A recruiter can work as part of the Human Resources (HR) team for a business, or they can work as part of a recruitment agency. Some recruiters are independent contractors that work with different companies to solve short-term recruitment problems and set up new processes to ensure excellent hires.
A recruiter is responsible for finding the right applicants to fill a vacant job position, using different sourcing techniques. The recruiter might create the job posting, read CVs and application forms, administer screening tests, and complete interviews. They are also responsible for ensuring that the recruitment process is effective and efficient.
For a business, finding the right recruiter can reduce the time and money spent on hiring for other roles in the company. Poor hires can be an expensive mistake, and the right recruiter will be able to streamline processes and ensure that the right people are put forward for roles, according to their skills, education, experience and abilities.
In this article, we will take a deep dive into the different tasks that a recruiter will need to perform on a daily basis. We will also discuss the different skills and abilities that a successful recruiter needs, and look at how you can test these skills and abilities to ensure that the candidates who have applied are properly qualified.
What should a recruiter be able to do?
A recruiter is directly responsible for ensuring that the right employees are hired into the right positions at the right time.
To start the recruitment process, the recruiter needs to construct an informative and attractive job posting, which means understanding the duties and responsibilities of the role, as well as the type of applicant that would be most suitable in terms of education, experience and skills.
The recruiter has to use different sources to find applicants, from job fairs to online job boards, and make use of any internal candidate database that might be available.
When potential candidates apply, the recruiter needs to read and analyze their CVs or application forms, looking for basic criteria like qualifications or experience to reduce the applicant pile.
The recruiter will administer any required skill, aptitude, or psychological testing to further screen the applicants before inviting them for an interview.
The recruiter might interview candidates alongside other members of the HR team or management from the department that is hiring.
Once the recruitment process is complete and a new hire is selected, the recruiter might be the person in charge of orientation, and will create and maintain all employee records relating to their new position.
As part of the recruitment role, a successful recruiter needs to be able to read, understand, and analyze data relating to the process. They need to know that the strategies they are using are effective and fair, and be able to advise management of any changes that are needed to reduce costs and time. The recruiter might work with HR to ensure that the right recruitment strategies are in place, and that consideration is made for retention so that turnover of staff is reduced.
Skills to look for in a recruiter
A recruiter who has experience in the role will have developed certain skills, especially with technology elements like specific recruitment software and databases. However, there are other skills that a successful recruiter needs that you should look out for when hiring, and these include:
Active listening: interviewing is a skill that takes time to develop, and a critical part of the interview is the ability to listen to what the applicant is actually saying. As a skill, active listening is really important.
Reading comprehension: a CV has a lot of information in it, and for a recruiter having the skill of being able to read and comprehend all the details is important. They need to be able to pick out what is relevant.
Critical thinking and decision making: with all the information about a candidate available to them, the recruiter needs to be able to think critically to make the right decision about whether hiring the applicant is the right decision.
Service orientation and social perceptiveness: for the recruiter, being service oriented and able to understand social cues helps them to be more effective. The recruiter should be skilled enough to deal with different people from different social backgrounds.
Coordination and time management: running a recruitment campaign needs good coordination and time management skills, so the candidate should have excellent skills in managing their time and coordinating the actions of other people like applicants and managers.
Useful abilities for a recruiter
There are some abilities that a successful recruiter needs, and these are not always simple to assess when checking a CV or application form, or even in an interview. These abilities are not usually something that a candidate can demonstrate through education or qualification. Some of these abilities include:
Oral expression and comprehension: a successful recruiter needs to be able to speak well enough to be understood, and also be able to understand the speech of others.
Written comprehension and expression: in the same way, the recruiter needs to be able to write well enough to be understood and comprehend written content as well. They will need to create reports and read things like test results, CVs and application forms.
Deductive and inductive reasoning: a recruiter needs to have the ability to think logically to make good decisions, and both deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning abilities help here.
Information ordering: much of the role of a recruiter is about gathering information to use for decision making, and for this to be effective and efficient it needs to be in a relevant order.
Problem sensitivity: being sensitive to the possibility of a problem helps a recruiter to make the right decisions when they need to, and while they might not be able to solve the issue, sensitivity can make the difference.
Which soft skills tests could I use to hire a recruiter?
Soft skills are often difficult to gauge, yet they are often regarded as the best indicators of success in any role - and this is also true when hiring a recruiter.
To fully assess the level of soft skills that a candidate has, it makes sense to use a test - this will then provide unbiased and quantifiable data that can be used to choose the right candidates. Some of the soft skill tests that you could use when hiring a recruiter include:
Communication: communication at every level, from management to a potential recruit, is really important for a successful recruiter, and the communication assessment allows the candidate to demonstrate how adept they are at communicating at different levels.
Leadership: taking the lead in conversation and in interviews, the recruiter should be able to help applicants through the process and negotiate where necessary. In the leadership assessment, the candidate is put into different situations where leadership skills are needed to solve a problem.
Teamwork: recruiters work as part of a team, with each other and with other members of the HR department. The teamwork assessment is designed to show that a candidate can use teamwork skills to solve a work-related issue.
Adaptability: the hiring process can be fluid and fast-moving, and the best recruiters are adaptable enough to get things done despite changes. The adaptability assessment allows the candidate to demonstrate that they can focus on their own priorities and respond to a fast-paced environment.
Decision making: recruiters need to be able to make considered and reasoned decisions about the right person to hire for a role, and this comes from the soft skill of decision-making. The decision-making assessment places candidates in work-related scenarios that need solving with good decision-making skills.
Which technical or aptitude tests could I use to hire a recruiter?
Aptitudes are inherent abilities, and while a recruitment team might be able to ask the right questions in an interview situation to properly gauge the level of skill a candidate has in a specific aptitude, using pre-employment screening tests are a faster way to assess multiple applicants at the same time.
When hiring a recruiter, some of the aptitude tests that would be useful to use in the hiring process include:
Verbal reasoning: reading comprehension and reaching reasoned decisions are assessed in this test, and the candidate can show that they are capable of reading often complicated documents and picking out the important information.
Numerical reasoning: as part of the role, the recruiter will have to deal with statistics and data, often analyzing trends and working out things like costs. In this assessment, the candidate will have to perform simple calculations on tables and graphs.
Logical reasoning: in the logical reasoning assessment, a candidate needs to be able to identify patterns to find the right answer. Logical thinking is an aptitude that helps a recruiter make better decisions.
Situational judgement: thinking quickly and adapting to different situations makes a candidate for a recruitment position more desirable, and the situational judgement assessment puts applicants into various work-related scenarios so that they can demonstrate how they would react.
Error checking: with so much data and information to go through, a good eye for detail saves the recruiter a lot of time - and the error-checking assessment allows them to demonstrate that they can quickly spot differences between seemingly identical pieces of information.
Our recommended test battery for a recruiter
Although administering pre-employment screening tests is an efficient way to assess multiple candidates at the same time, using all the tests mentioned above would be time-consuming for the recruitment team and daunting for the applicants.
Below is our suggested test battery for best results when hiring a recruiter, so your team can focus on the skills and abilities that are most important:
Communication: the candidate is presented with a number of scenario-based questions, and they need to decide on the best course of action to take to solve the presented problem. The answers are multiple-choice, and the way the candidate chooses to deal with the issue will show the recruitment team how the candidate prefers to communicate and how skillful they are.
Verbal reasoning: one of the most time-consuming parts of the recruitment process is reading application forms and CVs, and the verbal reasoning assessment will allow the candidate to demonstrate that they can quickly read, understand and analyze unfamiliar information to pick out what is important. The assessment is presented as passages of information with a question that follows, and there are multiple-choice options for the answer. The candidate needs to find the answers in the presented text.
Decision making: in this assessment, the candidate is put into several different realistic work-related scenarios, each with several different possible courses of action to take. The candidate must make a decision on the best way to solve the problem.
For a more complete and holistic measurement of the skills that a recruiter needs (and the wider skill set of the HR department), we have devised a job knowledge test that looks at the different facets of success, from skills and abilities to personality and psychology.