What Every New Recruiter Needs To Know To Survive and Thrive

The recruiting industry is a very unique industry. To be honest, I truly didn’t know much about the recruiting industry in college. I never pictured myself going into the recruiting industry out of college; simply because I wasn’t aware of its existence. Sure I had seen movies and television shows with corporate “headhunters” but I never knew of the agency side of recruiting. I never knew the recruiting industry was a $200 billion global industry. I never knew how vital and valuable a recruiting agency can be for Fortune 15 companies with more than 100,000 global employees and budding startups alike.

So to be blunt, jumping into the recruiting industry for the first time is exciting. Or overwhelming. Or unpredictable. Or rewarding. Or exhilarating.

However, I think there are some basic fundamentals that every first time recruiter should know to not only help him/her to succeed, but to excel. The best recruiters in the industry embrace challenges, thrive when under pressure and have an unwavering drive to succeed.  This list isn’t meant to intimidate or frighten anyone considering a career in the recruiting industry, if it does then you probably weren’t seriously considering becoming a recruiter in the first place.


  1. Be humble. The learning curve for a first time recruiter can be steep…very steep. This can be tough to accept because the best person for a recruiting position should naturally be a very confident person.
  2. Expect failure. As in all jobs and professions, much of your success depends on others. Recruiting is no exception…your success is largely controlled by you; however, external factors often come into play and often times they are out of your control.
  3. Embrace failure. Seems simple as I’m sure you’ve heard this your entire life. But the best recruiters learn from every obstacle they encounter. More experienced recruiters rarely make the same mistake twice and the best recruiters never make the same mistake twice.
  4. Be patient. Many recruiters don’t hit their stride until 6-12 months into the industry. Sure, there are recruiters that catch on much earlier but the majority must adjust to the learning curve. Many of the best recruiters struggled early on but those that embraced the challenges and gave 100% every day ended up becoming industry gurus.
  5. Adapt quickly. You’ll learn something new every hour you’re a recruiter. If you aren’t embracing change, discovering new processes and being creative to fill difficult requirements then you’ll fall behind in a flash. The innovative recruiters are the ones that are finding new avenues and ways to reach candidates so let your entrepreneurial attitude reflect in your daily processes as a recruiter.
  6. Be competitive. To say this industry is competitive is a gross understatement. If you’re not a highly competitive person by nature then I wouldn’t suggest going into recruiting. You need to have the mindset that if you aren’t getting better every single day then a competitor is. If you aren’t on the phone with a great candidate then a competitor is. If you aren’t hitting bonuses and KPI’s then a competitor is. You need to have a burning desire to be the absolute best.
  7. Money talks. If the previous point described you then you’re most likely driven by a desire to also make a good living. The possibilities in recruiting are endless…unlimited compensation, bonuses, incentives, paid vacations (this isn’t a joke…you can truly get paid vacations to Mexico or the Caribbean or wherever) and the list goes on.
  8. Stay motivated. Don’t be content. I bet several of you rolled your eyes when I said “unlimited compensation” on the previous point; I did the same thing when I first heard that as well.  But in all honesty, the only thing that can put a cap on a recruiter’s compensation is being content. Those that come to work every day wanting to be better than the day before are the recruiters making $250,000+.
  9. Work hard. This truly is a position where you’ll get out of it what you put into it. The more work you put in the more successful you will be. Are nights and weekends required for a recruiter? No. Do the best recruiters limit themselves to an 8-5 day? No. This job is about continually pushing yourself…remember, every minute you’re not reaching out to candidates is one more minute that your competition is gaining an edge on you.
  10. Play hard. See what I did there? The great thing about the recruiting industry is you get to work with like-minded people…driven, motivated, competitive, energetic professionals. Enjoy your team, enjoy your work and enjoy the rewards!


About nexus IT group

nexus IT group Was Voted 2013's Best Young Companies to Work For - http://myturnstone.com/best-young-companies-to-work-for/

Those of us that call nexus IT group home know it is an influential and energetic center of motivated individuals with a passion to serve. The recent headlines touting our progressive culture have come as no surprise. We recognize the caliber of business partners, leadership, and industry knowledge that define nexus IT group. We work it and live it every day.

However, a resounding, "I didn't realize that!"echoes through our hallways as newcomers learn more and engage with our culture. And those still on the outside have yet to discover all that we have to offer. 

nexus IT group provides comprehensive technology staff augmentation services in the enterprise, medium, and start-up space.


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