Timing is everything and this is a GREAT time to learn how to become a virtual recruiter! Why? Just check the job listings under ‘recruiter’ or ‘talent acquisition’. There are thousands of jobs for all kinds of recruiters in our current candidate- driven marketplace. Another reason? The old staffing agency model is slowly dying and being replaced by experienced virtual recruiters working from home. And, more importantly, there is a looming labor shortage being caused by the current generation of retiring Baby Boomers!
Up until the last couple of years, you HAD to work for someone else if you wanted to be in the staffing and recruiting industry! The overhead, franchise fees, office equipment, training, back office systems and memberships just made it too expensive to work on your own.
Recruiting… Staying the Same but Constantly Changing
Recruiting basics remain the same but the ‘recruiter’ job description is always changing. Today’s modern recruiter has basically gone rogue’ and discovered the wonderful world of independent recruiting – working from home — and earning higher commissions than on-site recruiters. Being a recruiter is one of the few jobs that actually lends itself to working remotely (virtually). In fact, recent studies show that virtual recruiters (those working from home) are actually MORE productive than on-site recruiters! Working primarily at home is the main difference between a virtual recruiter and the old staffing on-site recruiter role and, best of all, you will probably earn higher commissions working independently.
So… How Do I Become a Virtual Recruiter?
The most important step is to study the job description and daily habits of an experienced recruiter and determine if you have the skills, commitment and interest to make it as a competent, full-cycle, money-producing recruiter. Though the following requirements of the ‘recruiter’ job description are NOT all inclusive, they will give you a pretty good idea of what your daily tasks will be.
The first set of requirements come from the ‘traditional staffing agency’ recruiter job description and the second list includes qualifications that I would include for all forward-thinking, effective and successful future virtual recruiters:
Traditional Requirements for Recruiters
1. Complete knowledge and control of ‘cradle-to-grave’ placement process (25 or so unique steps) including:
creative sourcing and recruiting
managing the entire interview process
controlling all critical aspects of a successful placement
liaison between your candidate and your hiring company
billing and collecting your fee
2. Meeting educational requirements (4 yr degree a plus) and/or industry specialization and training
3. Acting professionally and ethically at all times
4. Maintaining good time management skills; being self-motivated and results driven
5. Personable with good communication, listening and writing skills
6. Computer/Internet savvy with knowledge of social networking and other passive recruiting techniques
Future Qualifications for Virtual Recruiters
Always stay in learning mode; pay attention to industry/job trends in order to act as a true consultant to your clients
Understand that job board candidates only represent 20% of the possible workforce; most candidates are happily employed and are NOT on the job boards
Understand the baby boomer generation and looming labor shortages
Know your metrics – and how to adjust them for best results
Keep abreast of trends and innovative recruiting techniques to stay competitive in state-of-the-art recruiting practices
Always be involved in training, training, training
Listen twice as much as you speak and know the right questions
Learn to leverage your time and grow your business through outsourcing
BUT… Is It Worth It?
The answer is simple. A contingency fee recruiter can easily earn $50-$120K a year; in-house corporate recruiters with full cycle recruiting skills will earn $60-$95K or more. Contract recruiters make anywhere from $20-$75 per hour — depending on their skills and the industry. Virtual recruiters earn up to 80% of the placement fee* vs the average 20-30% for on-site recruiters. Not only can you earn a very generous income but you will have the luxury of working from home!
The Most Important Element of Your Success
The most important requirement for success in your new virtual recruiting career is… training, TRAINING, TRAINING! It’s like the old paradigm used when starting a new business of ‘location, location, location’. You must find a great training program and a mentor/coach who will help you stay focused in applying your new skills and guiding your career as a recruiter. Your comprehensive training will teach you all of the traditional and future qualifications listed above.
Recruiting is not rocket science! You are not born with recruiter skills – they are all learned. And, the recruiter with the best training and time management skills will WIN every time in this exciting career opportunity of the future.
*Placement fees are paid by the hiring company based on a per cent of the first year’s compensation of the newly hired candidate. Fees range from a flat fee up to 35% of first year’s compensation.