How to Become an Entry-Level Recruiter (Plus Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 17, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Recruiters ensure they hire the right employees for specific positions within a company. These human resources professionals usually process several job applications every day, hoping to find the best candidates. Becoming an entry-level recruiter can help you enter this important and growing industry. In this article, we highlight how to become an entry-level recruiter, explain important skills and duties, review their key responsibilities, and provide the benefits of becoming a recruiter.

How to become an entry-level recruiter

If you want to know how to become an entry-level recruiter, follow these key steps to increase your chances of working in this field:

1. Do some research

Read articles, books, and websites about recruiting. This may give you a better understanding of what recruiters do and what the job entails. You can also try to find a mentor in the field, someone you know personally or someone you can contact online. A mentor can provide guidance and advice as you pursue a career in recruiting.

Related: Headhunter vs. Recruiter (With Differences and FAQs)

2. Pursue the right education

One of the most important steps you can take to become an entry-level recruiter is to pursue the right education. You can get a degree in human resources, business, or a related field. Many recruiters also have a master's degree in human resources or business administration. These degrees help prepare you for the challenges you may face in the recruiting field.

3. Get relevant work experience

Relevant work experience helps you improve your job applications when pursuing a job as an entry-level recruiter. Many recruiters have worked in customer service or sales. This experience helps you develop the necessary skills to recruit. For instance, you may learn how to build relationships, communicate effectively, and handle difficult situations.

Related: 40 Recruiter Interview Questions to Ask (With Example Answers)

4. Network with other professionals

Networking helps you meet other professionals in the HR industry and learn about new opportunities. You can network with other recruiters, human resources professionals, and business leaders. Attending conferences and job fairs is a great way to make connections. You can also join professional organizations that focus on recruiting.

5. Complete certification programs

Completing certification programs can make you more attractive to potential employers. Explore certification programs relevant to your interests and career goals. You can complete many of these programs online or in person.

6. Continue your education

It's important for recruiters to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the HR industry. Continuing your education helps you learn about new technologies and best practices. You can attend seminars, webinars, or workshops. You can also read professional journals and blogs.

Important skills for an entry-level recruiter

Every recruiter needs certain skills to be successful. Here are some of the most important skills for an entry-level recruiter.

Communication skills

As a recruiter, you communicate with various people, including job candidates, hiring managers, and human resources professionals. It's important to communicate clearly and effectively to describe duties and responsibilities or job offers. This includes writing skills, as you may compose e-mails and written correspondence, such as job postings, role descriptions, or offer letters.

Related: Top 10 Recruitment Skills for Successful Recruiters

Interpersonal skills

Recruiters often build relationships with the people they work with, such as managers. This includes developing rapport, maintaining professionalism, and managing difficult situations. For instance, you might resolve conflicts between job candidates and hiring managers.

Organizational skills

Organizational skills are essential for recruiters to monitor job openings, candidates, and hiring timelines. You may manage your time wisely and stay updated with deadlines. Strong organizational skills may help you succeed in this fast-paced field. For example, you might coordinate interviews, complete background checks, and submit job offers.

Research skills

Recruiters often research companies, industries, and potential candidates. This helps you identify qualified candidates and make informed decisions about job placements. For instance, you might examine a company's culture before contacting a potential candidate.

Technology skills

Recruiters perform many of their tasks online. As an entry-level recruiter, it's essential to be comfortable using computers and various software programs. For instance, you might use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to track job openings and candidates. You might also use programs like word processors, spreadsheets, or cloud storage.

Time management skills

Recruiters often work on tight deadlines, and it's important for you to complete tasks on time. For instance, you might coordinate interviews, complete background checks, and submit job offers. These skills may help you stay organized and efficient in your work.

Negotiation skills

It's beneficial for recruiters to negotiate salaries, benefits, and job schedules. They often do this on behalf of the job candidate. For instance, you might negotiate a higher salary for a candidate who has received multiple job offers.

Analytical skills

Recruiters may analyze data to make informed decisions. This might include reviewing applicant resumes or tracking hiring metrics. For instance, you might review a candidate's qualifications to determine if they're a good fit.

Creative thinking

Recruiters often develop creative solutions to problems. This might include finding new ways to attract candidates or improving the hiring process. For instance, you might develop a social media campaign to attract qualified candidates.

Critical thinking

Recruiters may think critically to make sound decisions. This includes being able to identify red flags, evaluate options, and make informed decisions. For instance, you might decide whether to move forward with a candidate with several job offers.

Attention to detail

Attention to detail is important for recruiters, as they often review many resumes and job applications. This includes being able to identify red flags, such as discrepancies on a resume. For instance, you might detect a typo in a job description before sending it to candidates.

Key responsibilities of an entry-level recruiter

As an entry-level recruiter, you may be responsible for various tasks. Here are some of the key responsibilities of these professionals:

Screening candidates

One of the most important duties of a recruiter is screening candidates. This includes reviewing resumes, conducting phone interviews, and administering skills tests. The goal is to identify qualified candidates who are a good fit for the job. For example, you might screen candidates for a customer service position and filter the pool to the most qualified candidates.

Coordinating interviews

After screening candidates, you may coordinate interviews. This includes scheduling interviews, sending interview confirmation e-mails, and preparing interview questions. The goal is to make sure the interviewing process progresses smoothly. For example, you might coordinate a series of interviews for a candidate you're considering for a job. You might also arrange travel plans for out-of-town candidates.

Completing background checks

Another important responsibility of a recruiter is completing background checks. This includes checking references, verifying employment history, and conducting criminal background checks. The goal is to make sure the candidate is who they say they are and there are no red flags in their past. For example, you might complete a background check on a candidate you're considering for a job.

Submitting job offers

Once the hiring team has selected a candidate for the job, the recruiter's responsibility is to submit the job offer. This includes drafting the offer letter and extending the offer to the candidate. The goal is to make sure the candidate accepts the offer and starts working promptly.

Benefits of working as an entry-level recruiter

There are many benefits to working as an entry-level recruiter. Here are some of the most common benefits:

Flexible work hours

One of the most significant benefits of working as a recruiter is the flexible work hours. Recruiters often work online, and you may have flexibility in your work schedule. For example, you might set your hours or work from home.

Competitive salary

Recruiters typically receive a competitive salary because recruiting is a position that requires responsibility. Many recruiters may also be eligible for bonuses and commissions depending on their performance. The national average salary for a recruiter is $56,011 per year.

Opportunities for advancement

Recruiting is a field with a lot of opportunities for advancement. As you gain experience, you may obtain new positions in the company or start your recruiting firm. There's also a lot of opportunity for growth within the field. For example, you might specialize in a specific type of recruiting or get a certification.

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