Recruiters are an eclectic bunch. I’ve met lawyers turned recruiters, entrepreneurs who've launched agencies, and engineers who loved working with people too much to sit behind a screen all day.
The truth is a lot of people “fall into” recruiting – you can’t major in it in college, there’s no option for a Recruiting Master’s. You get your recruiting education on the job, learning as you go with a bit of guidance from managers and peers. For recruiters to be successful then, it’s critical that both they and their company make a long-term commitment to their learning and development.
Take for example the finding that 75% of recruiters lack confidence in their ability to leverage AI tools to recruit. That means the overwhelming majority of today’s recruiters are missing out on a big opportunity to be smarter and more efficient in their jobs and therefore, losing top candidates to their more data-driven counterparts.
Fortunately there are steps that both individual recruiters and their overall organization can take to build confidence in their technical know-how. If you adopt even one of the practices we’ve compiled below, you’ll put yourself miles ahead of the learning curve:
1. Take advantage of free resources that software partners provide
The great news is most recruiting softwares like your ATS, sourcing tools, and CRM offer training resources, many of which are free or low in cost. Make a list of the tools you spend the most time in and find out if they have a training hub (think Entelo Academy or Linkedin Learning).
In addition to resources for their respective product, these sites often feature content and training around industry best practices. Explore these learning platforms for certifications or lessons. Never pass up the opportunity to share these certifications with your social network, to help other recruiters find resources and show potential employers your dedication to learning.
2. Attend thought leadership webinars/webcasts/classes
We love live trainings! They give you the opportunity to learn from experts while getting questions addressed as soon as they come up. Alternatively, webinars are a great forum for learning and discussion, often covering broader industry focused topics. Done right, webinars provide you with practical advice and insight from thought leaders who have amazing recruiting experience because they’ve been in trenches and really understand what your day to day feels like.
More and more college classes have been popping up as well so check out your local school for courses designed for working professionals. Universities like UC Berkeley and Cornell have great after hours and online options that offer a combination of academic study led by professors and real-life application presented by industry leaders. These are a great option for building fundamentals, but are often much pricier and a larger time commitment than webinars.
I don’t know that there is a more charismatic group of people than recruiters, which makes networking a lot of fun. For those living in larger metropolitan areas, you can find a MeetUp for almost anything – and recruiting is no exception. Software companies often have user meet ups and happy hours, so if one of your favorites are located in the same city as you, be sure to join their events list.
If you work remote or live in a more isolated area, there are many virtual options for you to consider, like joining a slack channel (check out #PeoplePeople) or LinkedIn Group (we like The Undercover Recruiter). Take the opportunity to ask fellow recruiters what webinars they have attended lately and what educational groups they are a part of.
3. Subscribe to blogs, podcasts & news articles:
Make a commit to daily reading (not just the headlines). Start by subscribing to a handful of recruiting blogs and see where you find the most valuable content. Some great places to start include our very own Entelo Blog (you’re here!), Fistful of Talent (a tell-it-like-it-is recruiting blog for recruiters by recruiters), and RecruitingDaily (a hub for all things recruiting, HR, and TA). Finding a go-to podcast is a great way to learn during your commute or while making dinner: here are 12 great options.
As recruiters, it’s important that we also stay up-to-date with current events in our space. If you recruit for engineers, keep up with the technology world through a site such as TechCrunch. Harvard Business Review can be a great place to get news on lots of areas of business such as HR or finance.
Don’t put your professional development on the back burner. Setting attainable goals, being accountable to peers and giving regular updates is the best way to ensure success. Make things manageable by breaking your goals down into weekly, monthly and yearly milestones. Lastly, keep yourself accountable by writing them down, setting calendar reminders, and looping in your colleagues or manager as you progress towards your goals.
Ready to get started? Use the template below to jot down your initial ideas and bring them along to the next 1:1 with your manager to discuss!