How to Become a Recruiter: Education and Career Roadmap

Research the requirements to become a recruiter. Learn about the job description and duties, and read the step-by-step process to start a career in recruiting. View article »

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  • 0:01 Should I Become a Recruiter?
  • 0:40 Career Requirements
  • 1:13 Steps to Become a Recruiter

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Video Transcript

Should I Become a Recruiter?

Recruiters are human resource specialists who help interview candidates for a position and assist in hiring the best individual for the job. In addition to screening and interviewing, recruiters may also conduct testing for candidates, check job references and work history, process paperwork, and outline employee benefits.

These workers often must travel to attend job fairs and other career events at universities and potential places of recruitment. Most professionals work regular work hours in comfortable office settings. Some recruiters are hired by firms on a contract-basis and only have short-term tenures.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Human resources or related field
Experience Related professional experience may be required for those without a degree
Certification Certification is required or preferred by some employers
Key Skills Listening, speaking, decision-making, and interpersonal skills; strong attention to detail; knowledge of CRM software
Median Salary (2016)* $45,439

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2014), O*Net Online, *PayScale.com.

Steps to Become a Recruiter

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

To begin a career in recruiting, individuals can work towards a bachelor's degree. Some colleges offer bachelor's degree programs in human resources management or in a related area, such as business administration with a specialization in human resources. Students can also take courses in personnel administration, human resources, or business. Other courses that would be helpful at the undergraduate level include English, accounting, and training and development.

Step 2: Gain Experience

Students can gain experience in an internship or entry-level position, such as a customer service representative. In these positions, prospective recruiters can develop organizational skills, social aptitude, and effective communication abilities. Learning how to communicate effectively can help individuals screen and interview people once they are recruiters. Entry-level experience can also help workers build relationships with other professionals in the field.

Success Tip:

According to the BLS, employers may require or prefer applicants with professional certification. Organizations, like the HR Certification Institute, offer a variety of certification options. Pursuing these credentials typically require passing an exam and meeting experience and/or education requirements.

Step 3: Apply to Recruiting Firms

After gaining experience and training in recruiting, professionals are prepared for this human resources specialist position. Jobs in this field may be found through personal connections or networking. Individuals can also check websites for jobs, such as the job board of the Society for Human Resource Management.

Step 4: Pursue Continuing Education

Professional development workshops and seminars can help individuals stay current with new developments in the field of recruiting. The BLS notes that job prospects may be better for human resources professionals with knowledge of health care coverage and employment laws. Recruiters can research these areas to stand out among other applicants, and potentially advance to top recruiting agencies or take on supervisory roles.

Recruiters typically need a bachelor's degree in human resources or a related field or relevant experience, and professional certification may be preferred if not required by employers.

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