Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says
“Make me feel important.”. Not only will you succeed in sales, but you will succeed in life. – Mary Kay Ash
I remember when I was a bit younger, when I thought that people who interview other people for jobs have to have something special or achieved something extraordinary in order to be in a position like that. They seemed like they had a PhD from couple of universities to land a job in which you decide whether you’re going to employ someone. Uh, was I wrong from couple of different aspects… Mainly, the degree you have is not that important and “deciding to employ someone” sounds way better than it actually is considering an average person doesn’t count in the budget, employer branding, the labor market and much more when it comes to a complete hiring process. It’s not that glamorous in the real picture and nowhere nearly as easy as it sounds. But to put the mentioned points in perspective, let’s check the education and latent ability first. You have Dan who finished masters in psychology and you have Rachel who only finished high school. Dan has a very good intellect but is a little bit of an introvert and naturally he’s not very fond of too much interaction with people whereas Rachel doesn’t have too much knowledge on the subject but her hard skills in communication are top-notch and she quickly learns on the go. Who would be a better fit? Decide for yourself after the article. Then, it’s really not that easy as it looks. An average person being interviewed will think the hiring manager or the recruiter across the table has all the power in the world to decide whether that person fits the criteria to land that job. In a sense, they do, but to reach that conclusion, along with checking your skills and competencies, they also have many other variables which need to be factored in – is that candidate the right cultural fit, does the hiring manager like them, is that candidate within the budget, is the motivation on that candidate visible enough to not risk it, is the labor market short on that profile, etc. There’s a lot more where that came from, just to show the actual complexity of hiring someone.
This brings us to the outline of the question for that little brief intro. What does a person have to have in order to work as a recruiter or pursue a career in recruitment? We will mention couple of capstone skills which are necessary for success.
First off, I don’t mean for this to sound as if people need to be top salesmen in order to be good in recruitment but a bit of it will help along the way. Why? Whether you’re a recruitment consultant in a recruitment agency or an in-house recruiter, your conversational ability will help you tremendously both in selling the position as well as the company and keeping candidates interested. It’s all about telling the story in a way that benefits the recruiter and the company itself, without crossing the lines of not telling the truth of course. Making a placement in an agency or closing that hard position in a company will be determined by the way you present what you offer.
Verbal communication skills
This almost goes hand in hand with selling skills but there is a point of vocabulary and eloquence. Your verbal presentation has to be as professional as it can be in order to portray high quality experience to candidates. The way you express yourself inevitably paints a picture to a candidate on how the entire company expresses itself. This, in fact, directly influences the candidate experience and employer branding strategy as a whole.
Maintain positive attitude
Since a recruiter is working with people almost always, it’s a good thing to try and maintain a positive attitude because more often than not, how we behave with others will influence on the decisions being done. Social intelligence is a key aspect here because a recruiter sort of has a role of a guide both to candidates and companies alike. Candidates or companies will naturally follow your lead in the process and that includes positive behavior as well.
Be IT literate
As you can see, not everything revolves around social skill; a recruiter’s job sometimes requires a bit of a creative side. Aside from the fact that you would almost always use an HRIS or ATS, sometimes you would need to use different platforms for either recruiting, employer branding etc. It doesn’t hurt to know graphic apps like Adobe Photoshop or SEO optimization skills if you want to be especially creative with your ads.
Not for the faint of heart
The last but not least is more about resilience than anything else. Working with people is hard because the outcome you would expect doesn’t necessarily end up that way and it could leave a gentler person disappointed or discouraged. Having a candidate disappear in thin air or experiencing a rough communication is very important to be taken with a grain of salt or just plain endure it and accept it as the natural part of the job description.
Being a recruiter isn’t hard but it isn’t easy, too. The outlined competencies are basic requirements for someone who wants to start a career in recruitment. As you can see, not worthy as much of a university degree mentioned in the beginning but if we have to put a stamp on the education, having a Bachelor’s degree in any social field would be enough. The rest of the required knowledge is very much transferable to anyone interested. We could discuss more about the necessary skills needed but if you think I didn’t mention something that you would consider important, please let me know down in the comments!