What does a Recruiter do?

Inevitability I will hear someone frustrated that they haven’t yet received that coveted job offer and they will say “What does a Recruiter even do?”. Well I’m here to hopefully break it down a bit and give you a peek at what us Recruiters do all day.

As a Recruiter, Talent Acquisition Specialist, or any other fancy name you might be provided while still having recruitment responsibilities, your main focus is to source and locate top talent for your organizations needs. Now in most positions you have customers or someone that you are ultimately ensuring they are happy and taken care of. For Recruiters we have dual customers in a sense, the hiring manager and applicant.

Hiring Manager

It’s the responsibility of the Recruiter to understand exactly what the Hiring Manager is looking for. This can be done in several ways but most commonly it’s a conversation over skills needed vs desired, and a review/update of a job description. A job description serves as a critical piece of information and a resource for a Recruiter to ensure that the applicants they are speaking with and sourcing minimally meet the qualifications needed to be successful in the opportunity and ideally have some of the skills desired. In my personal opinion the communication and relationship between Recruiter and Manager are very important. It’s our job to make sure the Manager is connecting and meeting with people that have the backgrounds and skills they’ve stated are needed for their role. And should there be a breakdown in communication that only increases the time-to-fill and when that happens no one is happy Managers and Applicants alike!


It’s the responsibility of the Recruiter in my humble opinion to be as open and honest about the opportunity to an applicant. Yes, the end game is for us Recruiters to fill the position, but we want to ensure that it’s filled with the RIGHT individual, sometimes it comes down to more than just can the person DO the job over does the person WANT to do the job. For myself, that’s always been my biggest conversation. When an Applicant reaches out, sends there resume and says tell me what I’m qualified to do. (Note: Don’t ever do that to a Recruiter…unless it’s a Staffing Agency Recruiter committed to finding YOU employment…we don’t work for you) When this happens to me personally, I just take a step back and say “you may be qualified to do number of things here and at other employers but what do you WANT to do?”.

Surprisingly enough, there are more applicants that simply cannot answer that question. And for those individuals the last thing I want to do is put them in front of my very busy Managers when they have no clue as to what they actually want to do. So it’s always a good rule of thumb to actually think about what you want to do and apply for those positions ONLY! The recruitment process is exactly what it is a PROCESS so why would you want to go through a process for a position you don’t really want. Yes we all get it, you need a paycheck so that you can pay rent, credit cards, feed the kids, etc…everyone is clear on working translating into being able to handle any financial responsibilities you have. But just because we all have responsibilities doesn’t mean we shouldn’t at least try to apply for positions you want. Sure it might take awhile, and sure you might work somewhere temporarily until your dream job comes along. However, as a Recruiter for the job we are actively recruiting for we are looking for that role to be someones dream job so that we can help to put them in place and have it be a WIN/WIN for all!

Now you know the breakdown of the priorities a Recruiter has and all that it comes with, reviewing hundreds of resumes to sometimes fill 1 position, countless phone calls, emails, and coordinating interviews, refereeing salary negotiations, staying on top of background checks, and sometimes even conducting new employee orientations, all while trying to keep every candidate up to date with the status of the process. Recruiters need to love multitasking and meeting new people, so the next time your cynical on what a Recruiter actually does all day maybe you’ll think back to this little blog and remember that a lot goes into filling a position and just go with the flow with confidence.