Recruiters don’t always have the best reputations, and that can affect how recruiters see themselves. In fact, you’ve probably experienced it yourself: that mindset of “I’m just a recruiter — my role’s not really that significant.”
But the truth is that yours is a position of power. You, as a recruiter, are a key player in your organization, big or small.
Don’t believe me? Here’s why.
You Bring Quality Talent to Your Business
Some view the recruiting process as nothing more than a simple business transaction, but you know that’s not really the case. You know that every time you engage a candidate, you could be speaking to someone who can bring your workplace (or your client’s workplace, if you’re an agency recruiter) to new heights.
And you, as the recruiter, are the candidate’s first impression of the company. As such, you can be the deciding factor in bringing a highly skilled, highly valuable professional to the team. You’re also the company’s first line of defense against bad hires: No candidate can pass through the first round of screening without your approval.
Speaking of interviews and phone screens: You’re not just there to play a game of gotcha, despite what candidates (and even some hiring managers!) might think. You’re there to make sure there’s a good match between this applicant and the company, and to ensure the whole recruiting process runs smoothly for all parties involved. Some companies have unnecessarily long and complex interview processes, and it may not be in your power as a single recruiter to change that. But you do have the power to make the parts you oversee — resume screens, interviews — as efficient and effective as possible.
Moreover, your position as a recruiter also means you have a firm grasp of the company’s goals and overall business strategy. You may have more cross-departmental knowledge than anyone else on staff, except maybe the executive team. That’s because you need to understand how each team and role functions in the grand scheme in order to assess whether a given candidate is the right fit for a job.
You Enhance the Candidate Experience
I mentioned it above, but it’s so important that I feel the need to repeat it: Recruiters are a candidate’s first impression of a company. That’s a big deal! You have the make-or-break power to influence a candidate’s decision to join your company — or not.
As a recruiter, you can direct the candidate experience to ensure that each applicant sees the company in the best light. A friendly greeting, a welcoming tone over the phone, or even a brief side conversation can make all a difference. Candidates are paying attention to everything you do as a representative of the company. If you give them a quick, convenient, and positive hiring experience, that can leave a lasting impact on candidates. Even if they aren’t chosen for this position, they’ll be more likely to apply again in the future! This keeps your employer brand intact and your talent pipeline stocked full of candidates.
The easiest way to do this? Simple communication. Be transparent with candidates and stay in regular contact. Ghosting can be part of the recruiting process on both sides, but you are in a position to make sure your company never ghosts anyone. That speaks volumes to candidates.
That said, it can be rather difficult to inform a candidate that they did not get the position they interviewed for — which is part of why so many companies end up ghosting applicants. But you can even use this interaction as an opportunity to build your employer brand. Remember: Even rejection is part of the candidate experience!
If someone was not selected for a role, tell them why. Give an honest, constructive answer that helps them improve and come back for future opportunities with your company down the line. Returning applicants are the highest form of praise!
Ultimately, recruiters help individuals better their livelihoods, and they help organizations succeed by finding the right talent. Never forget the impact you can make in a person’s life, whether it be an entry-level candidate or the CEO of a global enterprise.
When you’re feeling down — when the bad rap gets to you — try to hold on to the rewarding feeling you have when you phone a candidate to say, “Congratulations, we want to bring you aboard!” The excited tone of the candidate over the phone is so completely satisfying that it can make all the obstacles throughout the process melt away.
So I urge you to always remember the importance of your role as a recruiter. Know your worth! You are contributing something meaningful and powerful to your employer or clients. A company is successful because of the people it hires, and those people are hired because of you! Be proud of that!