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The training and development of recruiters

HRD-Ukraine, № 3 (246), 2014

 Article written by Inna Vorotnikova

founder of the NRG recruiting company 

Inna Vorotnikova, founder of the NRG

            Inna Vorotnikova,              founder of the NRG

Who is a recruiter? Is it a person with outstanding abilities? Is it a fashionable profession? Is it a thorny way to glory and success? You are thinking correctly if you are asking yourself these questions. In any event, let’s start from the beginning.

A recruiter is a specialist whose responsibilities include the selection of employees for businesses. He can work inside the company or be an employee of a recruiting company or agency. Thanks to the work of a recruiter, companies are able to hire specific required staff with the necessary personal professional traits. In other words, a recruiter – is a person who searches, interviews, evaluates, and then “sells” the experience of the candidate to clients or to the internal customers of the company that he works for. A successful recruiter must develop the following specific professional skills in order to be productive in his chosen profession:

• Leadership

• Focus on results

• Focus on quality

 • Planning and organization qualities

• Persuasive communication skills

• Determination

• Interpersonal skills

• Flexibility

• Stability.

What is the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful recruiter? Let us consider the comparative characteristics (see table below).

Successful Recruiter

Unsuccessful Recruiter

Knows the specifics of the business, the customer’s requirements

Works with “his eyes closed” and “his hands down”

Provides for consideration only “vivid” candidates

Provides resumes of all the available candidates: “What if someone will be liked?”

Has excellent personal relationships with the customer

No contact. The fact that the project is implemented by other means can be learned from third parties

Energetic, distinguished by rapidity and fast thinking

Slow, gets tired easy from the rapid change of events, the slightest difficulty makes him give up, relentless

Recruiting as a lifestyle

Recruiting – just a 9 to 5 job, “the remainder of the time is personal”

Preparing for each interview with candidates

Prints out the resume after the candidate stepped into the office

Charismatic, able to persuade the “dead”

Works with varying degrees of success, many candidates refuse to even come to the interview or take a long time thinking about the proposal and then refuse it

He is remembered and well-known, his cell phone number is registered in phone book

Referred to as: “Some man”

Socially active

Lives in his own world

Always acts first

Waits until someone will apply for the vacancy

Collects “only the best”

Collects resumes

Constantly aware of the job market, keeps track of political and economic news, may give analytical predictions

Does not even know the average salary for the candidates in the job market that he specializes in

Makes responsible decisions based on facts and accurate data, not on intuitive or personal likes and hearsay. Uses only reliable sources of information

Makes decisions based on personal decisions, often uses the terms “like” or “do not like”

Business-oriented, constantly learning quickly and intensely. Interesting conversationalist, can advise the client or the supervisor by bringing the necessary arguments

Focused on satisfying personal needs, not really getting deep into the intricacies of his profession


In order to become a consultant in a recruiting agency in any Western countries, one must go through the career growth process for approximately five to seven years and get a raise from a researcher, assistant or assistant to consultant. In Ukraine this job is quite new; therefore, the consultants you may find in this position are very young as well. Students or graduates who take jobs in the field of recruitment will become consultants quick. On one hand, this is not bad, on the other hand, it is very difficult because they lack life experience and, as they say, wisdom. However, by becoming a recruiter, a person may acquire his own product, called “recruiter’s experience”, and then be able to sell it successfully, thereby improving his own well-being while contributing to the development of the company that he works for.

“What kind of education do recruiters get and how do they improve their level of experience?”- you might ask. Indeed, there is no university that one can specifically attend in order to become a recruiter. The schools and courses of recruitment have only relatively recently appeared. According to experienced recruiters, going to school and taking courses of recruitment is useful for both beginners and experienced recruiters. They enable us to receive the best practice from the leading recruiters, and become familiar with a variety of new methodologies and the specific of how the technologies of recruitment work. The acquired skills will give the opportunity for a future successful formation of a professional career.

If you are a novice recruiter, then you need to spend a lot of time studying the professional literature. Even the experienced recruiters often times reread books on recruitment in order to refresh their knowledge or learn new details of the profession.

The most correct and safe way to become a competent recruiter is by going to work for a recruiting company. Only by doing so it is possible to obtain extensive experience, acquire the necessary knowledge and develop expertise in the field. It should be taken into account that there are no teachers and coaches who could thoroughly teach someone the mastery of recruiting. It is impossible because just as there is no one person who is identical to another person, there is no identical conversation, no identical odors or absolutely identical tastes. The majority of the training moments are aimed towards self-education and practical experience.

Successful companies provide mandatory training for its employees in order to get positive results faster. The learning process takes place with the use of training programs which are usually pre-planned and prepared for the entire year. Furthermore, the trainings should be planned in such a way that would take into account the level of knowledge and training of all the employees who will make use of the tutorials. The recruiters are taught thoroughly because it is a profession that lies on the crossroads of many specialties. Therefore, a recruiter, aside from a honed skills selection, must have specialized knowledge in order to be able to assess his interlocutor during the interview process. Usually, the recruiting companies conduct in-house trainings and also attract external specialists to conduct trainings. The most valuable trainers for recruiters are the operating managers with experience in sales, administration and management of the company; they can teach the recruiters their practical knowledge. That is, an external trainer or an internal more experienced employee may serve as a mentor or coach for an outside recruiter.

Usually, the recruiters inside the company are taught by the head of the recruiting department or the HR manager. For the qualitative education of an internal recruiter, a company assigns mentors from the business which he will be working for. Most companies prefer to invite recruiters with work experience in that agency. There is little time for recruitment training inside the company and there is a lack of diverse tasks that a recruiter could solve. That is why it is better to get a trained employee who does not need to be taught the basics of the job and waste the time to learn it.

On the contrary, the most successful managers in the agency are those who gained their experience in the business and who know the principles on which the business was built while studying the work from within. It is easier for them to adapt to the large flow of information, they are faster at finding the optimal solutions to the given tasks.

A recruiter becomes effective with experience, meaning that the longer he works in the selected profession the more successful he will become. The most effective tools of training for recruiters are the interviewing of the candidates. Companies also practice the participation of the recruiters in interviews with top managers who choose the staff that will be under their direct subordination. Also, the participation of recruiters in the assessment centers. This gives us the maximum understanding of the task, the recruiter gets a full picture of the desired candidate, and thus, the projects get accomplished more precisely.

The experienced recruiters use a variety of techniques in the process of interviewing. They have a whole arsenal of special tests for the evaluation of certain knowledge of the desired candidates. Hence, the cases, the tests, and the different techniques are subject to constant update depending on the requirements of the actual customers and the changes on the job market. If you do not know 20-30 best companies in the direction of the market that you specialize in, its main characters with their positions and what they are famous for, than you can hardly be considered a successful recruiter. When choosing this profession one should remember that you must love people, not get tired of constant communication and not be lazy. You need to be learning not just daily, but continually.

There are many pitfalls in the profession of a recruiter and you should be ready for them. Let me give some examples:

• You will never have a standard work day. Never, because you will be interested in candidates who will be able to come to you either early in the morning or late at night, or on the weekend. Your customer, being in another country, may call you with a very important question at three o’clock in the morning, and you will happily answer because it is important for him.

• You must be so strong, so that you will not be afraid to say “no” to those candidates who are not suitable for a given vacancy.

• You do not have the option to be lazy and not prepare for the interview or the meeting with the client just because you are not in the mood.

• Do not be surprised, and even more show jealousy towards the wages of the candidates that you are selecting. It should be remembered that these are outstanding people who accomplished a lot in order to qualify for such salaries.

• Devote a lot of time to self-education because it is important for you to be an interesting conversationalist for the candidates.

• You should not have barriers of communication and you should be able to speak the same language either with a warehouse employee or the president of the company.

• Learn to be an excellent negotiator while having the sense of tact and become a good diplomat.

• At the same time you should be insightful and flexible.

A successful consultant in the agency becomes like a partner for his customers. A successful recruiter inside the company – is an effective employee who is fully trusted by the business.

If you have chosen the path of the “hunter”, you have the readiness to fight the above mentioned difficulties and pitfalls, than you could become a successful recruiter. In any case, if you can be self sustained, impartial and have the ability to cope with stress, as well as love your job very much, then, you will be a successful popular and highly-paid recruiter who knows his job ideally.


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