In-House Recruiter

Brian Fleming
Brian Fleming
Have you ever considered becoming an in-house recruiter as the next step in your career? Read on for an in-house recruiter’s firsthand experience with what the job is like.

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What Is an In-House Recruiter?

An in-house recruiter finds qualified people for any kind of job opening that their company has and helps those candidates progress through the recruiting process. “In-house” simply means the recruiter is hired directly by the company rather than contracted through an agency. They might also be called a “corporate recruiter” depending on the size of the company.

Agency Versus In-House Recruitment

When a company has an open job they need to fill, they can either use an agency to find candidates for that position or they can have their in-house recruiter(s) take care of filling the position. If a company is small or doesn’t have very many job openings, it will probably be more cost-effective to use an agency. But if there is enough hiring activity to merit employing an in-house recruiter, it’s a good idea for a company to do so. Depending on the situation, a company may even need to use an agency in addition to an in-house recruiter to fill open roles.

Responsibilities of an In-House Recruiter

If you’re considering a role as an in-house recruiter, these are the main responsibilities you’ll have:

  • Familiarizing yourself with your company’s hiring needs. In most companies, other HR professionals will tell you when a job is going to be opened. But the recruiter needs to gain a clear understanding of what the hiring manager needs in their potential new hire. This includes knowing the education, skill levels, certifications, years of experience in the relevant field or industry and the salary range available. The more you understand about the job’s daily activities, the better you’ll be able to have helpful conversations with candidates.
  • Searching for qualified candidates. A recruiter proves their value to their company by proactively finding (or “sourcing”) job candidates on their own, especially when few people are applying directly. The most efficient way to do this is through online sourcing platforms such as LinkedIn or Indeed. These platforms allow you to search for qualified applicants based on geographical area, education, experience and other filters. Other methods include attending job fairs, advertising and networking with relevant associations.
  • Moving candidates through the interview process. Whether your candidates have applied directly or you found them yourself, a recruiter needs to narrow down their pool to several top candidates the hiring manager would likely be most interested in. After the hiring manager has decided which candidates they’d like to pursue, the recruiter arranges job interviews between candidates, hiring managers and other people involved. During this step, it’s important to move quickly so candidates are not kept waiting too long.
  • Acting as an adviser to hiring managers. Although the hiring manager is the expert in their own department, they rely on recruiters to advise them on best practices to attract talent and keep communication going with candidates. This is especially true when it comes to avoiding illegal or inappropriate interview questions. The recruiter needs to balance the hiring manager’s needs with giving proper respect to all candidates.

Should I Become an In-House Recruiter?

Being a recruiter involves people skills and analytical skills (not to mention attention to detail, organization and time management). In fact, people often compare recruiting to sales. In both jobs, you are trying to convince people to buy into something you have to offer them. If this sounds like it’s up your alley, you could do very well as a recruiter!

What People Like About Recruiting In-House

  • Personal Investment. As an in-house recruiter, it’s easy to see the results of your work when you directly impact your company. Many business leaders will tell you that an organization’s people are what make it special. Recruiters can take great pride in knowing they help attract the talent that defines their company.
  • Changing people’s lives. An in-house recruiter helps people find what could potentially be their dream job. Because they work for the same company, they’re also helping to hire their future co-workers. It’s rewarding to see the difference you make in the company when you see someone you helped recruit start their job.
  • Learning opportunities. Few jobs offer as much broad exposure to the inner workings of a company. A career in recruiting gives opportunities to work with a variety of functions and personalities. This variety helps keep the job interesting.

What People Don’t Like About Being an In-House Recruiter

  • Workload stress. A recruiter has a limited capacity for the number of openings they can work on. This workload is also subject to the level of difficulty certain jobs have. Since no hiring manager should feel like they are a lower priority to you, it can often be stressful to manage giving equal attention to each job. It takes time management and mental resilience to cope with this stress.
  • Ongoing requisitions. Some jobs are easier to find people for, while others can take several months or more to fill. When you have a particularly tough requisition, it can feel demoralizing when your work hasn’t resulted in a hire after that long. There are many reasons that jobs can take a long time to fill, so it’s important to keep trying new methods and to cut yourself some slack.
  • Energy drain. This issue is a greater struggle for introverts, but making phone calls to strangers all day can take a toll on your energy level. That is especially true if your conversations all revolve around the same thing. It helps recruiters to mix up the requisitions they spend time working with on any given day.

When Should a Business Hire an In-House Recruiter?

Companies should base this decision on the size of their workforce. If a small company is growing and managers find that they are no longer able to handle their recruiting in addition to their normal responsibilities, this is usually a good indication that they need to hire their own recruiter. When a company has around 250+ employees, there’s a good chance that there will be enough hiring to keep an in-house recruiter busy. But this will vary depending on the company’s growth forecasts, so it’s important to forecast your hiring needs correctly.

How To Prepare for a Career as a Recruiter

As long as they’ve got the skills mentioned earlier, people from any kind of background can be successful in recruiting. Job descriptions will usually ask for a bachelor’s degree, but plenty of people have made a career as a recruiter without one. If you want to get your start in recruiting, the best thing you can do is start developing the necessary skills.

Step 1: Gain Relevant Experience

Even if you haven’t had experience in recruiting before, there are several fields that can provide a lead-in to it. Entry-level HR positions, such as an HR assistant, admin, intern, or service representative, are perhaps the most direct way into recruiting. Sales and customer service experience are also great avenues into recruiting. Emphasizing any relevant experience on your resume and in interviews is one of the best things you can do.

Step 2: Research Companies You Like

Think of a few companies that you’d be interested in working for and look through their website. Better yet, visit their site’s careers page and look at what kinds of jobs they have open and their locations. The types of open jobs make a difference in what a recruiter’s day-to-day job looks like, so ask yourself if you’d enjoy speaking to candidates about these jobs and about the company on a daily basis.

Step 3: Network

You’ve probably heard people say “it’s not about what you know, it’s who you know.” It’s important to make connections anywhere that you can. Expand your network by talking to friends, family, peers and anyone they may know who works at or has a connection to a company you’d like to be a recruiter for. Once you speak to someone there, make sure you convey your enthusiasm about the company and recruiting.

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Questions You’ve Asked Us About In-House Recruiters

Do in-house recruiters get commission?
Usually in-house recruiters are paid simply on salary (plus any bonus programs offered by their company). It’s more common for agency recruiters to be paid on commission.
Is an in-house recruiter a full-time or part-time position?
Typically these positions are full-time. It is pretty rare for a recruiter job to only be part-time.
Brian Fleming
Brian Fleming

I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from BYU and have four years of professional experience in HR and Recruiting. I am also currently pursuing my MBA. No matter the field or setting I’ve been involved in at work or school, I’ve always really enjoyed writing in a way that makes the subject at hand relatable to the reader.

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