What Does an HR Recruiter Do (With Skills and Opportunities)

Updated 28 December 2022

Organisations often seek suitably educated or experienced candidates to fill specific roles. Many businesses hire individuals to short-list suitable candidates, arrange interviews and finalise hiring decisions on a full-time basis. If you have excellent interpersonal skills and want to help others find a job, you may consider a career as an HR recruiter. In this article, we explore what an HR recruiter does, reveal what skills and education can make it easier to pursue this role as a career and outline the roles you could adopt in an organisation.

Related: What Is Human Resources? Guide to Roles and Duties

What does an HR recruiter do?

To answer the question, 'What does an HR recruiter do?', is that they find and recruit suitable candidates to fulfil roles in an organisation. They manage an organisation's staffing needs by tracking changes in the workforce, working with managers to identify gaps and creating and putting recruitment strategies in place. They seek skilled and qualified individuals who are a good fit for the business and could excel in the role in the long term. By overseeing who an organisation hires, HR recruiters help to build an organisation's brand by helping to ensure that the best candidates represent it.

An HR recruiter does much more than source suitable job candidates. They manage the entire recruiting cycle, from finding candidates to replacing them if necessary. This can involve developing and tracking recruiting goals and finding creative and non-traditional ways of attracting talent. They also track and analyse hiring data and HR metrics to help inform future hiring decisions. This can produce information on how long it takes to hire a new person at the average cost per hire. Here are some other tasks an HR recruiter might take on:

  • creating online or social media advertising programs to actively and passively attract candidates

  • attending networking and industry events, job fairs and college placement fairs to source candidates

  • liaising with employment agencies, industry associations and trade groups to source potential candidates

  • screening candidates and resumes

  • conducting initial interviews and performing background checks

  • making hiring recommendations to management based on data and initial candidate communications

  • communicating job offers, employer details and job benefits to candidates

  • handling candidate queries

  • on-boarding new hires and conduct exit interviews with departing ones

  • staying up to date on and helping enforce the latest employment laws

  • handling hiring budgets and related administrative or record keeping responsibilities

Related: Recruitment Process Steps: What Is Involved?

What skills do HR recruiters require?

Being an HR recruiter can combine several skills. As the role involves managing an organisation's entire recruitment responsibilities, organisational skills are essential to keep the process going smoothly and without interruption. As HR recruiters are often the first person from an organisation a person encounters, self-confidence skills can help to present the candidate with a positive reflection of the organisation and its brand. Strong interpersonal skills are useful for helping set candidates at ease in interview settings. They can also help to determine if someone is a good fit for an advertised position.

When reviewing a large candidate pool, HR recruiters often encounter people from different nationalities, religions, cultures and economic backgrounds. Sensitivity is a skill that can ensure each candidate feels they're taking part in an objective hiring process. This can help show that the organisation values diversity and celebrates people's differences. When interviewing candidates, observation skills are useful for determining important details, such as how the candidate interacts with others or how they perform under pressure. This can provide a unique insight into the person that a resume or formal interview might not offer.

Related: Top Organisational Skills for Your Resume and Workplace

Education for HR recruiters

Many qualifications can prepare you for becoming an HR recruiter. As it's a varied role, a single degree may not cover everything you could benefit from knowing. If you have no tertiary qualifications, you could complete a Certificate IV in Human Resources as a foundational course to enter the field, followed by a Diploma of Human Resources Management and then the Advanced Diploma of Human Resource Management. You can also pursue a bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as business, industrial relations, employment law and industrial or organisational psychology.

Many people enter the HR recruitment industry from unrelated areas of expertise. While this can happen, getting a relevant qualification can show your commitment to working in the field. If you've completed an undergraduate degree in a unique area, you could pursue a relevant postgraduate qualification involving business administration or HR management. This can help you if you'd like to apply for a more senior or well-paying position in an organisation. You can also complete a postgraduate qualification or program of learning from the Australian Human Resources Institute.

Where can HR recruiters work?

Many HR recruiters are full-time employees of an organisation and make up part of its HR team. It's common with expanding organisations experiencing constant growth and forming new or bigger departments. An HR recruiter in a large organisation might hire candidates for a specific department or office in a single location. They could also be responsible for centrally managing hires across international offices.

HR recruiters can also work for a staffing or recruitment agency by helping them source candidates for a commission. Many smaller organisations without a dedicated HR department outsource their HR recruiters, as they don't make hiring decisions as often as larger organisations. Some recruiters work alone as head-hunters. Head-hunters find specific individuals who have unique or in demand skills. They can help organisations wanting to hire a specific person for a role by offering them an enticing package. They also help individuals with rare skills secure the best possible offer from a range of companies.

Related: What Is the Role of HR in Finding a Job? (Plus FAQs)

HR recruitment jobs

With an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification in a relevant field, you can pursue many jobs in recruitment. Here are a few examples:

1. Recruitment resourcer

National average salary: $62,057 per year

Primary duties: This entry-level role directly supports a primary recruiter or recruitment consultant. It can involve performing basic information gathering and preparatory tasks. These tasks include gathering candidates' names, creating and maintaining candidate databases and managing general queries from candidates and organisations regarding job advertisements. It can also involve drafting job vacancy descriptions for approval and placing or managing vacancy adverts.

2. Recruitment consultant

National average salary: $75,785 per year

Primary duties: Recruitment consultants help clients find the right candidates for temporary or permanent positions. They source and short-list candidates that could be a good match for specific roles. They often consult with organisations when the need arises to advise them on employment matters. Recruitment consultants can work alone or in generalist or sector specific recruitment agencies. The job can involve travelling to meet clients in different locations or potential candidates applying from another city or town.

Related: What Does a Recruitment Consultant Do? (With Career Path)

3. HR recruitment coordinator

National average salary: $80,672 per year

Primary duties: The recruitment process is often long and complex in many organisations. HR recruitment coordinators help ensure the entire process goes smoothly from start to finish by moving candidates through the hiring process. These professionals help schedule and coordinate interviews across departments. They follow up on extended job offers and help finalise new hires by ensuring they've signed and submitted any necessary documents and contracts. They might manage upcoming hiring processes, such as planning for a temporary hire to cover an employee who's going on maternity leave.

4. Technical recruiter

National average salary: $93,660 per year

Primary duties: When organisations want to hire someone with specialised technical skills, they might consult a technical recruiter. Technical recruiters often have qualifications or prior experience working in the field they recruit. This can include information technology (IT), engineering or accounting. Their familiarity with what the job entails makes them well suited to find suitable candidates for technical positions. Their background knowledge also equips them to short-list candidate via pre-interviews and conduct background checks to verify their claims.

5. Recruitment manager

National average salary: $108,579 per year

Primary duties: Recruitment managers are experienced recruiters who oversee and manage an organisation's or recruitment agency's hiring functions. They often work with clients or an organisation's senior manager to determine their hiring needs and create a recruiting plan to fill open positions. They might supervise recruitment resourcers and consultants and often help select the final candidate for a role.

Related: Careers in Human Resources: Primary Duties and Average Salaries

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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