As a new recruiter beginning your career, finding and hiring candidates who meet skill requirements, are a cultural fit and can make an impact for the organization can be overwhelming. How do you know where to get started to launch a successful career?
We asked Ben Gotkin, Executive Director of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals, what advice he would give to recruiters in their first three months on the job, and what he considers fundamental skills of a successful recruiter. “A good recruiter understands the business, how to effectively engage managers and candidates, and how to communicate,” he says.
To lay the foundation for a successful career, Gotkin offers steps recruiters can take in the first 90 days: learn the responsibilities of different positions, understand the company’s technology and find a mentor. Read on for a three-month action plan every new recruiter can follow to launch a career in talent acquisition.
Days 1 – 30
Understand roles across the company
Explaining — and selling — a position to a candidate can be near-impossible if you don’t know the essentials of the role. Early in Gotkin’s career, he learned about different departments by shadowing jobs across the organization, from sales, to purchasing, to the warehouse. “It was the best onboarding experience I ever had because I spent the first two weeks each day doing a different job in the company.”
In the first thirty days, step out of a recruiting mindset and instead, learn about roles at the organization. If shadowing isn’t an option, ask to sit in on meetings with different departments, and if your company has an intranet, read up on departmental information.
Learn position-specific terminology
When recruiters don’t know the terminology associated with a position or industry, it quickly becomes clear to the candidate and hiring manager, diminishing trust and confidence.
The acronyms and jargon used in some fields can feel like another language. But, it’s a language new recruiters need to learn. When recruiters don’t know the terminology associated with a position or industry, it quickly becomes clear to the candidate and hiring manager, diminishing trust and confidence. In the first month, learn the language of the business lines you’ll be recruiting for by subscribing to industry-specific blogs (hint: we suggest the Yello blog), listening to podcasts and reading content the company may produce.
Days 31 – 60
Master the technology
Master your organization’s software now, to speed sourcing, communicating with candidates and extending offers, later.
While successful recruiters understand the roles they are recruiting for and know how to communicate effectively, they also must understand the tools and processes their company uses. “Recruiters need to have strong technical and non-technical skills and abilities,” says Gotkin.
Master your organization’s software now, to speed sourcing, communicating with candidates and extending offers, later. To learn the tools, attend online webinars, read user guides and explore different technologies. Leverage your tech savviness to quickly become a company expert, and share knowledge with other members of the team. When tech skills are coupled with industry knowledge and effective communication, you set the foundation for a rewarding career in recruitment.
Find a talent acquisition mentor
“One of the best ways to learn new skills is to find a good role model who wants to share the secrets to their success,” says Gotkin. “I learned everything I needed to know about how to work a job fair and how to interact with candidates in a meaningful way [through my mentor].”
To find a mentor, establish relationships with talent acquisition leaders in your company or city, and familiarize yourself with their work. Create a plan when you approach your potential mentor by outlining goals and how you see a mentor helping you achieve them.
Days 61 – 90
Attend industry networking events — but don’t recruit at them
“Get out there and meet people and ask questions. What do you do? What’s important to you? What motivates you?”
During month three as a recruiter, network as much as possible — but don’t recruit at these networking events. Instead, learn about people’s professional aspirations. “Get out there and meet people and ask questions — What do you do? What’s important to you? What motivates you?” says Gotkin.
Learn what inspires and motivates candidates now, and apply these insights to future conversations. Partner with a hiring manager or colleague in the field to go to industry-focused networking events. Attend an engineering meetup to learn about what is important to engineers; go to a sales group event to find out what drives sales professionals. Attending networking events can also help create a high level of comfort meeting and learning about new people, which is important to help your company meet its talent goals.
Being a new recruiter can be daunting. Follow these steps to set yourself on a path to success during the first 90 days, and reap the rewards as you become a valued member of the team. New recruiters can also stay informed by joining the Association for Talent Acquisition Professionals, an organization that helps talent acquisition professionals learn from and network with each other.
Are you looking for more tips to launch a successful career in talent acquisition? Here are 7 Tips Every Entry-Level Recruiter Needs to Know.