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3 things I wish I knew before I became a Recruiter

I used to be a Hiring Manager and I wasn't a patient one. I used to call my Recruiter and complain that we couldn't hire new folks fast enough. I know. I was one of those.

My company acquired another organization and the immediate need for more Recruiters came about. Having had experience going to job fairs and interviewing, I felt somewhat prepared to move from an operational role to a talent acquisition one. I thought to myself, it can't be that hard. I know, I was one of those.

Somewhat prepared was an overstatement. I luckily had a lot of training in my past company but there were so many things I didn't know! Here are three things I wish I had known before I became a Recruiter.

Time Management is king

I was not organized when I started off as a Recruiter. I habitually just focused on the day-to-day versus the long game of hiring. Recruiting is more than just interviews and phone calls. Outreach to your resources such as schools and agencies as well as just good old sourcing takes up so much of your time.

Because of my terrible time management, I missed deadlines, stressed myself out, and burned out fast early in my career.

Today my schedule is booked at least three weeks in advance. I bake in time for administrative work, sourcing, networking, and most importantly, breaks. I have a standing 30-minute break every workday to take my dog out for a walk. The serotonin from a dog break is to me, unmatched.

It's not about filling a job

Recruiters have a very simple job and it's filling open positions. But don't forget, you're still in a big way affecting someone's life. One job can literally turn someone's trajectory. I used to think it was about selling a position to someone. Now, it's about who that person is, where are they in their life, and what is most important to them. Sometimes that means, it's not for any of your openings. I have connections from candidates over 10+ years old - no judging, that's how long I've been in recruiting. It's not unusual to match people to opportunities 2-3 years down the line when timing and opportunity is right.

Keep the main thing the main thing

A really good friend of mine who is also in Talent Acquisition quoted this to me one day when I was stressed out about a hiring process being too lengthy and complicated. She encouraged me to keep the main thing the focus of my work - which helped me let go of my "it has to be perfect" mindset. I hear from so many Recruiters stress out about process, difficult hiring managers, lengthy job descriptions and not enough time to do the real tasks of hiring. When we really boil down to it, we just have to hire someone and that needs to be uncomplicated and efficient. However it's done in your space, make sure it's the main thing.

I really could add ten more things to this list! Hopefully these set some solid affirmations to anyone just starting out. I am still far from perfect. I still plan my time terribly some weeks, I often times forget to eat lunch and I do get distracted from the main thing. What's important here is giving yourself grace, holding yourself accountable, and evolving.

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