How to get into recruiting (plus salary and skills)

Updated 7 June 2023

Recruitment is a varied sector to work in. Whether you're interested in recruiting right out of finishing your education or you're looking to change careers at a later point in life, understanding what recruiting is and how to get into recruiting is hugely beneficial. When done right, recruiting is a successful career choice that offers a positive outlook for those who undertake it. In this article, we look at how to get into the world of recruitment, what a recruiter is and what the advised skills and expected salary of someone in recruiting are.

Related: 6 stages of an effective recruitment process

How to get into recruiting

If you'd like to learn how to get into recruiting, understanding the required education, experience and skills necessary is very advantageous. Like any career path, having a successful job in recruiting boils down to your knowledge of the industry. Below are some steps on how to get a job in recruiting:

1. Complete your education

The first thing that the majority of prospective recruiters do is to complete their education. One of the advantages of recruitment is that recruiters work in all sectors, so there isn't a specific degree advised for you to undertake. If you don't have a specific degree that you wish to study, a general degree in Marketing helps you hone many crucial and transferrable skills that recruiters use.

2. Gain relevant experience

Once you have completed your degree, the next step into becoming a recruiter is to begin gaining experience that is relevant to the role of a recruiter. There are several ways to do so, such as applying for work experience within a recruitment company or else completing an internship with a recruitment business that outsources its employees to other companies. Gaining experience is important as it boosts the appeal of your CV to potential employers.

​​​Related:​​ ​How to set recruiting targets (Strategies)

3. Connect with recruiters

Alongside gaining experience with a recruitment company, prospective recruiters can look at connecting with other professionals within the industry. This is essential because the world of recruiting largely relies on maintaining connections with other individuals to find the best potential recruitments for a listing. The wider a recruiter's network, the more places they can turn to, to widen their candidate pool.

4. Apply for jobs

Once you have gained adequate experience as a recruiter, your next step is to begin applying for jobs. Recruiter jobs have frequent vacancies as companies of all types regularly require assistance hiring the most suitable candidate for their advertised roles. You may wish to apply for an entry-level recruiter job or, alternatively, if you feel more confident, apply for more advanced roles.

What is a recruiter?

A recruiter is a trained individual who is responsible for finding, interviewing and matching potential candidates for an open job position. Recruiters may specialise in a particular industry, such as hospitality or construction. Alternatively, a recruiter may opt to remain generalised and work with businesses of all sectors to help them source the best talent for their company.

Related: 9 essential recruiter skills for career success

What does a recruiting role entail?

Primarily, the duty of a recruiter is to source and contact potential candidates for a job opening on behalf of the advertising company. Alongside this, a recruiting role may encompass a number of other responsibilities, such as:

  • updating lists of connections

  • extending an existing network

  • liaising with companies and candidates

  • attending job fairs and conferences

What are the requirements of becoming a recruiter?

There are no defined set of requirements to become a recruiter. Instead, it often rests on your personal traits and interpersonal skills, including the ability to communicate effectively and conduct research into candidates in a timely and professional manner. Having previous experience in a field relating to recruiting, such as in a marketing, publicity or communications role, is advisable; but it's not essential and many recruiter companies still take on new employees that do not have this prior experience.

Related: Common recruitment consultant interview questions and answers

The average salary in recruiting

The average salary of a recruiter working full-time hours is £26,633 per year. But the location of a recruiter also impacts their average salary. Below are the top five best paying cities for a recruiter to work in, according to Indeed databases:

  • London: £34,857 per year

  • Birmingham: £26,412 per year

  • Manchester: £25,856 per year

  • Nottingham: £25,693 per year

  • Bristol: £25,511 per year

Related: Tips from a recruiter: how to stand out when changing careers

Important skills of a recruiter

A successful recruiter possesses a number of skills. You gradually refined these skills as you progress through your career. Below are some of the most important skills needed for those in recruiting roles:


First and foremost, a recruiter has good communication. This is in regard to both communicating with clients and communicating with potential candidates. In this instance, good communication spans both verbally and written. Having good communication is essential as it ensures that all involved parties can manage their expectations.


Many times, a recruiter may eye up a particular candidate for a role and focus their resources on that individual, only for circumstances to change. Whether a better candidate appears or the current candidate is no longer interested, situations can change quickly and unpredictably in recruiting. A recruiter has to be able to adapt accordingly.


The art of persuasion is critical for a recruiter. From persuading candidates to apply for a role to persuading companies that one particular candidate is more suitable than another, there are many situations that require a recruiter to persuade. Honing your persuasive skills allows you to make more successful candidate matches.


Being creative is greatly beneficial for a recruiter. This is because recruiting is done in a number of ways and, in a competitive world, the more creative recruiters are the ones who stand out to both candidates and companies. Showing creativity also enables you to stand apart from other individuals if you apply for a recruiting job.


As a recruiter, you are likely to have a number of candidates in mind at any one point. Alongside this, you may be working for a number of companies at once. Because of this, having a great organisational capacity is important for ensuring that you are able to manage all of your workload, increasing your overall productivity and success rate.

Computer literate

Much of recruitment is now done online. As a result of this, being computer literate is essential for the modern recruiter. This includes being aware of how to connect with potential candidates online and how to track the status of candidates' applications using software such as spreadsheets.


When it comes down to the fundamental success of a recruiter, the underlying reason for their success is their enthusiasm for the job openings that they are seeking candidates for. Having enthusiasm also makes the job more enjoyable, which in turn improves overall efficiency. Being enthusiastic attracts future candidates and companies too.

Critical thinking

Being able to think critically about a job opening is integral to sourcing the right candidates. Recruiters look at a job opening objectively, without outside influence or persuasion. In doing so, they are able to match the best candidates to a company, which boosts their overall rate of success.

Attention to detail

To make sure that they match the right candidate to a role, a recruiter requires incredible attention to detail. This includes to both a candidate's profile and the listed job description. In doing so, they can ensure the satisfaction of all involved parties to come to a favourable outcome.

Relationship building

One of the most important skills of recruiters is the ability to build and maintain relationships. Being able to effectively find suitable candidates is a result of communicating with a list of pre-established connections. Building relationships also provides recruiters with a support network if the need for support arises.


Communication between the candidate and the hiring company can take significant amounts of time. As a result of this, a great deal of patience is essential to manage tasks effectively. Having patience allows recruiters to complete tasks, such as setting up job interviews, simply and easily.

S**alary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organisation‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

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