People have different notions of what recruiters do. Most see them as money-driven, ambitious hiring managers that fill up vacant jobs with talented people. This is indeed not far from the truth. Nevertheless, recruiting is not as simple as most people perceive it. Recruiters face several challenges associated with their work, which raises the question, is recruiting hard?

The simple answer to this question is YES. Recruiting is a challenging career that requires purpose-driven, confident, energetic, enthusiastic and resilient individuals. The recruitment process requires strong communication skills, and although it can become easier with experience and time, it remains very challenging.

In this article, we will give insights into the difficulties of recruiting and what it takes to be a successful recruiter. We will also look at the fun side of recruiting and what recruiting entails.

Why is recruiting so tough?

Recruiting is extremely difficult because it involves sourcing candidates that meet companies’ needs. Amidst the increasing talent shortage nowadays, finding the right candidate (screening candidates) can be as difficult as headhunting a suitable candidate who isn’t currently looking for a new job.  There is, therefore, tough competition between hiring managers for talented candidates. 

There are several other reasons why recruiting is so tough, and to understand these reasons better, let us first look at what recruiting entails by understanding the job specs of a recruiter.

What do recruiters do?

In a nutshell, a recruiting firm or a good recruiter identifies and attracts talented candidates on par with an organization or company’s needs. They find top candidates that suit the job specs of a vacant position in whichever company they work for. 

You might think that hiring is pretty simple. However, the reality is very different. Some people believe recruiters just go on websites and screen suitable candidates among many job seekers. This is not completely true. Recruiters go further than that. 

In many cases, hiring managers work proactively to convince the candidate about the benefits of the open position. The best candidates are likely to have multiple options when it comes to a new job, and it is these candidates that need to be shown all the reasons why they should pursue a career at the recruiter’s company.

Furthermore, when there are a lot of potential applicants, it is the recruiter’s job to go through all the possibilities to find the ideal candidates for the role. This means numerous phone calls, CV reviews, and interviews, which can be extremely stressful.

a stressed recuriter
The job of a recruiter is often very stressful

Moreover, potential candidates may fail to turn up for the interviews or even cease communication, which can be very frustrating for the recruiter.

Here are some of the reasons why recruiting is even more difficult than ever in 2022:

  1. It is difficult to screen and find a suitable candidate that meets the company’s demands among many job seekers. Some companies have ridiculous job specs that make searching for a suitable candidate difficult. A recruiter may screen a thousand candidates and not find one with skills that satisfy the employer.
  2. It is difficult to find a suitable candidate if they are already satisfied with their employment. Most executive-level positions require skilled candidates with years of experience. Poaching such candidates from their current employment is not an easy feat, and often requires the expertise of experienced headhunters.
  3. The economic downturn due to the covid-19 and war crisis has made recruiting tougher. Some companies demand more from candidates than they are willing to pay. The recruiter is caught between satisfying the company and the candidates. This is mentally draining and makes recruiting hard. 
  4. Some candidates dislike recruiters. Generally, most people won’t smile when a recruiter comes knocking on their door or phones them. This can make recruiting very hard. It takes someone physically and mentally resilient to attract and recruit a candidate with a negative outlook on recruiters. 
  5. Recruiting is very stressful. Finding top candidates is not always easy. Recruiters invest a lot of time screening candidates and scheduling interviews to pick a top candidate that meets the client’s requirements. 
  6. Only the end result matters. With recruitment, companies and individuals only focus on the end result, not the recruiter’s process. As long as it is within legal bounds, companies that hire recruiters only want the end result and are often unaware of the difficulties associated with the entire process.

The hardest part of recruiting

The hardest part of recruiting is sourcing and securing the right candidate. Experienced recruiters find it easier to identify the right candidates than less experienced ones. However, securing top talent is the greatest challenge for both.

Competition in the recruitment industry is very fierce. Successful recruiters are very competitive when it comes to sourcing top candidates to fill jobs. This puts less experienced recruiters at a disadvantage.

Most often than not, several recruiters will set their eyes on the same candidate. Keeping in mind that only one can succeed, the efforts invested by the others will likely be futile.

This is the most difficult, time-consuming and stressful part of the recruiting process. It is all about whether you can get the right candidates, and the recruiter may pursue several suitable candidates before successfully getting one. 

Is Recruiting a stressful job?

The simple answer to this question is a YES. Recruiting is all about meeting both the client’s and the candidate’s expectations. This by itself is stressful.

The competitive nature of the recruitment industry and the fluctuating economy put a lot of pressure on recruiters. In fields experiencing talent shortages, the competition is even fiercer.

How many hours do recruiters work?

Like most jobs, recruiting firms have standard working hours: from 9am to 5pm. However, the reality is that most recruiters have no fixed working hours, especially those with flexible schedules.

Recruiting is a candidate-driven profession. This means the working hours depend on the availability of the candidate. Recruiters who intend to connect with high-level candidates will likely have to contact them outside of the usual working hours.

recruiter calling candidates
Recruiters need to call potential candidates when they are most likely to be available

Most recruiters also work consistently throughout the day to make themselves available to their clients or potential clients.

Is recruiting a good career path?

All jobs have their pros and cons. Given how different people are, what works for one individual will not work for another. While one person might consider recruiting a bad career path, another may consider it their dream career.

To know whether recruiting is a good career path for you, you should ask questions like, what is the fun side of working in recruitment? Why do many recruiters quit? What does it take to be a successful recruiter? Why do some people love being recruiters?

The answers to these questions will help you understand the positive and negative aspects of recruiting. 

The fun of working in recruitment

Besides being stressful, working in recruitment can be fun. However, what one recruiter considers fun may not be fun for another.

One fun aspect of recruiting is the chase. Recruiting is a career that keeps you on your toes. Recruiters are constantly socializing and meeting people from different walks of life.

Another fun aspect of recruiting is the unpredictability of how their day will turn out. Unlike most office jobs, recruitment is not monotonous. In recruiting, you can’t tell what your day will be like. This saves recruiters from the boredom most office workers face from doing the same mundane tasks every day.

Some recruiters have flexible schedules. They can work as they see fit, as long as they uphold their responsibilities, which can lead to a much more satisfying work-life balance.

Why many recruiters quit

There are several reasons why recruiters end up quitting.

For Growth

Some recruiters do not see possible growth prospects in recruitment. As such, they quit pursuing different career paths that can lead them to their desired job.

For physical and mental wellbeing

The recruiting process is very demanding. Recruiters are constantly trying to fill in vacant jobs with top candidates that are sometimes not very welcoming. Besides that, the recruiting process is mentally and physically exhausting. With time, many recruiters quit when they do not feel the money is worth the stress.

amn working late at night
Many recruiters end up working late into the night

To switch careers

Some recruiters quit switching to jobs where they feel more valuable. Some recruiters find themselves undervalued and assumed to have low educational levels. In order to succeed as a recruiter, it is essential that you are resilient and thick-skinned.

What it takes to be a successful recruiter

Successful recruiters possess certain characteristics that distinguish them from the rest. There are key characteristics one must cultivate to become a successful recruiter. To become a successful recruiter, you should:

  • Cultivate good networking skills by learning how to deal with people.
  • Have a sense of responsibility towards your clients and candidates.
  • Build good relationships with hiring managers.
  • Learn to be resilient.
  • Be honest and put morality before money.

Why do some people love being recruiters?

There are several perks of being a recruiter. Recruitment is very financially rewarding after a few years of employment. 

Besides the money, it is satisfying to help people get employment where their skills can be utilized. Some people love the flexible schedule that comes with being a recruiter, while others love the exciting and socializing nature of the job.

Final thoughts

In a nutshell, a recruiter is a self-motivated and assertive person who sources top candidates to fill job vacancies provided by clients. The job can be quite exciting and certainly not boring, but it can also be physically and mentally exhausting. 

Being a recruiter is not a career path for those who value a steady paycheck with little surprises. Although extremely hard, the recruiting process is financially rewarding with time and can even be fun for the right person.

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