Becoming a Recruitment Specialist: Job Description & Salary Info

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What are the pros and cons of a recruitment specialist career? Read on to see real job descriptions, salary info and career prospects to help you decide if becoming a recruitment specialist is the right career choice for you.
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Pros and Cons of a Recruitment Specialist Career

Within the human resources department, recruitment specialists locate and interview potential employees for a company. Check out these pros and cons to see if becoming a recruitment specialist is right for you:

Pros of a Recruitment Specialist Career
Above-average salary*
Average growth field (8% increase 2012-2022)*
Some recruitment positions require only a high school diploma*
Can work in nearly any industry*

Cons of a Recruitment Specialist Career
Extensive travel to meet potential recruits at job fairs and colleges*
Some employers may require certification*
Need to control stress and emotions in daily work**
Advancements in technology increasingly performing recruitment tasks*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Occupational Information Network.

Essential Career Info

Job Description

Recruitment specialists are members of human resources teams that search for and interview candidates for employment at a company. Some companies have their own human resources departments, while others outsource these tasks to consulting firms. As a recruitment specialist, you may travel quite a bit, running booths at job fairs and meeting with students. You may also write and post job openings on Internet job sites and handle the applications from these sources. Because many different types of companies require human resources services, you could work in almost any industry in almost any part of the country.

Skills

The nature of human resources is dealing with people, so you need to have excellent interpersonal skills to work as a recruitment specialist. You should also have good decision-making and critical-thinking skills. Because some recruiting is increasingly done online, you need experience with computers and knowledge about Internet technology.

Salary Info and Career Prospects

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in May 2013 that human resources specialists made a median annual wage of about $57,000 (www.bls.gov). The BLS projected an employment increase of 8% in the decade from 2012-2022 for this group, which is as fast as the average for all occupations. The employment services industry will see an increase in employment of human resources specialists as growing organizations outsource more recruitment tasks to staffing firms. The BLS notes that despite this growth, some human resources tasks may become more automated through advancements in human resources technology. Recruiters may travel less as companies increasingly use online job sites and company websites for hiring purposes.

Education Requirements

Although you may be able to find some recruiting jobs after earning your high school diploma, most human resources specialists have a bachelor's degree. You could major in business, human resources management or communications. The curriculum for human resources management programs typically includes coursework in organizational behavior, employment law, leadership, information systems and staffing organizations. Additionally, the general education classes that you are required to take to earn a bachelor's degree may sharpen your critical-thinking skills and expand your knowledge to help you in the interdisciplinary field of human resources.

What Employers Are Looking For

While some job postings for recruitment specialists mention that a bachelor's degree is required, others require only a high school diploma or some college. Most postings point out that the candidate should have excellent customer service and communication skills. Read these summaries of job postings open in May 2012 to get an idea of what some employers are looking for:

  • A healthcare staffing organization in Texas was looking to hire a recruitment specialist with a bachelor's degree and preferably some experience in recruiting or sales. This position required little or no travel.
  • A customer service firm in Florida was searching for a recruitment specialist with at least a high school diploma and previous recruiting experience. The position involves not only recruiting but also other human resources tasks, such as employee retention initiatives.
  • An engineering laboratory in Washington was looking for a recruitment specialist with a bachelor's degree in human resources, two years of experience and professional certification.

How to Stand Out in the Field

Though employers don't require human resources professionals to be licensed or certified, some employers may prefer to hire candidates with certifications that demonstrate knowledge and experience in the field. The Human Resources Certification Institute offers various designations in the field, including the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification. In order to be eligible to take the PHR exam, you must have completed one of the following education and experience combinations: a master's degree and one year of experience, a bachelor's degree and two years of experience or less than a bachelor's degree and four years of experience.

Because experience is an important part of human resources, you may want to participate in an internship during your undergraduate studies. Your school may be able to set you up with a local company's human resources department. If there are no internships available to you, getting a part-time job that is focused on customer service may also improve your interpersonal skills.

Other Careers to Consider

If you think you'd like to work in human resources, but recruiting doesn't seem suited to your talents, consider a career as a compensation and benefits manager. Compensation and benefits managers are responsible for the payment, retirement plans and insurance plans of a company's employees. Many compensation and benefits managers have bachelor's degrees, though some companies may prefer to hire managers with master's degrees. The BLS reported in May 2011 that compensation and benefits managers made a median annual salary of about $92,000, although employment for this group is projected to increase by 3% from 2010 to 2020, which is slower than average.

If you are organized and detail-oriented and want to start work after high school, look into a career as an administrative services manager. Employed in a variety of industries, administrative services managers oversee and coordinate many operations within a company, including supervising personnel, keeping records, ordering supplies, planning budgets and ensuring compliance. Though some administrative services managers have a bachelor's degree, you don't need a postsecondary education to get started. The BLS reported in May 2011 that administrative services managers made a median annual salary of about $80,000. Employment for this group is projected to increase by 15% in the decade from 2010-2020, which is about as fast as average.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master - Human Resource Management
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      • MS - Organizational Leadership
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      • BS - Human Resource Management
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    Certificate
      • Graduate Certificate - Human Resource Management
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Baker College Online

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Business Administration - DBA (Doctorate)
    Master's
      • Human Resource Management - MBA
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      • Human Resource Management - Bachelor
    Associate's
      • Business Administration - Associate
  • Online Programs Available
    3. George Mason University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA Dual Concentration: HR & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA Dual Concentration: BS Mgmt. & HR
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      • MBA
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Accounting and Human Resources
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Business Mgmt & Project Mgmt.
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      • B.S. - Business Management: Human Resource Development Concentration
      • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
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      • Associate of Science - Business Management
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  • Online Programs Available
    5. American University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Human Resource Analytics and Management
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Northcentral University

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    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Human Resources Management
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      • MBA - Human Resources Management
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    Certificate
      • Education Specialist - Organizational Leadership
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA: Human Resources
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      • BSBA in Human Resources
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      • AASBA in Business
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  • Online Programs Available
    8. Saint Joseph's University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS in Strategic Human Resource Management
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  • Online Programs Available
    9. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Government Analytics
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration - Management (Spanish)
    Associate's
      • Associate of Arts - Accounting

Featured Schools

Colorado State University Global

  • Master - Human Resource Management
  • BS - Human Resource Management
  • Graduate Certificate - Human Resource Management

What is your highest level of education?

Baker College Online

  • Business Administration - DBA (Doctorate)
  • Human Resource Management - MBA
  • Human Resource Management - Bachelor
  • Business Administration - Associate

What is your highest level of education?

George Mason University

  • Master of Business Administration

What is your highest level of education?

Herzing University

  • MBA Dual Concentration: HR & Project Mgmt.
  • B.S. - Business Management: Human Resource Development Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Business Management

What is your highest level of education?

American University

  • Master of Science in Human Resource Analytics and Management

What is your highest level of education?

Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - Human Resources Management
  • MBA - Human Resources Management
  • Education Specialist - Organizational Leadership

What is your highest level of education?

Kaplan University

  • MBA: Human Resources
  • BSBA in Human Resources
  • AASBA in Business

Which subject are you interested in?

Saint Joseph's University

  • MS in Strategic Human Resource Management
  • MS in Organizational Development and Leadership

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