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How to Become a Recruiting Manager

Research the requirements to become a recruiting manager. Learn about the job description and duties, and walk through the step-by-step process to start a career in human resources. View article »

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  • 0:00 Should I Become a…
  • 0:51 Step 1: Complete a…
  • 1:51 Step 2: Obtain…
  • 2:58 Step 3: Consider a…
  • 3:19 Step 4: Earn Certification

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Video Transcript

Should I Become a Recruiting Manager?

Degree Level Bachelor's; master's degrees preferred
Degree Field Human resources, business administration, labor relations
Certification Voluntary
Experience Several years of related experience may be required
Key Skills Decision-making, interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills; knowledge of human resources management, spreadsheet, and word processing software
Salary $117,080 (2016 median for all human resources managers)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*Net OnLine

Recruiting managers, also known as HR managers, are professionals who work within the field of human resources to find new talent. They must seek out applicants for job openings and conduct interviews. Recruiting managers also often oversee teams of human resources specialists. The recruitment process typically requires managers to travel to meet potential new employees, and many of these HR professionals work overtime on a weekly basis.

While the demands of the job can be high, the earnings are also relatively high. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, recruiting and other human resources managers earned an average yearly salary of $117,080 as of May 2016. Now let's look at the pathway toward a career in recruiting management.

Step 1: Complete a Bachelor's Degree Program

Recruiting managers usually must have at least a bachelor's degree to gain employment. Undergraduate programs in business and human resources often include relevant coursework for this career and may cover finance, operations management, employee development and strategic management. Individuals with backgrounds in other areas, such as education or psychology, may also be qualified to work in the human resources field. For those with different educational backgrounds, some additional coursework in human resources may be helpful.

Here's a tip for success:

Develop key communication skills during college. Strong interpersonal skills are essential to a human resources professional at every stage of his or her career. Human resources specialists and managers must work with employees and job applicants, as well as managing teams of people on a daily basis. They also must be able to communicate through writing. Communications courses, such as English, writing and computer communications, can help build these skills.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Human Resources Development
  • Labor and Industrial Relations
  • Labor Studies
  • Organizational Behavior

Step 2: Obtain Entry-Level Experience

After earning a degree, it's time to gain experience that can provide you with skills and lead to a human resources management position. Human resources skills can be gained working in a variety of different backgrounds, from customer service and clerical work to teaching. However, many employers require applicants to have experience specifically in human resources. So, before gaining a management position, individuals might need to take an entry-level human resources specialist job. Entry-level duties include compiling employee handbooks, assisting employees with benefits, classifying jobs and screening job applicants. Employers may require up to five years of experience in the field.

You may find it beneficial to join a professional organization once you enter the human resources industry. One example of a relevant professional organization is the Society for Human Resource Management. By joining, aspiring recruiting managers can gain membership benefits, such as access to webcasts and social networking opportunities. They may also gain access to interview question examples and legal information.

Step 3: Consider a Graduate Degree

Master's degrees are required for some management-level recruiting positions. Relevant graduate programs are available in human resources management, as well as related areas, like business administration and industrial relations. These programs provide advanced skills and knowledge in leadership, strategic planning, team building and project management.

Step 4: Earn Certification

Professional certification is not mandatory, but some recruiting professionals may choose to pursue this option to gain a competitive advantage in the job market. Certification is offered by the HR Certification Institute and includes the Professional in Human Resources and Senior Professional in Human Resources designations. Eligibility requirements vary by certification type, but generally include some combination of professional experience and education, as well as passage of an exam.

Recruiting managers generally enter management with a bachelor's degree and experience relevant to the field, and a graduate degree and certification can improve job prospects.

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