Three Myths About Recruiters

For some people, recruiting is just bunch of people posting ads on LinkedIn, job boards, and sending job offers through LinkedIn messages and emails, but a large part of recruiter’s job is invisible.

Candidates see the part when we approach them and work with them through the interview process. Managers often see the number of candidates we present and the number of requisitions that we filled.

It is enjoyable to make things visible which are invisible. -Eric Cantona

There are several types of recruiters: sourcer, agency recruiter, corporate recruiter, headhunter etc. But I am going to mention only what the corporate recruiter is doing. Every company is different and recruiters doing different things, but in this article you will find small overview what recruiter is doing. It’s based on my discussion with my other colleagues from my field and based on my job scope over the years.

Three Myths About Recruiters

1.    We use only LinkedIn to find candidates.
2.    Everybody can do that, recruiters are forwarding only CVs.
3.    Recruiters are HR people

What We are Really Doing

Sourcing part

Most people believe that we are just filling job openings based on the reactions and applications from job boards and LinkedIn, and that LinkedIn is our only source these days. But that’s one of the biggest myths in recruitment.

When I am talking about sourcing and recruitment, I always put these two things together. I know that many people in my field are splitting roles on Sourcer and Recruiter. The main focus of a Recruiter does not include actively searching for candidates that is a job of Sourcer, though it can vary from company to company. The lines between them are blurring these days. But I am not going to explain the difference, because I think that being a good Recruiter is made through a combination of being a Recruiter and a Sourcer.

Sourcing is a crucial part of every recruiter’s job. This is because we will find the right people for our open roles during sourcing, but we also need to have good knowledge of the field when we are targeting candidates, as well as good knowledge of Boolean search. But that’s not all.

Sourcing Channels

  • LinkedIn – LinkedIn is an important tool for our job, but it’s not the only tool that we are using. Yes, lots of people are there, but if a candidate gets three job offers per week through LinkedIn, they will stop replying and it’s hard for a recruiter to reach them.
  • Other social media – Social recruiting is now the norm. Everybody is using sites like Twitter and Facebook, as well as others. This is because not only is everybody doing that, but it is an excellent way of communicating for different types of vacancies and approaching different types of candidates. Plus, it’s helping to spread the word about your company and your company brand.
  • Job boards – Some recruiters believe that job boards are death, but if everybody believes that and you are the only one using them, you can find some interesting profiles there. Not everybody is planning to be on the LinkedIn. There are also job boards specialized for your field only. (eg. Job board only for roles from medical field)
  • Special websites – We are looking for the right people everywhere. We are interested in any websites like GitHub, Stack Overflow, Dribble, etc. Our biggest friend here is Boolean search and some Boolean search tools.
  • Cold calls – Even if the candidate is on LinkedIn, that doesn’t mean that they are looking for a job. Sometimes we need to dig on the Internet and find the list of employees with phone numbers. Sometimes we get lucky and we can go through receptionists to get the phone number from them.
  • Candidate referrals – These are the best sources of candidates in every company. Employees are best brand ambassadors and if they are happy, they have the power to persuade their friends. Because who doesn’t want to work for a cool company, right? But to get referrals, you need to speak with people on a day-to-day basis and send referral newsletters to remind your colleagues they can recommend their friends.
  • Vendors / Recruitment agencies – Communication with agencies is also part of our job. Some recruiters hates agencies, and some love them. I believe there is always a place for agencies if they are able to do a good job and find the right people in the reasonable time. Sometimes they have the right candidate for you in their network and without them you can’t reach that person.
  • Meet Ups / Job Fairs / Conferences / Open Houses – Although these are like offline LinkedIn, we need to put in some effort to start networking with people that we met there. Sometimes it’s not easy to approach a new person who is surprised why we start speaking to them. But most recruiters love these meet ups and conferences, as they help us meet some interesting candidates and hear some stories and gossip about other companies.
  • Database – Internal databases (Applicant tracking system) are an often overlooked source of candidates. After a few years, your database is a great source of talents that could fit your current roles. We try to be in contact with candidates, even if we reject the candidates or they reject your offer. These people could be your future employees. Your company is evolving and candidates are evolving, too. If the candidate is not the right fit today, they could be the right fit next year.


  • Applicant Screening – Everything starts with screening of applications and resumes, because we need to determinate if the person meets the minimum requirements for the job we have open so hiring managers don’t have to check every profile. Recruiters make decisions about which profile should move on to the next step in the hiring process. Some candidates hate this part because they believe that recruiters don’t have the right knowledge to evaluate the resume correctly. Sometimes candidates are right, but if we are not sure, we ask our managers for feedback. It’s better to ask than to lose a good candidate.
  • Interviews – We have a lot of them. Not just onsite interviews, but phone screenings, Skype interviews, and video interviews. The interview process is not the same for every organization, but we are often the first people that are going to speak with the candidate and we need to properly represent our company. We can never forget that we have only one opportunity to make a first impression.
  • Interview Planning – It’s part of the interview process and it’s always varies based on the type of the role. We coordinate interviews by reviewing each participant’s schedule and selecting the right date and time when everyone is available and ready to speak with the candidate over the phone, Skype, face-to-face etc. It sounds like an easy job, but sometimes if we need to schedule an interview for a candidate with six people in row through three time zones, it’s really crazy.
  • Feedback / Reminders – We need to constantly remind our hiring team that we need feedback, approval, information, etc about the process. Sometimes it’s not an easy because we would like to fill the position as soon as possible, but our top priority is giving feedback to candidate so they don’t have to wait.

Other Responsibilities

  • Market Research/Data Mining – We are doing a lot of research about competitors, new companies coming on the market, salaries of other companies, benefits, their plans, technologies, products, etc. We do this because if we want to “steal” somebody, we need to have information. Sometimes it sounds like we are doing special spy stuff, but in reality it’s lots of work with data and excel files.
  • Marketing – As recruiters we also need to be marketers in some ways. We need to learn how to attract candidates with our adverts, how to be different from others when we are approaching candidates, etc. Recruitment is evolving every year. What is working this year may not work next year, so we need to continue to learn and improve our skills.
  • Meetings – Dilbert hates them and I am pretty sure that everybody else hates them, but we need them to sync with teams and managers to agree on new plans and strategies. With every new role, we have intake meetings with hiring managers about the ideal candidate for this new role.

Last, but not least.

  • Learning, Learning, Learning – Each year there are new tools and new technologies developed to help recruiters do better sourcing. Part of our job includes testing new tools and methods, as well as trying to brainstorm new things that will help us get ahead of our competitors. And not only our field is developing, but the fields of our companies are evolving. As they evolve, we need to learn about new technologies, processes, etc.

We are doing many things but most of them are invisible.

I know some candidates hate recruiters and blame us if they don’t succeed or if we don’t have the feedback for them. We are the first person from the company that contacts them and we are how they contact the company, so we are who they assign the blame to. However, candidates should remember that the recruiter is often on their side. The recruiter wants to find the right person and hopes that it is you.

The Last Myth

Recruiters are not HR people, we are recruiting professionals. Recruiters do not handle performance issues, we do not coach managers, and we do not take care of exit interviews. Our responsibility is recruitment.

How LinkedIn sees Recruiters.

modern recruiter

The best recruiters I know are humble while they do an amazing job. Yet they are not invisible, because how they work and the results they produce give them visibility. And quite often this job it’s not an eight hour job, but even if you are doing great job and love what you do, it’s necessary to share with your hiring team what you are doing. Don’t be an invisible recruiter!