A career in recruiting can be incredibly rewarding and challenging. Each day is always different. And you get to talk to many diverse people about what they do! Keep in mind, a recruiter’s role is not as easy as it seems. How do you become a recruiter?

Foundational Skills to Become a Recruiter

There are few foundational skills you should have to be successful.


You will have to regularly reach out to people. Most of the time the initial contact with potential candidates is through email. However, eventually you will have to talk with people.


Recruiters sell. They sell the company culture and the job to the candidate. They sell the candidate to the hiring manager. And they sell themselves trying to build trust to both the candidate and hiring manager. It does not matter if the recruiter is working within a company or with an agency. They all sell.

Listening Skills

A good recruiter listens and is able to pick up the nuances of what the candidate is saying. Then asks follow up questions.


Being a recruiter means working on several projects or open requisitions at the same time. It is imperative you are able to devote equal time managing each requisition.

Follow Up

Recruiters have to follow up with the candidates, the hiring managers, and anyone else involved in the hiring process. Becoming a recruiter means chasing people to provide status.

Aptitude to Learn Various Topics

In general, most recruiters work on a variety of jobs. They can be talking to an accounting candidate one minute and then an Angular developer the next. In order to have a productive interview and seek out the right candidates, you will need to have a basic idea of the roles you are recruiting. 

Becoming a Recruiter with No Experience

Ok, so you have the above foundational skills to become a recruiter. But how do you become a recruiter with no experience?

Start Working for an Agency

The best way to start is working for a recruiting agency. Recruiting agencies are like bootcamps for recruiters. There you will be able to learn best practices, manage multiple requisitions, and develop incredible selling skills. It will be easier to break into an “in-house” role or direct recruiter if you have the foundational skills from an agency. Truth be told, you will typically make more money as an agency recruiter.

Start as a Talent Sourcer

You might have to start off as a talent sourcer if you have truly no experience. A talent sourcer is a person who searches for ideal candidates that match the open requisitions. They may do initial interviews to gauge the candidate’s level of interest. As a sourcer, you will develop the ability to network with people, search resumes, and read a resume. These are all necessary skills to become a recruiter.  Keep in mind, there are many people who enjoy sourcing and have made a successful career from it.

Repurpose Skills

If you are looking to change careers by becoming a recruiter, you are in luck. Oftentimes recruiting agencies will hire people who have been working in the field they recruit. If you are a Java Developer, you can start with an agency that specializes in developer roles. You will have an added advantage over many of your co-workers because you know what the job requisitions really require. You will also know the questions to ask and if the candidate is the right fit. Most importantly, you have a network of potential candidates and clients from your previous job.

Becoming a Technical Recruiter

Becoming a technical recruiter tends to be a bit more complex than other types of recruiters. Technology is constantly changing. What was the hot programming language today can be old news tomorrow. As a technical recruiter, you have to be on top of technical trends, understand what they do, and mean! If you are changing careers from the technology field, understanding the recruitment side is a bit easier.

No Technical Experience

The best way to break into the technical recruiting role is to take a course in development, Java or C++ being the most foundational languages. If the hardware side is more interesting to you, look to CompTIA training and certification. Taking courses and asking 100’s of questions to your techie friends is the best way to gain an understanding of the technology world. Having a certification of training completion will go a long way when breaking into the industry.


Becoming a recruiter is challenging. Starting out in any new job will have you question your abilities. It is important to remember why you started the career in the first place. Recruiting is fun. You will never be bored because you meet new people every day. It is also rewarding. You are able to help people find their new career opportunity. If you do become a recruiter remember the Golden Rule, treat people the way you want to be treated.