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How to become an IT recruiter

In most cases, a recruitment career starts with the right education, but luckily for you, it’s not only about your academic background or previous professional experience. In this post, we will help you understand:

  • What does a recruiter actually do?
  • Qualifications for becoming a recruiter
  • How to develop qualifications to become a recruiter
  • How to become a recruiter with no experience?
  • How to become a recruiter if you didn’t study HR?
  • Technical and non-technical skills 

Starting a new career is so exciting, but it’s also a bit frightening. You probably don’t know where to start, or you’re still not sure if you want to become a recruiter. The fact that you’re reading this is a pure sign that you can become a good recruiter. Why? You’re doing research, which is one of the most important skills in recruitment. 

What does a recruiter actually do?

People sometimes call recruiters “headhunters” for a reason – they are usually a human resources (HR) professionals whose job is to identify and pursue candidates for potential job openings. Once an individual expresses interest and enters the application process, recruiters job is to check if a candidate has all requirements and qualifications for a job, but also to see if they fit to a company’s culture. This is the first, initial stage of assessment, so if the candidate passes it, recruiters will arrange an interview between the job candidate and key staff within the client company. As you can see, the IT recruiter is a connection between a company and a candidate, so their job will continue after the second stage, whether they decide to make an offer to a candidate or not. They negotiation over salary and other benefits, or inform candidates that they didn’t get a job. 

You may work as an in-house recruiter or a company can hire you when needed. Either way, this is a surprisingly fulfilling job that you can feel proud of each day, and the salary is not bad at all. Nevertheless, as IT recruiter you will have to understand the nature of the job they are hiring for so you may need IT skills as well. 

Recruiters are not career counselors

Recruiters aren’t mind readers, so it’s not their job to look at a resume and immediately understand where a candidate would fit into their organization or to suggest which career path they should choose. That’s why candidates sometimes have to go through few stages of interviews. Also, candidates job is to know what they want and what is their goal. Recruiter job is to find good candidates, and they try to keep the process flowing smoothly. 

✅ Are you ready to become an IT recruiter?

Finding an IT professional that fits the best in a team and has required skills isn’t an easy task. There are many people who present themselves in CV different than they really are. Some of them overestimate themselves, while others do the opposite, so a job of a recruiter is to find out a truth about a candidate. There is one thing that distinguishes a great recruiter from a good one – an attention to details. This job requires more than finding names, emails, LinkedIn profiles, etc. So, if you’re still interested in becoming a recruiter, let’s find out what you can do to become one.

Qualifications for becoming a recruiter

Nobody goes to college with the goal of becoming a recruiter, but they fall in love with this profession while studying human resources, business or other related fields. Some would say that there are no particular education prerequisites to becoming a recruiter, but your qualifications matter to clients and companies, and they should matter to you, too. So, depending on position, you may need these qualifications in your CV:

  • High school diploma
  • College degree
  • An associate or a bachelor’s degree
  • Background in human resources
  • Knowledge of employment laws
  • Experience
recruiter education
The most common university majors among recruiters

Not all employers will require a degree, but it could enhance your marketability in the competitive job market. It’s also possible to switch from programming to IT recruiter because it’s very helpful to have knowledge about informational technologies. Why? Well, to understand why a company wants to hire a front-end developer with an experience in React, you will need to have some knowledge of this field. Nevertheless, everything is possible if you’re willing to work hard to become a recruiter.

Which skills should a recruiter have?

  • Great communication skills
  • Attention to details
  • Sales skills
  • Listening
  • Problem-solving
  • Multi-tasking
  • Patience

If you don’t have all of these skills, don’t worry. You’ll get there if you’re willing to work on them. We’ll show you where to start.

Step 1: Develop skills during studies

Any experience matters. It would be easier for you to stand out from the crowd if you start working on your skills while you’re still studying. You can join some NGO organisation, apply for an internship or entry-level position, or join some activities on your faculty that can be useful in recruitment. 

Not everything is about academic skills. Working with people on specific tasks can boost all kinds of skills, from learning how to communicate effectively, to giving and accepting criticism. So, if you’re still on the colleague, try to work on non-academic skills. It will increase your confidence and help you get your first job. 

Step 2: Get a degree 

Did you know that only 27 percent of college graduates work in fields related to their majors? There is no such thing as recruitment faculty, so you must be asking yourself – why would I need a degree? Even though it’s not mandatory, it would be helpful if you have some kind of degree. By going to a colleague, you will develop many skills that can help you in your future job. For example, you can improve communication skills while studying business, or problem solving and listening skills while studying psychology. HR is also a great way to start your recruitment career, but it can be any field of study, if you’re willing to take an effort and develop as a recruiter.

Step 3: Learn new recruitment tools

To become a recruiter, you need to learn about an entirely new set of tools. Finding the right one is a bit challenging; you might have to go through a number of demos so you can make the right decision. However, listing these skills on a resume can be a real differentiator.  You should also know that automation is not always a smart choice, but it will save you a lot of time. Since you’re just starting your career in recruitment, being familiar with new recruitment tools might be enough. Stay up-to-date with new technologies and show that you care about your career. 

Step 4: Networking

Networking both online and in-person will help you understand how recruitment really works, what are the challenges, new trends, what are the good and the bad sides of this profession. You can meet people who are at the top of the game and find out about new openings for the job or internship. It’s important to be open to meet new people and not to be afraid to ask questions. People want to help, so climb on your way up. Here are the best ways to meet people from the recruitment industry:

  • Recruitment meetups and conferences in your city 
  • LinkedIn and Facebook groups about recruitment 

Here is one fact that can be a big deal for your career. If you don’t like networking, don’t become a recruiter. The best option to find suitable candidates is to meet them in person or if somebody recommends them. Just give it a try; you might start to like it! 

Step 5: Find your niche

 Before you choose your niche, you should think about these questions:

  • Which niche is the most popular?
  • What are your affinities? Would you like to cover all kinds of jobs or a specific niche such as IT recruitment?
  • Do you prefer working as an in-house recruiter or would you rather work for an agency?
  • Can you become a technical recruiter? If you have experience in some specific field that is trending, that might be the best option for you. 

Many people decide to change their career path to become recruiters. They come from sales, operations, administrative, support, even IT. So, if you have deeper knowledge about some industry, you can become technical recruiter. Nowadays, being an IT recruiter is very popular. Whether you want to become a technical IT recruiter or you would like to choose IT recruitment as your niche, you will have to stay up-to-date with new trends, companies, technologies, but also to be very insightful. 

Step 6: Get your first job or internship

All the steps above should lead you to your goal – to become a recruiter. It shouldn’t be that hard to find an entry-level job position, but you should understand that trying to navigate your career without mentorship is a mistake. Listen carefully to your mentors and respect them. 

  • Menthors can give you priceless knowledge, something that you can’t read in books. 

They will guide you in the right direction, even when you make a mistake. A large part of recruitment is about interacting with people, so don’t be afraid to interact with colleagues that are more experienced of you. It shows that you’re a great communicator and that you’re willing to learn. 

How to become a recruiter with no experience?

As we already mentioned, having a degree or experience is not mandatory if you want to become a recruiter. However, it would be useful for you to get some kind of certification or course, especially if you’re still wondering how to become a recruiter. This is a great way to start your recruitment journey because you’ll boost your skills, get proof of your abilities and increase your chances of getting the job.

How to Spot a Good Recruiter from a Bad One?

Nowadays, there are a lot of opportunities for you that are on the budget, from online courses to IT recruitment academies. After you finish a course, you’ll be able to talk about recruitment at a higher level, so you won’t be so afraid to go to your first interview. By the time you finish your recruitment course, you will understand that recruitment is not only about finding potential candidates, but it is also about writing a job description, holding interviews, analysis applications, issuing contracts, and more.  

How to become a recruiter if you didn’t study HR?

First of all, congrats on the courage to change your career path! Recruiters come from diverse backgrounds, so if you studied mathematics, economy, or philosophy, it doesn’t matter. Not many folks leave school with the intent to become recruiters. They don’t even know that that’s the option. What’s important is that you’re willing to learn and develop your skills. 

So, you have a degree, which is great. Now you just have to gain some experience and make recruiting a fun, long-term career. You should follow all the steps above, and you’ll be on the right path. 

Technical and non-technical skills 

As you know, your job is to find talent but to do so, you have to be talented, too. Further, you will need both technical and non-technical skills to become a recruiter. Soft skills are very important because you will work with people all time. As you need to fully understand clients and candidates needs, you have to be able to listen actively, as well as to make decisions and solve problems quickly. Next, strong written and verbal communication skills are also a must, along with negotiation skills and well use of time management. 

When it comes to technical skills, there are some basics that you have to understand, such as computer and internet skills. Nevertheless, you may need a medium understanding of SEO and social media as well. Moreover, most IT recruiters have acquired the technical expertise and knowledge in order to fully understand the nature of the jobs they are hiring for. Because of the advent of technology, you may have to learn something new every day, even if you’re established recruiter. 

👓 Any experience is important

If you start an internship while you’re still in a college, it will be easier for you to find a job when you get your degree. Any past experience matters. For example, if you had worked in customer service department, it can show employers that you have the interpersonal skills, which are important for this position. Some recruiter agencies require direct experience working in HR, some not, but you have to show them that you’re able to adapt to a new position. You have to be willing to continue your education, to finish some courses and learn from others.   

🦄 Boost your visibility in recruiter society

While you’re still learning, it’s a good idea to connect with other professionals from this field. Social media platforms are great for that – you can join a group on Facebook, connect with other recruiters on LinkedIn, or find some meetups where you can talk with both starters and established professionals from the field in person. Moreover, you can join the Society for Human Resource Management(SHRM). This is a good choice for many reasons. Firstly, they offer a number of professional certifications to boost your resume. Secondly, they will show prospective employers that you’re serious about your recruiting career, not to mention all the connections you will make. Who knows, you may get a job if you continue spreading the voice about your work.  

💼 Your first job

It’s time to put your skills and knowledge in use. The thing is that you can have all the qualifications in the world, but if you don’t make placements, a recruiter agency will fire you. On the other side, if you don’t have experience or all skills for becoming one, but you’re passionate about a job and have good recruiting metrics, they will definitely keep you.  For many people becoming a recruiter is a starting point for many different career paths such as HR leader. To become one, you will have to get experience in performance management, organizational development, employee engagement, succession planning, and personnel management. Don’t hesitate to dream about next step in your career, because it can motivate you to do more. 

Talent finds talent

Your job will be to evaluate other people, but first you should be very conscious about yourself. Create a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Think about what frightens you the most, which specific situation and what can you do to overcome these fears. Keep improving yourself and when you finally become an A-level  recruiter, never stop asking yourself How can I become better at my job? That’s the recipe for success. Good luck!