What Does a Recruiter Do?

February 27, 2024 in

Recruiters play a significant role in the workforce and employment landscape. A recruiter's job description encompasses a wide range of duties and responsibilities aimed at identifying and securing top talent for the organization. But, what does a recruiter do exactly?

This guide will introduce you to the common responsibilities of being a recruiter. It will also offer an overview of the most important recruiter skills and discuss the challenges that most recruiters face in their work.

What Does a Recruiter Do?

Identifying talent needs

The journey of a recruiter begins with understanding the talent needs of an organization. This involves close communication with hiring managers to analyze job descriptions and requirements. This is a critical step in recruitment, as aligning recruitment efforts with the company's preferences is the ultimate goal.

Recruiters remain in constant communication with a company's hiring department. This allows them to ensure that the recruiting timeline moves at a pace that aligns with company needs. Better said, recruiters should know if the company needs an urgent hire or if the timeline is flexible.

Identifying talent needs
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Sourcing candidates

A key aspect of recruiter job duties involves sourcing candidates through various channels such as job boards, social media, networking events, and more. Recruiters usually employ both passive and active candidate sourcing strategies.

Active sourcing strategies are used to reach candidates engaged in the job market and looking for open positions. On the other hand, passive sourcing targets qualified candidates who may not be actively seeking new opportunities but possess the skills and experience needed.

Screening and evaluating candidates

Once potential candidates are identified, the next step is screening and evaluating them to ensure a good fit. This includes resume reviews, conducting phone screenings, and initial interviews to assess candidates' skills, experience, and suitability for the role.

For example, during a screening call, an insurance specialist recruiter will likely question candidates about their technical knowledge to identify if they are adequate for the role. Recruiters usually perform such short calls to ensure that only candidates who make a good fit make it to the interview stage.

Coordinating interviews

Recruiters play a vital role in scheduling interviews between candidates and hiring managers, ensuring that all parties have the necessary information. This step is crucial in facilitating a smooth interviewing process.

However, a recruiter may also have a supportive role. For instance, the recruiter may inform candidates about what a company expects from their employees or offer a better understanding of the role in question. This ensures that candidates are more aware of the set expectations and may help them perform better during the interview stage.

Facilitating the hiring process

Recruiters are also tasked with negotiating on the company’s behalf. Better said, once a suitable candidate has been identified for the position, the recruiter contacts the candidate with an offer. At this stage, the recruiter manages several aspects related to the job offer, such as benefits and salary discussions.

To fill in a job vacancy, a recruiter must achieve balance. This means that both the company and the candidate’s needs should be satisfied to reach a final agreement.

The Skills Required

Communication skills

Clear and effective communication is essential for liaising between candidates, hiring managers, and other stakeholders. This is why every recruiter should master the art of conveying clear messages.

For instance, a recruiter who can communicate effectively will easily help applicants understand what a given position calls for. On the other hand, a recruiter must also communicate with managers to understand what they are looking for in an employee.

Communication is a soft skill that recruiters must nurture. To improve and support this skill, recruiters often rely on practices such as active listening and nonverbal communication.

Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: djrandc

Relationship-building abilities

Building and maintaining relationships is key to sourcing and engaging with potential candidates. One of the biggest misconceptions related to recruiting is that a recruiter should only reach out when they need something.

While at its essence, recruiting entails sourcing out candidates and reaching out, maintaining regular communication with clients and potential candidates is just as important.

To build a relationship with a candidate, the recruiter must show genuine interest in the candidate's abilities and goals. Ultimately, if one role is not a good fit, another one might be. Some practices that can help recruiters build relationships include responding promptly, sharing feedback, expressing gratitude, and maintaining professionalism throughout.

Time management and organization

It's no secret that recruiters must juggle multiple tasks and priorities. Working as a recruiter means that you will regularly have a lot of applicant documentation sent your way.

Reviewing important documents and organizing them accordingly is key to a recruiter's work. This calls for superb organizational skills and an efficient time management system to ensure all documents are handled promptly.

However, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to organizing documents and managing a busy schedule; every recruiter approaches this process differently. The best option is to find an organizational system that works for you.

Problem-solving skills

Addressing challenges and finding creative solutions is vital in overcoming obstacles throughout the recruitment process. Problem-solving skills encompass a wider skill set and traits that help recruiters excel at their duties.

While recruiters are expected to have a solution-oriented mindset, they must also exhibit traits such as emotional intelligence and being highly observant. Having such traits at their disposal means that a recruiter can quickly identify positive and negative traits and systematically implement them during the decision-making process.

Being a good problem-solver means that a recruiter is dependable, which is what both companies and candidates seek.

Challenges Faced by Recruiters

Recruiting revolves around people, and people may often be unpredictable. This itself presents one of the biggest challenges in recruiting. Below, you can find a more detailed introspection of recruiters' most common challenges.

High competition for talent

While the talent pool has been drastically expanding in recent years, the competition for hiring the best of the best is tough. With increased remote opportunities, many employees choose to switch careers or are confident they may find work elsewhere.

Many workers choose to leave the workforce entirely or opt for non-traditional jobs. Factors such as these cause a spike in the talent competition, making recruiter's work more difficult and demanding.

Additionally, the majority of companies are looking for employees with experience and a good understanding of the niche they are operating in. This means that companies are most likely to compete for the top candidates out there. Consequently, this may put extra pressure on recruiters.

Limited resources and budget constraints

One of the most common challenges that recruiters face is hiring on a limited budget. While hiring might be easy for established enterprises, smaller or mid-sized companies often struggle with recruiting.

The hiring budget is usually determined by the overall company budget. Often, when business owners look into their budget, they find that other costs must be cut in order to set forward a hiring process.

Since many companies cannot handle the financial strains of hiring, recruiters are left to operate with limited resources. So, what does a recruiter do when budget constraints are in the way?

The best way to lower the recruiting expenses is for the recruiter to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible. Recruiters may plan and strategize with the available budget to better understand the monetary constraints involved.

Navigating biases and discrimination in the hiring process

Companies must comply with certain regulations and ensure fairness and equal opportunities for qualified candidates during the hiring process. While this is a legal obligation, unconscious biases can often get in the way. Many recruiters struggle to bring diversity within a team due to the interference of certain stereotypes.

To minimize discrimination within the hiring process, recruiters utilize a structured interview. Each candidate receives the same questions and activities, and the final decision is made based on the gathered data.

Navigating biases and discrimination in the hiring process
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Andrey_Popov


This deep exploration of what does a recruiter do reveals that the recruiter's role is multifaceted, encompassing a wide range of duties. The duties and responsibilities involved aim to bridge the gap between talent and opportunity. Recruiters play a crucial role in the staffing and human resources landscape.

They source and evaluate candidates to determine which of them will make it to the interview phase. These professionals have expertise in talent acquisition and job placements, making them an indispensable part of every organization looking to secure the best talent. While the workforce continues to evolve, the role of a recruiter will undoubtedly remain central to the success of companies across industries.

About the Author

Samantha is the Recruitment Marketing Manager for Afni and brings a wealth of knowledge and tips for job seekers. She holds a bachelor's degree in public relations and marketing from Mount Saint Vincent University as well as a masters degree in digital marketing and advertising from Liberty University.