It’s not a secret that an entry level job in recruitment is neither the most glamourous, nor is it very exclusive. Most Interns and Junior IT recruiters will do very fine with just a couple skills, like good interpersonal abilities or some innate persistence. Large organizations, but also small recruitment agencies as well, often offer internship programmes that are a great chance for young graduates or just for people who want to change occupation. These allow both parties to benefit: the intern gets valuable experience and the company profits from low-cost workforce.
We are currently hiring a Tech Recruiter (check the new offer for our Poznań office) and it got me thinking about my own story and how my first steps looked years ago. By the way – for our Polish readers, analyze the job offer above to check, what exactly recruiting agencies like ours expect from more experienced employees!
Internships are not always a piece of cake. Those are essentially investments which must be paid for in your time, and also – what you possibly could achieve/earn during this time doing something else. So let’s imagine that there is no option for you to get an internship or an entry level job. What can you do on your own to become an attractive candidate for a future IT recruiter position? The list below intends to serve as a starting point for your efforts to educate yourself! (surprisingly, the list would also make for a good onboarding checklist for new hires without much previous experience!)
To begin with, you need to know what does a Recruiter actually do. Study:
- how the typical recruitment process looks like and who plays what role in each step (Hiring Manager vs Recruiter),
- what are the most common methods of finding candidates (job posts, direct search, headhunting, networking),
- what are the most common methods of selecting candidates (phone screening, behavioral interview, technical interview, psychological tests, Assessment Centre),
- how to define the candidate profile (a so called “candidate persona”).
If you want to enter the IT world, sourcing will be your bread and butter. Direct Search is the most common and most effective way of attracting candidates, so you can make a few steps to get familiar with this topic:
- socialise! 😉 Find relevant facebook fanpages, groups and local events, such as your local Recruitment Open Community or HR Inspirations&Networking Poland, and start reading what people share about their experiences. Remember to go out there physically and meet people face to face, it is much more effective in getting your foot in the door!
- read: Social Talent Blog, Jan Tegze: Fullstack Recruiter and any other nice industry-related blogs that you will find,
- follow: Bee Talents (obviously ;), Kasia Borowicz, Jan Tegze, Agnieszka Deszczka and other amazing Recruiters that you’ll find online,
- try: if you can afford it, it would be a good step to attend sourcing workshops or webinars,
- check sourcing games (https://www.sourcing.games/).
It is very crucial to have real knowledge about what your candidates are in fact doing. From my experience, the best way of getting to know this is simply to devote some time and explore the Internet. If you have a genuine desire to understand IT, you’ll just make an interest out of it. To begin with I recommend:
- book “Technology Made Simple For Technical Recruiter”,
- my blogpost that I wrote after my onboarding,
- workshops – just like our IT for Recruiters.
Basically, your success in direct search depends on whether you are or aren’t an active member of any social media. This will help you in navigating there during searches and understanding how people communicate on that platform:
- LinkedIn – it’s a real must have! You can start with connecting with people you know and following Recruiters that inspire you. This will most probably be the main tool you’ll use, so let’s get the hang of it,
- Twitter, Quora, AngelList – pick at least one other (I recommend Twitter) and start using it daily.
Being a partner to your client
If you choose to be a “Full-stack Recruiter”, a big part of your work will be facing various, often difficult, situations with your clients or Hiring Managers. I think it’s probably not possible to fully learn how to manage client relationships fully hands-iff. But I think you should at least make your mind about some preferable attitudes to building relations. Good example can be Dale Carnegie’s work.
It was already said before but the more people you get to know, the easier it is to get onboard. Find relevant meet-ups, conferences, workshops and simply start attending. Regularly google and search Facebook events in your area and ask on the groups you have joined for opportunities to go to closed events as well. In my experience – HR people are really open and enjoy helping others grow! Ask questions, ask for advice, ask for recommendations.
This list is not a comprehensive one, and rather a broad guideline how to become an attractive candidate for a Junior Recruiter position. Obviously, a lot of words have been written on the topic and I could probably expand each bullet point into a book chapter. But now it’s time for you, Dear Reader, to get to study the basics first 🙂