Interview with a Recruiter

Some of you have jobs that I think are absolutely fascinating and you might not know it yet but your knowledge benefits a lot of readers here. Allison from How to Get Things Done in 10 Ways is a recruiter and she is here generously donating her time to share her knowledge with us.

Please do drop by her blog, it is full of life hacks and practical advices that I find it super useful and has been a fan of her blog since I stumbled upon one of her article.


 

Thank you for doing this again! I am so honored that you are taking your precious time in doing in for the readers out there. So alright, the interview, this time round is pretty unique, we are going into a two-bits part. One is to understand more about your job, like what you do exactly. And the other is centralizing around scoring through your gate (heads up, those who are on a job hunt!).

I’m seriously so excited to share some of my insight with you! Makes me feel all grown up and important 😉 Let’s get to it!

So tell me, Allison, what exactly do you do? Your daily tasks? How do you start your day?

I love answering this question!
My official title is “Recruiting Specialist”. I handle all of the hiring, paperwork, and new hire orientations for the company I work for. I’m part of the HR department, so I also do a lot of HR admin/support type work. Mostly just answering employee questions, changing information in the system, that sort of thing.
I always start my day by first going through my emails and getting rid of anything that doesn’t pertain to me. A clean inbox = a happy heart. For me anyway! Then I dive into checking out the applications that have come in over the weekend.

How did you come across this job? What are the necessary qualifications or work experience requires for this job?

I actually sort of just fell into this job. I started as an HR assistant, and then when the department was looking to do some restructuring I was asked if I wanted to take on the recruiting position. It was my first office job and I was really just trying to learn as much as I could about HR and how a company operates in general so I said yes!

For me, there wasn’t exactly any “qualifications” that I needed exactly. As far as looking a work experience…I would probably look for customer service (knowing how to deal with others is the best experience), any kind of HR experience is always a plus, since you are dealing with confidential information at times, and ORGANIZATION. That is my favorite word ever. I cannot stress enough that you need to be organized. Don’t just say it. Be it. Live it. Love it.

What is the career prospect of this job? And what do you see yourself doing in five years down the path?

As far as a career prospect…I’m not sure that I see myself doing recruiting that far down the road. I work for a company that just so happens to have a recruiter. But a lot of recruiters work for staffing agencies, recruiting firms, or career centers. A lot of them have accounts they work for or work off of commission. I just don’t see that being me in the future. I can see myself being more involved with training and development of employees, or even focused more on the onboarding of new employees.

As a recruiter, what are the pros and cons of this work?

Hmmm…let me think about that one!
Pros:
Getting to find an applicant that a manager absolutely loves.
Getting to talk to all kinds of people; funny, strange, quiet, outgoing, smart, sleepy, you name it!
Watching a new employee (that I found and hired) make friends in the workplace and just overall succeed in their position

Cons:
Telling a really great applicant that they haven’t been selected
Telling applicants that repeatedly apply that they still didn’t get the job
Seeing an employee not work out in the position or company

As a recruiter, do you have to have a huge network of friends? Do you need to always go to events?

I do not have a huge network of friends. I’ve got about a handful of friends and none of them are in my industry or share professional interests at all. I have a LinkedIn…does that count? Although, I never even use it. But networking really is a great resource and I definitely encourage it! I’m just not social enough…
For my job, with my company, I have been to one career fair in over a year and it was a total bust. So I don’t go to events because they aren’t really effective for me and the positions I’m looking to fill.
I’d like to go to recruiting conferences one day, just to kind of see what the industry is doing and what tips and tricks I could pick up.

What makes your day at work? What makes you happy at work?

What makes my day is when a manager comes to me and says, “I’m ready to make an offer.” I freaking love that. I always say, “I’m closing positions like it’s my job!” And then my coworkers always say, “It is your job.”
But seriously, when I find the perfect fit and the hiring manager wants to make them part of the team is what makes me happy.
Also, when managers thank me for going above and beyond. You kind of know when you’re doing a good job and when you’re freaking killing it. And it’s awesome when it’s recognized.

Tell me how you do motivate yourself when things don’t go smoothly at work?

Oh man, a feeling all too familiar. Recently, we’ve had some turnover in my department, which made us short staffed, and with all of the end of the year stuff going on, it made everyone spread a little thin. But what keeps me going is just thinking to myself, “If I give up and start crying now, I’ll only have that much more piled on my desk to do tomorrow.” Sometimes it gets a little stressful, but you have to keep going. And remember – IT’S JUST A JOB. Don’t let it kill you.

Please describe what does passion feels to you, mean to you. Do you think having passion in your work is important? Why?

Passion, to me, is not hating life everyday when you get to work. My boss would probably hate to hear me say that because he is all about the “passion” talk. But I actually feel so invested in my job that I’m afraid to miss a day because, well, I’ve got shit to do! Knowing that when I go to work everyday, I have the opportunity to help an employee with their career or experience with the company, or help an applicant progress their career.
It’s definitely important to have passion in your work. We will spend about two-thirds of our lives working, so if you’re miserable, do something about it. Either change what you’re doing, or change where you’re doing it. But make sure you can, at least, tolerate it!

If you can change one thing about how you approach your work, what would it be?

I would just try to be better. I get so caught up in the transactional HR day to day duties, that I never make enough time to do any research on recruiting methods or metrics or do any active recruiting (going and finding the right fit instead of waiting for them to apply).

Describe an incident at work that makes you mad.

When people treat me like their job is more important than mine. We had a receptionist that had to take some unexpected time off, and the HR department supports that position. Well if there is no receptionist, then we have to work together to cover it. Keyword: Together. But they all just look at me like, “Well I have to do this and he has to do that, so can you just take care of it for a little bit?” My job requires me to be on the phone. It’s hard to do that when I’m at the front desk. I know that they really did mean to help, but it’s just hard when it makes you feel not appreciated, or not important enough.

Last but not least, if someone wants to apply for a recruiter, what is your advice to him or her?

My advice would be to just apply! You may not have the exact qualifications someone is looking for, but at some point, there will be that one person that sees something on your resume and says, “I’m going to take a chance on this one and see what they can do.” That’s what happened to me. I was a bartender with a college degree – no office experience whatsoever, and they hired me as an HR assistant. Not a clue about anything…and they gave me a shot, and I kicked ass.

My other advice: Don’t stress about an interview (I know this is pretty much next to impossible) but it’s a conversation. It’s how they get to know you as an applicant, so take a deep breath, and charm them like you would at a dinner party where you don’t know anyone.


 

Enjoy this interview? If you wish to do a similar collaboration with MiddleMe, just shout out at kally@MiddleMe.net.

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26 comments

  1. This is a great interview, and I’ve often wondered goes on in recruiting departments, whether within a company or externally as part of a recruitment agency. Half the jobs I’ve landed here in Australia are through recruitment agencies where the recruiter sets me up with employers for interviews and we take it from there. Rumour has it here that recruiters tend to reap big commissions from setting up applicants with employers. Then again, I suppose it also depends on the kind of job you are after and what the employer is willing to pay.

    Liked by 1 person

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