Interested in a career helping others find their perfect job? Our Denver-based Recruiter and Talent Rep extraordinaire Lauren Ray (you may know her from our awesome Ask a Recruiter column), gave us her top four tips for becoming a Recruiter.
What IS a Recruiter?
First thing is first: what IS a Recruiter anyway? The Huffington Post says...
The best part about working with an external recruiter is that you both usually have the same goal — getting you placed with the employer. If you have gaps or other issues, they may be able to help you strategize a way to present yourself in the best light. Don’t expect them to help you figure out what you want to do, but do expect them to provide you with some insight into what is going on inside the employer’s organization — what the “hot” issues are, who are apt to be your allies in the hiring process, and who the real decision makers are.
A good relationship with an external recruiter can be an asset to your career for many years. Connect with them on LinkedIn. Send cards during the holidays. Refer top performers you know to these external recruiters to strengthen your relationship with them and help them to remember you with positive feelings.
Want to learn more about the day to day first? Click here.
How to Become a Recruiter by Lauren Ray
The four aspects to consider before pursuing a career as a Creative Recruiter/Talent Representative:
1. Leave your tears at the door
The hardest thing, BY FAR, for me as a new baby Talent Rep was having to tell people they didn’t get a job, and keeping my opinions to myself when I feel like they were truly the right person. Clients surprise you every time, and at the end of the day, we’re here to serve them, and it’s a delicate balance that you have to dance between client services and being a good advocate for the people you are working with as Talent. I thought I had nerves of steel after going to design school and working in an ad agency. I mean, I’ve had work ripped apart in front of multiple people and it didn’t bother me too much. But it’s a whole different level when you are dealing with people, and money is on the table, and decisions are affecting people’s lives.
It’s hard not to get emotional about that. If you are going to be a crumpled heap after every job search, you might want to reconsider.
2. Math. Oh God, the MATH
I met my first husband in Algebra 1. WHEN I WAS 21 AND IN COLLEGE. THE SECOND TIME AROUND. Yeah. Math is not my strong suit. It’s not like you have to know calculus to be a Talent Representative, but you’d better have a rate sheet pasted in front of your face at all times and a calculator glued to your hand if you find yourself unable to do basic math, because people do not respond well to being told their rate is 10 dollars lower an hour because you couldn’t figure out splits, or client budgets. As with any job, the devil is in the details, which is one reason I think that former Designers are great at this, because we tend to be crazy organized and are trained to proof, proof, and proof it again.
3. These are people, not brochures
Working and connecting with people is, by far, my favorite part of this entire thing. I love meeting new faces and hearing their fascinating stories. There are so many talented people out there changing the world and it gives me faith in humanity. But, people are people, not widgets or commodities, and they do weird things.
So be prepared for people to bail on you at the last second, to take another job when you thought they were PERFECT for the one you interviewed them for, or to get angry at you when things don’t go their way. We’re the liaison between accounts and talent, and sometimes we’re the ones who get blamed for things that are out of our control. The most important thing to do is to stay calm, and listen, listen, listen. Which brings me to….
4. Are your listening hats on?
You might think you are a great listener, and maybe you are, but you’re probably not. I like to talk. And talk, and talk, and talk. I love chitchat, and I love connecting with people, but the most important part of this job is listening to people and hearing what they’re REALLY saying. This isn’t a first date; your job is to connect, but also to get the facts across, and then be a sponge. It can be a tough balance to strike, and one that I’m always trying to work on and be better at. Sometimes I feel as Art Directors we’re trained to charm and woo and present stuff and therefore we talk A LOT. And it’s a good thing! But it’s NEVER a bad thing to learn how to be an active and better listener, and it will take your recruiting game up to a whole new level if you do, and most importantly, you’ll have the trust of the Talent you work with, which is currency in this industry.
Hopefully this helps you along your journey to discover your Recruiter career path.
About the Author:
Lauren Ray is a former Art Director turned Talent Representative in Denver, Colorado. When not playing job fairy for Artisan Talent, she enjoys long distance running, interior design, vintage perfume collecting, and reading vast amounts of true crime.