The world of recruiting can be a lot of fun and make you very successful early on in your career. However it of course comes with its fair share of headaches. As a new recruiter you have to be prepared for the world you are about to enter because while it can be very fruitful it is also very demanding.
1. Take notes
It goes without saying that taking notes on anything new you learn is essential. You may think you retain everything mentally, but you are fooling yourself. As a recruiter myself I am a bit biased to just how important note taking is. You will learn so much on what it takes to make it as a recruiter, it is imperative you write this information down to constantly refer back to. Also note taking helps you develop key skills in recruiting. Even when you are 10, 15, 20 years into your career you will still be taking notes. Whether it is taking notes while screening candidates or taking a requirement from a client, you will burn through plenty of notepads in your career.
2. Reach out to others
There’s no one way to be successful in recruiting. The path to success in recruiting can come from thousands of different roads. You should soak in information from as many sources as possible. When I first started out in the industry I met with as many successful people in my office as I could and learned what made them a success. Don’t stop there, you should also look into getting a mentor. Some of the major recruiting companies have some sort of mentor program, but make sure to reach out to one on your own. Also, use social media to your advantage. Get on LinkedIn or Twitter (some areas of Facebook work too) and start connecting with successful people in the industry. The one good thing about recruiters is they are not shy about being active on social media so they won’t be hard to find. Also look into recruiting podcasts, there are plenty out there. I would start with checking out Drive Thru HR and Recruiting Animal.
3. Have a strong work ethic
The old way of thinking in recruiting when it came to work ethic was you had to be willing to work 7 am to 10 pm. Honestly this is a very outdated way of thinking. I have worked around some amazingly successful people that made a 9-5 schedule look like a joke. However that does not mean you shouldn’t have a strong work ethic. There will still be times you don’t leave the office until 8:00 at night regularly. Work ethic isn’t about the hours you put in as much as it is about the dedication you have. You must be able to dedicate yourself to your career. You need to have a “do whatever it takes” mentality. Whether that means working until dark, working on the weekends or not giving up until the job gets done. You need to have the mentality that you will do whatever is required of you to find success.
4. Work smarter, not harder
This saying is pretty cliché but it applies here. When I first started recruiting I got a piece of advice that I’ll never forget: “cast a wide net”. What it means is that you need to be able to find the candidates you are looking for as soon as possible. You should be developing the contacts in your industry to get you in front of candidates immediately. Cold calling candidates to fill a requirement takes twice the time as it would if you are connected in the industry so well that the candidates are at least aware of who you are immediately. If you are going to focus on a specific industry you need to make sure your name is commonly known in that community.
5. Be ready to fail
Recruiting is like hitting in baseball. A .300 average in baseball is considered somewhat successful. Which means in 10 bats a hitter will only make contact 3 times. Recruiting operates under similar conditions. We are dealing with an unstable product: people. People are going to make the decisions they want that won’t always be in your favor (i.e. accept a counter offer and not the position you are offering). You have to be ready to face this kind of rejection head on and continue to be successful. If you aren’t ready to hear the word “No” a long term career in recruiting may not be for you.