How to Become a Corporate Recruiter: Education and Career Roadmap

Aug 14, 2018

Find out how to become a corporate recruiter. Research the education requirements and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in corporate recruitment.

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Becoming a Corporate Recruiter

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Business, human resources management, or related field
Experience 1+ years of experience
Certification Voluntary
Key Skills Strong verbal and written communication, relationship-building, customer service, and decision-making skills; detail-oriented
Salary $55,193 (2016 median for all corporate recruiters)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Online Job Postings (July to August 2015), (July 2015)

Corporate recruiters are responsible for sourcing candidates to fill open positions. They are typically the primary source of contact for potential hires. Recruiters may focus on a specific experience level or job specialty, such as recruiting executives or informational technology (IT) candidates. Corporate recruiters seek out qualified candidates by placing job ads, attending career fairs and networking. These recruiters interview potential candidates and may also conduct background and reference checks, and new hire orientations. Recruiters also maintain relationships with hiring managers to stay up-to-date on the employment needs of specific departments or the company as a whole. These professionals typically work for the company in which they recruit for, although, some work for recruiting agencies.

Corporate recruiters should have a few key skills to find success in the field. These include strong verbal and written communication skills, relationship-building skills, customer service skills and decision-making skills and an attention to detail. As of January 2016, corporate recruiters made a median annual salary of $55,193 according to

Earn a Bachelor's Degree

The minimum requirement for corporate recruiters is typically a bachelor's degree. Programs related to human resources management and business, such as the Bachelor of Science in Labor Studies and Employment Relations, are available. In these programs, students can take courses in employment law and staffing, as well as study topics like communication and management.

Individuals can gain experience while still in school by completing an internship. Students can often find internships with assistance from their school's career center or professional organizations.

Gain Experience

To gain experience, individuals can take entry-level positions as staffing specialists or administrative positions in human resources departments. In some cases, customer service and sales skills can apply to recruiting positions. Employers are also looking for a proven track record of recruitment experience, so individuals should pursue increasing levels of responsibility and opportunities to recruit candidates.

One of the requirements of corporate recruiters is to make candidates feel at ease. In addition, they will be required to build relationships with corporate and academic contacts and professional organizations. Corporate recruiters can hone their interpersonal skills by attending networking events or training courses.

Corporate recruiters can work in any industry. However, the skills required for candidates in one industry may be quite different than the skill set for others. By establishing a niche, recruiters can build relationships within the industry and stay abreast of field-specific recruiting practices.

Earn a Graduate Degree

Although it is not required for corporate recruiters to have a master's degree, they may choose to do so to improve career opportunities or prepare for certification. In a master's degree program, recruiters take courses in strategic planning, talent management and employment law. Students also learn techniques in staffing through seminars and case studies.

Become Certified

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) offers certifications for human resource professionals with at least one year of experience, as well as seasoned recruiters. SHRM certifications include the Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) designations. The National Association of Personnel Services also certifies recruiters as Certified Personnel Consultants. This designation is available to consultants as well as professionals working within a firm. With both credential options, eligible candidates must pass an exam and earn continuing education credits to maintain certification.

To review, those individuals interested in becoming corporate recruiters should first complete a business-related degree program before gaining on-the-job experience and possibly even voluntary certification in the HR field.

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