Miles Jennings

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3 Things People New to Recruiting Should Know

I was asked to speak today to a group of people getting into the recruiting profession for the first time. This is part of a course on how to be a recruiter offered by This is a subject near to my heart, because sales and recruiting was really my first job after college that I really put a lot of effort into. 

Here are the things that came first to mind for me, and what I'm going to go with when I speak with the group.

  1. Don't be afraid. It's easy to be intimidated by smart candidates. It's easy to listen to people who denigrate recruiters. It's easy to forget that you're offering a valuable service. All of these things can make new recruiters not want to network, not want to talk, not want to pick up the phone. It's critical that you do what you have to do to get over these fears. Read some motivational books, get yourself psyched up, and learn to enjoy rejection. Make it a game and don't let yourself get down.
  2. It's a numbers game. Like sales, recruiting is basically a funnel. You need to put a lot at the top and watch it trickle down. The # of calls and outreach you do turn into discussions, which turn into submittals, which turn into interviews, and interviews turn into hires. No matter how "good" you are at qualifying, you need to do a lot of activity and put in a lot of work at the top of the funnel. It's also important to not screen too many people out of the top of the funnel, as you need to get activity going.
  3. Your time is precious. Everyone's only real commodity is, of course, the time that we have on this earth. However, when you're recruiting, you realize that your only professional asset is your time. You don't want to waste time with bad candidates. You don't want to waste time with bad clients. Success is most directly tied to how you delegate your time - what you spend your precious time doing. Don't spend time pushing things to happen that cannot happen, such as pushing the wrong candidate for a particular job, because this just hurts you. You have to be extremely "greedy" with your own time, and learn to say no.

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