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Recruiting Specialist


Recruiting specialists facilitate the effective use of human resources in their organizations. Often referred to as head-hunters, they identify and advertise job vacancies, recruit candidates and engage in matching the best suited people with appropriate positions. The opportunities for recruiting specialists have skyrocketed in recent years. A plethora of new recruiting or staffing companies have stormed the marketplace and they specialize in both recruitment for specific industries and helping individuals find fulfilling, meaningful and enjoyable employment.

Traditionally, recruiters visited college campuses and job fairs, yet recruiters today must also have skills in Internet recruiting techniques. Typically, they are responsible for initial recruitment phases such as telephone pre-screening, resume harvesting, candidate registration and participation in career fairs. Successful recruiters tend to be very people-oriented, energetic and practiced in networking.

Recruiting specialists must convince employers to trust their abilities to find suitable people for vacant positions and then follow through with finding the appropriate candidate. They often make cold calls to reputable industry professionals and try and persuade them to work for a new client. Once they find suitable candidates, they must conduct an interview in order to see if the person is right for the job.

The recruiting specialist's role has become increasingly significant as companies and organizations realize the importance of hiring the most qualified employees and matching them to the right job thereby contributing to the profitability and success of any business. The recruiting specialist's job provides the link between management and potential employees by carefully selecting potential employees. They are often hired because managers lack the time to recruit potential employees properly. Their recruiting expertise is a learned skill but also comes from years of experience and getting to know how to read and assess people.

Equally important is knowing what questions to ask specific individuals and even what questions not to ask, such as personal religion or marital status questions. If a recruiter speaks out of line, violates an individual's human rights or asks a personally offensive question, they could find themselves in hot water. Therefore, recruiters should be well versed in all human rights laws. Finally, a recruitment specialist may either earn a salary and bonuses or else work strictly on a commission basis.
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  Interests and Skills  
A career as a recruiting specialist presents a great opportunity for high energy individuals who enjoy the process of the search. A recruiter must possess excellent communication skills (both in person and in writing) and possess the ability to build relationships often with total strangers. Recruiting specialists often must write reports for employers proposing a particular applicant. They must possess sound judgment and problem-solving skills, have the ability to understand a variety of viewpoints and backgrounds, be well organized and manage time properly.

Recruiting specialists enjoy working with people and taking responsibility for ideas and projects. They must be organized, have administrative abilities and be both analytical and fair in making decisions. Finally, recruiting specialists need to be understanding, patient and good at listening. They must be able to work well under pressure and keep information private. They must also be culturally sensitive in order to relate well to people of different ethnicities and backgrounds.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Identify current and prospective job vacancies, post notices and advertisements, and collect and screen applications
  • Write job profiles and descriptions
  • Advise job applicants on employment requirements and skills
  • Review candidate inventories and contact potential applicants to arrange interviews
  • Recruit graduates of colleges, universities and other educational institutions and attend job fairs
  • Coordinate and participate in selection and examination boards to evaluate candidates
  • Notify applicants of results of competitions
  • Advise managers and employees on staffing policies and procedures
  • May supervise personnel clerks performing filing, typing and record-keeping duties
  • Maintain employee profile records and compile statistical reports concerning personnel-related data
  • Recruiting specialists generally work in an office setting. A typical day will entail cold calling potential employers, marketing services to employers, seeking out qualified individuals, interviewing prospective employees and meeting with management. Regular office hours are required of all recruiting specialists however longer hours may be required in order to complete tasks and duties. There is constant communication between the recruitment specialist and potential clients therefore the office work is of a social nature. In some cases, recruitment specialists will travel to conduct interviews, such as recruiting at universities or job fairs.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Recruitment specialists are employed throughout the private and public sectors. More and more, recruiters are moving into the private sector as the demand for recruiters grows and new companies open. They often work for business and organizations such as universities, financial institutions, act as private consultants to smaller companies looking to recruit and work in headhunting or employment agencies.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Recruiting specialists have opportunity for advancement within their field depending on their personal initiative levels. Advancement prospects may include opening up your own recruiting firm, advancing to supervisory and executive management positions, becoming a private recruiter and switching careers to work in public relations, career counseling and motivation, social work or teaching.

Even entry-level positions today require some form of previous experience either through an internship or volunteer work. Junior workers often start off performing more administrative duties and then advance into positions with more responsibility with their experience. This field offers this advancement from clerical work to a more professional position. It is hard to move right into a recruiting position right out of university because people often lack the technical and practical experience of dealing with people, which can only be learned on the job through experience. Also, it takes years to build up industry contacts, relationships with people and networks. Nevertheless, recruiting is a growing field and there is lots of room for growth potential.

  Educational Paths  
Recruiting specialists require a university degree or college diploma in a field related to personnel management such as business administration, industrial relations, commerce or psychology. Some experience in a clerical or administrative position related to personnel administration may be required. Recruiting firms are looking for individuals that have a basic knowledge of the industry, know how to interview potential employees, network within different organizations and have current knowledge of computers.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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