Starting a Career in Recruiting? 3 Quick Survival Tips to Keep in Mind

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As rewarding as a career in recruiting can be, it is not without its hurdles. Such is the case with anything worth doing: There will always be challenges.

If you’re just starting out – or considering becoming a recruiter – here are three tips to keep in mind to help you face the initial challenges of a career in recruiting without feeling discouraged:

1. Get Serious About Time Management

At the beginning of your recruiting career, you may want to work on a fairly strict schedule. Even if you’re working as an independent recruiter, it can be helpful to structure your days much like they would be structured in a traditional office job. This structure will help you acclimate to your new career, and it will give you some manner of control over what happens in a given day.

As you become more accustomed to life as a recruiter, you can get more flexible with your scheduling – or not. Some people prefer to maintain strictly structured days, while others like to take a looser approach. It’s about what works for you.

Set aside blocks of time each day for the specific activities recruiting requires. Perhaps your day will look something like this:

9 a.m. – 10 a.m.: Researching new clients and job requisitions
10 a.m. – 11 a.m.: Qualifying new job requisitions
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Sourcing candidates
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.: Lunch
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.: Qualifying candidates
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Submitting candidates
3 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Following up with candidates/maintaining candidate relationships
4 p.m. – 5 pm.: Following up with clients/maintaining client relationships

Creating a schedule like this will help you get into the rhythm of recruiting and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

Of course, there will be times when you need to shuffle your schedule. Emergencies happen. Things come up. You need to be responsive to clients and candidates. But you should stick to your schedule whenever you can, at least until recruiting becomes second nature – which it will.

2. Start a Daily De-Stressing Ritual

Recruiting is stressful. There’s no way around it. Once you’ve been in the game for a while, you’ll develop a high tolerance for stress – useful for other areas of your life, too! – but at first, you may struggle with all the client demands, the time pressures, the candidate hesitations, and the other stressors of recruiting life.

This is why you should start a daily de-stressing ritual. At the end of each day, shut your computer off, put the phone away, and take half an hour or so for yourself. Perhaps you can meditate, or do some yoga, or take a run, or unwind with a good book. Maybe some positive affirmations are more you speed. Whatever your go-to de-stressor is, build it into your daily schedule.

Remember: Being a recruiter is supposed to boost the numbers in your bank account, not the numbers on your blood pressure reading.

3. Remember That Failure Is Inevitable – and That’s Okay

Being a great recruiter doesn’t mean making every single placement you set out to make. That’s frankly impossible, because you’re dealing with people – clients and candidates. You can’t control their every thought and move. Some candidates will turn down your clients, no matter how perfect the fit is – and vice versa. Some candidates will tell you off in less-than-polite terms when you reach out. Some clients will be unhappy with seemingly everything you do.

Failure is part of a recruiter’s life – but it’s not the end of the world. In fact, it’s actually a good thing: Failure teaches you resilience, which is the true mark of a great recruiter. Recruiters persist until the job is done; they don’t give up when a placement falls apart at the last second. Keep this in mind, and you’ll build an immunity to recruiting stress in no time.

Looking for a way to break into the recruiting industry? Then check out the Certification Program, an immersive 12-week course that will teach you everything you need to know to become a successful recruiter on the Job Market Platform. Sign up today!

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Matthew Kosinski is the former managing editor of