A Word on Becoming a Recruiter

Welcome back, friends! I have a plot twist this week. 

This week I posted a job opening for a recruiter and someone messaged me with a request for advice. I get this a lot. This week, I decided to answer one of my most common request and question:

How do I break into recruiting?

Dear recruiter-curious folks,

Recruiting isn’t a traditional kind of industry. There isn’t a program, certificate, or career pathway into this work. If you ask any recruiter, you’ll find their backgrounds are very diverse. For folks with very little experience in hiring, I’ve found that there are generally two easy ways to get into the industry. 


First way: Start as a Recruiting Coordinator. 

You’ll learn the basics of Recruiting operations, the company, the team, the roles, etc. It usually leads to a promotion into Recruiting.


Second way: Go through an agency. 

Recruiting Agencies are so often willing to train brand new recruiters. Agency recruiting is very different from internal or corporate recruiting, though. I’d highly recommend doing research on agencies before applying or accepting a role. For example::

  • Reach out to recruiters who used to work there and ask about their experience with the agency.
  • During your interview with an agency, ask about training, growth, and career progression. 
  • Metrics! Ask about the expectations they will have of you the first 30, 60, 90 days. What percentage of new hires hit those metrics?
  • Find out the types of roles the agency fills. What industries do they specialize in?


Third BONUS way: Become a Freelance Recruiter.

Not to be biased, but this is my favorite way and what I did for almost 10 years! It’s a great way to get your foot in the door. Start by taking one-off tasks and short-term assignments to get you acquainted with the various parts of recruiting. You’ll add to your experience, build your network, and collect amazing referrals and testimonials.


Shameless plug!

Last year, I created a course to teach entry-level recruiters industry fundamentals and how to land freelance recruiting gigs. 

Beginner’s Guide to Freelance Recruiting 

If you have no experience and are interested in recruiting, this is a great beginner course. This is also great if you’re part of your company’s hiring process in any way and want to learn how to read applications, resumes, and conduct interviews!

via giphy

Depending on your career goals, you can’t go wrong taking any of these avenues. You’ll learn a lot, build a strong candidate and employer network, and become a confident recruiter with time. Next thing you know, you’ll  be posting positions frequently!

We’ll pick back up on our submitted questions next week.

Until next time,




Whether you’re switching industries or you’re an entry-level candidate, there are two ways to get into recruiting, plus my favorite bonus way:

  • First way: Start as a coordinator. 
  • Second way: Go through an agency.
  • Third BONUS way: Become a Freelance Recruiter.

If you have zero experience and are interested in recruiting or hiring at any stage of the process, my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance Recruiting is a thorough introduction and resource to the industry.

Recruiter, Candidates, Hiring Managers: Do you have a recruiting or hiring question you’d like me to answer? Send questions for publication here.

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