Recruiter Training Resources

Post by
August 28, 2019

As I look back on my career in talent acquisition I can’t help but think of how little training I received for my primary functions as a recruiter. I did a light HR certification that touched on the do's and don'ts, read some blog post, and sat in on a couple of interviews with another recruiter. But outside of that, I was just learning on the fly.

There’s no one to blame here because this I’ve come to learn is pretty common. If we were to blame anyone it should be recruiters, for not speaking up and asking for more training. But that’s not what recruiters do. They almost thrive in an environment with no budget, minimal resources, and technology that just doesn’t work. So, recruiters have developed what is probably the most important skill as a recruiter, to the ability to wing it…or more gracefully put, the ability to adapt. It’s the same skill that allows them to go from sourcing for a hard-to-fill engineer role to an interview with a sales guy to a back-to-back-to-back-to-back phone screens for a marketing role that doesn’t even have a job description yet. And while the technology is starting to improve, the training recruiters receive is still seems very minimal. This is particularly surprising because most people I’ve met in HR & TA don’t have undergraduate degrees in recruiting, they didn’t attend at 10-week recruiter Bootcamp. They just got a laptop, LinkedIn, and a phone and a list of jobs.

It was over 10 years ago that I started recruiting so I wanted to know how companies are training their recruiters today. But before we get into that I wanted to share a few things I wish I did to make myself a better recruiter.

Free Learning

  1. Learn from other recruiters/interviewers
  2. I didn’t spend enough time with recruiters or people that have been interviewing longer than me. At some point, I felt like I was supposed to be the expert and have all the answers. I think this mindset made me a little unwilling to seek advice. Huge mistake on my part as learning is a continual process and I truly believe you can learn something from everyone.
  3. Search for the right interview questions
  4. I had interviewed a candidate who didn’t get the job, 2 years later they came in for another interview and remembered that I had asked them the same question. It’s a good idea to regularly revisit the questions you’re asking to make sure you are getting the most out of your limited time with each candidate.
  5. Be a better note taker
  6. I’ve always been an avid note-taker because it helps me remember things. That said, Interviews should be a conversation and taking notes can get in the way. That’s why I stopped taking notes during interviews and opted to spend 5 minutes after the interview concluded to type out my notes (my handwriting is terrible).
  7. Record self
  8. I’ve always read my writing out loud, but I never recorded myself speaking until I joined NextWave (if you want to have a good laugh go check out my older videos on our blog). It’s eye-opening to watch your body language, how you phrase sentences or say certain words. Obviously, don’t record an actual interview, but do sit down with a friend or family member or someone you want to learn from, record the conversation, and watch the playback.
  9. Learn more about psychology
  10. By this I mean just learn more about humans. Understanding people and even historical data will give you more context to operate in and ultimately have more compassion and empathy for the candidate experience.
  11. Understand sales & marketing
  12. It’s out in the open now, recruiting is sales, marketing, & customer success all wrapped up in one crazy ride. I always shied away from reading anything about sales because I didn’t want to come across as “salesy”. With all the parallels between sales, marketing, and recruiting you’re bound to learn something that will motivate you, help you become more efficient, or attract more of the right candidates. Side note: I wrote a whole article on why recruiters should take a digital marketing course if you’re interested in understanding those parallels in more detail.

Before You Buy

Now let's jump into the resources that I crowdsourced from a group of HR & TA practitioners on the LinkedIn HR group. Check out the original post here. There are a couple of things you need to consider before investing in any of these platforms. Talking with your recruiters about the areas they feel least confident in is a great place to start. Some full-cycle recruiters might be great at interviewing, but they are relying on job boards to bring candidates which means they might need more training on sourcing candidates. For others, it may be both. You’ll also want to look at your current recruitment strategy and hiring goals to understand where your bottlenecks are. For example, if you have a steady flow of quality applicants but the screening process is holding up interviews then there may be an opportunity to train your recruiters to be more effective on the phone screen. You will also want to take into consideration your budget when it comes to training and development. Some of the resources that were mentioned are platforms or online training classes that can be done outside of business hours, where others are more consultant based and require you to block off several days to train. Which brings me to my last point, you should take into consideration how your recruiters learn. While blocking off training days is inconvenient, it might be more beneficial in the long run if your team won’t retain the information from online video training.

The Resource List

Here is the list in no particular order. Keep in mind, I have never used any of these products or services, they were recommended by people in the HR & TA space.

If you know of any resources that didn’t make this list send me a quick email and I’ll update the posting and add as a resource to our website.