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Top 5 Tips For Newbie Recruiters

In more than a decade in recruitment, I’ve experienced a lot of the ups and downs the industry has to offer. While I believe our mistakes are just as important as our successes, there are definitely a few times in my career I’ve thought “if only I’d known before, what I know now.” And although I’ve had some excellent mentors, I’ve also worked for employers that didn’t value their recruitment teams (it’s one of the main reasons I started Stroud Resourcing), and through the years I’ve learned a lot of lessons the hard way! 

So, if you’re new to the world of recruitment, or considering a career change, here are a few insider tips to keep in mind. I love my work as a headhunter, and I’m proud of the challenges I’ve overcome and the fantastic culture my team and I have created here, but if I had a trip in the time machine, this is the advice I’d want to give my 20-year-old self.   

Be Patient

The skill of a headhunter is undervalued. To the outside world, it’s as simple as being given a job description and finding a candidate, we’re simply moving applicants through an online database. We’re associated with a salesperson selling a car or a house, but the reality is that our product is a human being that cannot merely be sold as a commodity would be. Being a headhunter requires empathy, technical ability and nous for problem-solving. You won’t develop these skills overnight – to be an accomplished headhunter takes 3-5 years minimum and the learning doesn’t stop there, so don’t expect immediate results; be patient. 

Develop Resilience

If you don’t have the capacity to recover quickly from rejection forget this career. Some campaigns consist of ~300 candidates, you could make 100 calls in a day with nobody answering, or the stock answer you receive is “no”. One of the most important skills to develop as a headhunter is the ability to take the bad with the good and be open to learning from each experience. You’ll have quiet months, you’ll have roles that seem almost impossible to fill, and you’ll have candidates that are just plain rude, but if you can retain your optimism and drive throughout the difficult times, headhunting can be incredibly satisfying as well as financially lucrative. 

Work on Being Grounded

Recruitment is all about relationships - building your professional network is key to success. How you respond to people is crucial – when others are in crisis, you need to be unshakeable. You have the ability to influence people’s livelihoods - moving jobs is highly emotive and for employers finding the right candidate can be crucial to the success of their business. 

If something goes wrong with the recruitment process you need to respond calmly, without exhibiting stress or losing your cool. You need to be reliable, humble and possess an unwavering moral compass, it’s your job to protect the employer brands that you represent and the candidate experience throughout the recruitment process. Oftentimes, it’ll be you who’s setting the standards, so aim high but understand which battles are worth fighting. 

Technology is Essential

The systems you use can make or break your career as a recruiter, so be sure to ask any company you interview with about what software they use and how - particularly CRM. 

CRM – an abbreviation of Customer Relationship Management - is the software at the heart of a recruiter’s life – it is a central database of all your clients, vacancies, potential candidates and your contact with them, and its effective use in your process is crucial to building the relationships at the core of a headhunter’s efforts. 

Beyond this, be aware of what other technology you’ll have access to in your role – from headsets to second monitors to work mobile phones, there are a variety of tools that make a headhunter’s life much, much easier. Any serious recruitment firm will invest in new technology, and it pays to be wary of those that don’t move with the times. 

Ensure You’ve Got the Right Support

Another often-overlooked aspect of the role is the physical and human resources that will support you. These can range from the job boards and social media you’ll use (it’s always worth asking at interview whether a firm provides recruiters with LinkedIn’s Recruiter Tools), to the marketing and attraction infrastructure in place. You can be phenomenal on the phones, but much of your hard work will go to waste if you’re working for a recruitment firm with an unprofessional website or little social media presence. A good recruitment business will seek to remove administrative and marketing tasks away from the recruiter so they can hit the phones – so look for employers that will nurture you and invest in your environment.

Are you considering a career in recruitment and want to work for one of the best employers in the industry? Stroud Resourcing are currently hiring Trainee Recruitment Consultants! Make the best decision of your career and apply now, or check out our blog to learn more about working at Stroud Resourcing.