Many recruiters face the choice between corporate recruiting and a recruiting firm at some point in their careers. While they both share some similarities, they each have their unique differences that could make one a better fit for you. Your decision might change over the years as your needs evolve, but it’s important to keep an open mind about both potential career paths.
This is especially true if you do eventually plan on rising through the ranks as a corporate recruiter. “Many of our clients want to see candidates with a mix of in-house and recruiting firm experience,” says Samantha Wilkes, an HR Business Partner within our Corporate Human Resources division. “These different perspectives give you the ideal experience for most corporate recruiting roles. However, not everyone has—or is aware—of this. This puts those who do at a competitive advantage.”
Working for a recruiting firm can teach you a lot about recruiting. Here are 4 valuable lessons that can serve you throughout your career:
Recruiters need to move fast. Often working on a high volume of roles, they are constantly sourcing, screening, and submitting candidates to ensure they can fill requisitions as they come in. “Having your compensation tied to the number of roles you fill teaches you a level of hustle that you will not get anywhere else,” says Samantha. “This is a quality that is very attractive to HR departments when hiring internally. Many companies know they need to speed up their hiring process to secure top talent, and are turning to recruiting firms to assist.”
The most successful recruiters understand the value of relationship building. Balancing the needs of clients and candidates, generating excitement around roles, and finding the right fit requires more than one simple email or phone call. Knowing that a candidate’s or client’s experience will determine if they choose to work with the firm again, recruiters must be able to provide a high level of customer service. This will give you the experience needed to make a successful transition to in-house recruiting—especially in a candidate-driven market where top applicants are looking for a personalized experience when job searching.
Recruiters from recruiting firms know they need to fill the requisition in order to close the deal and increase their profit. As a result, they have to be out-of-the-box thinkers when it comes to a particularly challenging staffing or recruitment project. “These problem-solving skills also lend well to a corporate recruiting environment,” explains Samantha. “A proven track record of success at a recruitment firm speaks to a strong motivation to fill roles and a desire for continuous learning. This sense of proactivity helps prove that you will not stick to standard processes when it comes to hard to fill needs.”
When working for a recruiting firm you encounter candidates and clients with widely varying personalities. Not only will this teach you how to read the emotions of others, but also about the way you handle challenging situations and communicate with others. Known as emotional intelligence, this is a skill that is in high demand for in-house recruiters—especially in today’s market where cultural fit is so important.
“The best recruiters can make a match not just on skillset, but also on personality fit,” says Samantha. “Since culture is built around personality, emotional intelligence is key to finding the right fit.” It also helps streamline the hiring process. Once you understand the personality of a company and/or the team, it will become much easier to source candidates.
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