What Got You into Recruiting? What Makes You Stay?

People Science Reimagining Talent Acquisition

When looking for a career path, it’s not often that you hear someone say “you know what, I want to be a recruiter when I grow up.” You’ll also notice the diverse backgrounds that recruiters have; it’s extremely rare that you find someone who has a major or a background of study relatable to recruiting. All of the stories I’ve heard from people about how they got into recruiting have been so varied that I’ve lost count.

In my case, my foray into recruiting was pretty simple; my sister worked for a large IT staffing agency (not as a recruiter, but in a different position) and told me I should give it a try. She figured (from what she saw) that the work would be different and interesting on a consistent basis, plus it would be a great way for me to make money. This seemed like a good idea to me, so within the next couple of months I searched and eventually found my first recruiting gig. I’m always interested to hear how people got into recruiting and their back-story and what keeps them engaged in the field.

Recruiting has a reputation for having a low barrier of entry; you don’t need a lot of experience in the field to land a job. As stated before, nothing you study in high school or college would prepare you for a career in recruiting; it’s not like going into a career in engineering where after your studies, you’re prepared for a job in that field. Within recruiting, though, there are fundamental points that you have to be aware of and accept when it comes to this line of work:

  • Recruiting is extremely competitive; this applies to most types of recruiting, and if you don’t have a competitive mindset or at the very least, can adapt to a competitive environment, it can be a tough field.
  • Recruiting is a roller coaster; you will have great days (such as landing a top client or placing a candidate) and bad days (candidates rejecting offers, cancelling interviews, etc.). If you can learn to manage the ups and downs of recruiting, you’ll put yourself on the path to success.
  • Recruiting success is driven by the passion the recruiter has to do their job, and recruiting passion comes in different forms. Find YOUR reason to stay in the field. There are recruiters who are solely in it for the money. Other recruiters’ passion lies within the altruism of helping people find jobs and careers. Some recruiters like the hunt and think of recruiting as a strategic game, while others are passionate and loyal to a specific brand or company.

Whatever the case may be, the field of recruiting can be volatile, yet rewarding. It is not for everyone, but at the same time, it’s a field where your successes are tangible and you are the driver of your success. It is also a unique field, where your “product” is people, of which sometimes, you can’t dictate what will happen next.

Recruiting is notorious for burnout and high turnover; recruiting is also notorious for improbable success stories and rewarding careers. Whether evaluating your prospects of getting into the field or your interest in staying in the field, it’s important to remember why you got into recruiting in the first place, and what makes you stay.

By Joe Griesbach | People Science Sr Talent Advisor


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