Are you ready for the high-stakes world of corporate recruiting? While professional headhunting certainly sounds exciting, it can also be pressure-driven and intense. When people ask me, “How do I become a recruiter?” I tell them that being a great recruiter takes more than just being gregarious, personable and passionate. You need to be naturally curious, a master salesperson and be able to handle a high level of uncertainty and volatility.
Wondering how to become a recruiter? If you’re considering a career in recruiting, keep the following in mind:
#1: Be curious. Here at Lucas Group, I have one of the youngest recruiting teams. The reason we’re so successful, despite my team’s age, is that my top hiring criteria is finding people who are curious and have functional intelligence. What does this mean? It means that a great recruiter needs an insatiable drive for learning about people, their situation, problems and successes. Most recruiters deal with a variety of different industries, which requires a high level of business acumen. When you first getting started in recruiting, you’ll be competing against people with more experience; the only way to ramp up quickly and get to a competitive level is to be a sponge for information and become an expert in your field.
#2: Master the elevator pitch. Every recruiter needs two great elevator pitches in their back pocket: a pitch for their company and a pitch for themselves. In 30 seconds or less, you need to be able to sell the company for which you’re recruiting as well as yourself as the best possible person to run recruitment. Know what you want, summarize it in a few bullets and be ready to go after it. Finally, don’t re-invent the wheel every time you have to pitch a new client or company; create a methodology for building your pitch so you don’t waste hours crafting the perfect pitch each time.
#3: Don’t take rejection personally. When you first get started as a recruiter, chances are you’ll be facing a lot of rejection on multiple fronts. You may be rejected by the people you’re trying to recruit as well as by the company for which you wish to do the recruiting. Develop a tough skin and learn from mistakes, but don’t take any rejection personally. Take time to listen to feedback from your candidates and remember, what candidates don’t say is just as important as what they do say.
#4: Simplify by building structure and processes. Recruiting has a high level of uncertainty and volatility that can never be fully removed. For example, no matter how great you are at identifying the perfect candidate, you can’t guarantee that your candidate will end up filling the job. However, by formalizing processes you can stabilize your workflow. For example, you will always need to make certain calls to candidates and clients at specific stages of the interview process; create a formal structure to ensure this happens on time, every time. Running a well-structured desk with efficient processes empowers you to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise – rather than scrambling and playing catch up.
Have you recently made the transition from another career to recruiting? What do you wish you had known before you got started? I invite you to share your thoughts below.