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How to be a great recruiter

Christina Pavlou
Christina Pavlou

An experienced recruiter and HR professional who has transferred her expertise to insightful content to support others in HR.

As you embark on your recruiting career, you’ll encounter a number of challenges that you may not have expected. We’ve compiled the best advice on how to improve your career path as an agency or in-house recruiter.

How to be a better recruiter:

Conduct effective interviews

As you develop your career as a recruiter, view candidates as your potential partners or customers. Interviews, when treated as discussions between equals, help you discover whether future collaborations will be mutually beneficial. A structured interview will help you better evaluate candidates’ skills and keep you from asking irrelevant, or even illegal, questions. Also, consider setting up a candidate experience survey to spot potential areas of improvement in your recruitment lifecycle.

RelatedStructured interview questions — tips and examples for hiring

Be available throughout the entire hiring process

Candidates expect responses and updates from you, even if you’re sharing bad news. Feedback softens rejection, especially for those who reached the final stages of your interview process. Ghosting candidates after they applied and/or interviewed for a position at your company puts your employer brand at risk. But, being approachable and transparent about your hiring process shows that you respect candidates’ time. It also leaves the door open for future job opportunities.

Expand your sourcing techniques

Experiment with social recruitment, organize events and search in obscure channels, like Slack and Meetup. Use targeted Boolean search strings to narrow your results when searching for candidates on Google. It’s also a good idea to revamp your careers page by showcasing your company culture and adding employees’ testimonials, to intrigue potential candidates about your team. If you rely only on a “post and pray” approach, you might be missing out many good profiles.

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Vote for diversity

Building a diverse team means hiring people regardless of non job-related criteria, like their college pedigree. A blind hiring system will help your hiring team reach more objective decisions. Also, check whether the language in your job ads is inclusive. Even unconscious bias can cost you qualified candidates. Hiring mini-me’s puts candidates of an alternative race, gender, age group or socioeconomic status at a disadvantage, despite their skills.

Organize your workload

Calendars and time management tools will help you keep track of your tasks and meetings. Also, if you’re using an ATS, make sure your entire recruiting team (including hiring managers) is engaged, to avoid miscommunication with candidates. Remember: you are also being interviewed. Double-booking candidates, forgetting interviews and sending emails to the wrong person might be honest, unintentional mistakes, but enough to turn candidates off.

Onboard new employees

Once a candidate accepts your job offer, send them a welcome email and let them know next steps. Those can include starting date, time of arrival and a rough agenda for the first week. Coordinate with their hiring manager to help them transition in their first days at work. Your actions as a recruiter may play a larger role in their retention than you think. Being a consultant to the newest employees will help decrease new hire turnover rate and turn you into a great recruiter.

Becoming a recruiter is challenging. We all make mistakes from time to time, including the most experienced professionals. But don’t be hard on yourself. Treat mistakes as valuable lessons and you’ll open the door to a more successful recruiting career.


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