How to Become a Technical Recruiter? Everything You Need To Know
September 09, 2022
If you are looking for a career that makes good use of your ambition, work ethics, and people skills, then a job in recruitment is a perfect fit. Being a recruiter, especially a technical recruiter, can be a rewarding career choice, as they help potential talented candidates find the right employment opportunities.
But how do you start your career as a technical recruiter? What are the important pre-requisite skills and certifications required? Is it even the right career path for you? Keep reading this piece for data and expert insights to know everything you need to know about being a recruiter.
A job recruiter, sometimes unofficially known as a "headhunter" or a talent recruiter, is an HR specialist who is tasked with identifying and interviewing potential candidates for open positions in an organization. In addition to that, they may also be tasked with checking job references of applicants, their work history, and processing paperwork.
A recruiter is responsible for the end-to-end process when it comes to talent acquisition. Solely based on their mode of employment with the organization, there are many types of recruiters.
Being a recruiter is almost similar to being a matchmaker, but with the difference being that they are matching companies to potential talents and vice versa, making it one of the most impactful jobs in the world. With more than 41% of organizations placing the negative cost of a wrong hire around $25,000 and the subsequent loss in productivity, the field of recruiting is rapidly changing which puts a lot of pressure on HR teams to hire right the first time.
But with the introduction of emerging AI and automation solutions for eliminating the factor of unconscious human bias from a major part of the recruiting pipeline, recruiters can now more confidently assess potential candidates for job openings from the talent pool. AI-based HRTech solutions make the entire process of hiring faster, hassle-free, and much more exciting.
Based on the type of candidates they recruit, recruiters can be broadly classified as follows:
A headhunter is used to describe a recruiter who works for a staffing agency that recruits qualified personnel for various jobs. They actively seek potential applicants for job openings using LinkedIn, social media recruiting techniques, online databases, networking, and other sources.
An executive recruiter is someone who specializes in hiring top executive personnel for the organization, like VP of Marketing. Leadership positions are the toughest to fill.
An information technology recruiter, also known as an IT recruiter specializes in filling IT positions with potential talent in a variety of industries. The position to be filled may either be a temporary or a permanent one. Such recruiters will seek applicants who have a specific set of skills the employer desires, such as programming skills or technical expertise with certain tools.
A legal recruiter is someone who hires individuals to fill a variety of legal jobs, which includes attorneys, paralegals, and managerial positions at a Law firm. Similar to an IT recruiter, a legal recruiter may hire based on the desired set of skills, for example, a criminal lawyer or a corporate lawyer.
A pharmaceutical recruiter is tasked with the hiring of individuals to fill a variety of pharmacy positions, which includes pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmaceutical sales representatives.
A sales recruiter is tasked with hiring individuals to fill sales positions in a variety of industries. The job opening can range from entry-level to executive-level sales and marketing positions.
A sports recruiter is tasked with hiring athletes for one or several sports.
A Technical Recruiter is someone who specializes in finding potential applicants to fill technical jobs, such as jobs in IT and engineering. Also, informally known as an IT recruiter, they help in matching technologically talented individuals with organizations that need their expertise. Apart from possessing the skills and traits of a regular recruiter, a Technical Recruiter must have an in-depth knowledge of their industry.
The recruiter may be tasked with filling either permanent positions or temporary, project-based jobs in an organization. A technical recruiter can either be an in-house employee or an independent contractor for the organization.
Some of the duties of a technical recruiter include:
Even though education plays an important role for a recruiter, but it is often their soft skills that play a vital role in their career success. Soft skills are vital because successful recruitment often comes down to whether or not an applicant trusts a recruiter. Some of the important soft skills include:
Having a degree isn't necessarily important for becoming a recruiter, but it certainly can help for career advancement. Employers usually prefer applicants seeking a position as a recruiter to have a Bachelor's degree in HR, business, psychology, sociology, or a related field.
Looking at the above-said degrees, we can see a common element: All the above fields involve the study of people and their behaviors. Both formal and informal sources of learning (that is simple day-to-day knowledgeable interactions with people) are important for recruiters.
Previous work experience isn’t a must for entry-level recruiting jobs, but it helps to have some relevant knowledge. Some positions, such as senior recruiting positions, may require previous work experience. Applicants can gain experience as HR interns, assistants in customer service positions, or interning in other customer-focused fields.
Although certification is voluntary recruiters can benefit from HR certifications because it shows knowledge and professional competence and is also beneficial for career advancement. Certifications from institutions like the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) can add credibility to your resume and teach you the hard skills important for a recruiter.
Some of the most important certifications for recruiters are listed below.
Best entry-level HR certification
Best HR certification for career advancement
Best international HR certification
Becoming a great and successful technical recruiter indeed takes skill, practice, and intuition. That being said, there are several habits or traits that you can adopt in your professional life to help you become a better HR professional for your organization.
Great technical recruiters go the extra mile while sending personalized messages. Instead of sending generalized cold emails, they send more targeted emails. They also test with different versions of messages or email templates to figure out what kind of emails could get them more responses or interactions. Successful tech recruiters also invest their time in building professional relationships with candidates to ensure a great candidate experience.
A technical recruiter should know the technology stack that they hire for. Successful tech recruiters know at least the basics of their tech stack.
Recruiters aren't expected to be experts but should be able to understand what exactly they are hiring for. As a tech recruiter, you must be able to differentiate between roles. You can use the internet to know more about the technologies and job descriptions that you hire for (for example, skills to lookout for while screening candidates as Java developers, SQL developers and Excel experts). Having the right knowledge about the tech stack will help you in the following ways:
Some of the key recruiting metrics that successful recruiters focus on while hiring are:
Successful technical recruiters apply multiple candidate sourcing strategies to search and source for potential candidates. They don't rely heavily on a single leading job board for searching and sourcing candidates. They use recruiting websites, multiple job boards, referrals, social media recruiting, and other mediums to reach potential candidates.
Automating repetitive recruitment tasks not only saves time but also increases the efficiency and productivity in the recruitment pipeline. This creates more time for technical recruiters to connect with the right candidates for the position. With the advent of unbiased AI, organizations are using AI recruiting software to screen candidates remotely and efficiently.
Top tech recruiters possess good organizational skills. They are great at managing time and their activities by using various tools such as the google calendar, or Todoist.
Technical professionals are not an easy group to recruit. Hence technical recruiters need to keep learning and evolving their practices as the industry progresses. No organization's recruitment process is 100 percent perfect. Keeping that in mind re-evaluate your organization's recruitment process to be a candidate-first process as recruitment is all about people.
Keerthi is a Content Marketing Strategist at Adaface.