Six Sigma”. Based on your role and industry, identify the keywords that would be the most beneficial to your profile and incorporate them.


The industry you choose for your Profile also impacts your visibility to Recruiters on LinkedIn. An easy example is a Marketing Manager who works for a Retailer. The Marketing Manager could identify their industry as “Marketing and Advertising” but they could also identify it as “Retail”. My recommendation is that you choose your actual industry (in the above example, Retail). Recruiters frequently filter by specific industries to identify candidates who have even more tailored experience to the job they’re trying to fill.

Job Titles

This section applies to those whose job titles may not reflect their role. For example, if your job title reads more junior than your role actually is, make sure you include a description of your role in the experience section.

I have also seen some very uncommon job titles that likely wouldn’t turn up in a search (shout out to the Apple Geniuses and Happiness Managers). If this is you – keywords will be your best friend. Utilize keywords throughout your profile to make sure you’re found for relevant roles.


LinkedIn gives you 50 slots for you to call out your skills – use them! And think about all of the different ways someone might search for those skills. For example, if you’re looking for a Sales Director role you could include “sales”, “sales strategy” and “sales management”.

Include a Current Position

Even if you’re not working, include a current position. Many recruiters will search using the ‘Current Job Title’ field, so if you don’t have a current title with relevant keywords, you won’t show up. There are a number of routes you can take here including using titles like: “Finance Manager seeking New Opportunity” or “Experienced Marketing Professional”.


Recruiters have the ability to filter through candidates by who has engaged with their company and who are more likely to respond based on a number of factors. If the recruiter has a large pool of candidates and needs to cut it down further, they’re likely to use these filters to do so.

Ways to Engage

-Follow company pages that you’re interested in

-Engage with company posts through likes and comments

-Apply to roles you’re interested in through LinkedIn – you’ll show up as a past applicant to the recruiter at the respective company

-If you are actively searching for a new role, turn on “Open to Job Opportunities” on your LinkedIn Profile. Fill in the types of roles you’re looking for and select Only Recruiters so that it’s visible to Recruiters but not to your network.

Be Responsive

You don’t necessarily have to be active on LinkedIn, but you do need to be responsive. Having an updated profile won’t do you any good if you’re not checking your messages frequently and you miss the opportunity altogether. If you know you’re not the type to be on LinkedIn frequently, make sure you’re set up to receive message notifications via email.

Side note: if the above has already happened and you missed your chance for an opportunity but you’re still very interested in the company, let the recruiter know. They may be able to pipeline you and keep you in mind for future roles that arise (there’s a reason they reached out to you).

In summary, LinkedIn is a great tool for recruiters, but it’s also a space that job seekers can optimize in order to reap the benefits. Put some time and effort into building a complete and compelling LinkedIn profile and you can greatly increase the chance of opportunities coming your way.