Job descriptions and industry overviews

Recruiter (in house): job description

28 Feb 2024, 15:32

In-house recruiters fill their employer’s vacancies with the best people. Find out more about what this involves, the salary you can expect and the skills and qualifications you’ll need.

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Jump to: What do recruiters do? | Typical salaries | Typical employers | Qualifications required | Key skills

What do recruiters do?

Some large organisations employ in-house recruitment specialists to attract, assess and hire candidates for their vacancies. Depending on the employer, these internal recruiters may oversee the hiring of all positions or they may just focus on hiring particular type of vacancy: for example, early career roles (apprenticeships, internships and graduate jobs).

Similarly, recruiters may be responsible for every aspect of the recruitment process from initial brand awareness and attraction campaigns to ‘onboarding’ successful hires or just a single part of the process (for example, assessing and selecting candidates).

Depending on their seniority, a recruiter’s typical job responsibilities include:

  • overseeing the overall recruitment process, ensuring that it delivers value for money in terms of the cost per hire and achieves set objectives (for example, in reaching diversity targets).
  • developing an appropriate attraction strategy to find the best candidates and encourage them to apply. This could include working on advertising campaigns, deciding where and how to advertise (for example, in the case of early careers, deciding which university campuses to visit) and setting up new attraction initiatives (for example, in the case of early careers, running insight programmes and open days).
  • implementing the attraction strategy, such as attending careers fairs and other recruitment events to promote vacancies, running insight programmes for university students and similar.
  • writing or reviewing job descriptions and job advertisements, based on feedback from line managers.
  • proactively headhunting candidates for hard-to-fill vacancies.
  • designing the best assessment and selection process for the vacancies. This could involve deciding on the job criteria in consultation with line managers, drafting or reviewing interview questions and assessment exercises, or making reasonable adjustments for candidates with disabilities.
  • screening and assessing candidates (typically, recruiters will assess candidates in the early stages of the recruitment process and then assist line managers in the later stages).
  • ensuring that applicants have the best possible ‘candidate experience’ so that they think positively of the employer even if they do not receive a job offer. This involves keeping in regular contact with the candidate and answering their queries.
  • finding and working with third parties and partners to facilitate the recruitment process and find candidates, such as advertising agencies, jobs boards, assessment specialists and technology providers.
  • organising logistics: for example, arranging the transportation of stands to careers fairs, booking rooms for assessment centres, scheduling interviews with candidates and so on.
  • evaluating the effectiveness of attraction and recruitment strategies, using insights from data tools.
  • keeping on top of administration and tracking applicants’ progress throughout the recruitment process.
  • keeping up to date with employment legislation and the latest recruitment trends.

Job titles can vary – you may see jobs for ‘recruiters’ but you may also come across titles such as ‘recruitment coordinator’, ‘resourcing adviser’, ‘talent acquisition specialist’ or ‘early careers recruitment lead’. Job titles featuring the terms ‘administrator’ or ‘coordinator’ are more likely to be entry-level positions.

The recruiter role is very similar to that of recruitment consultant . Sometimes employers outsource their recruitment to a recruitment agency or ‘recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) consultancy’, who in turn employ consultants.

As a recruiter, you will largely work from an office (or split your time between an office and home), but you can also expect a lot of travel to attend careers events and to meet candidates. This could be nationwide or international, depending on your employer. Some evening or weekend work may be required, if these times fit better into candidates’ schedules and you’ll draw a better crowd to recruitment events.

What do in-house recruiters earn?

Salaries vary according to the level of experience required and the job location. According to a recent Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends survey – which collates the salaries of all the vacancies the recruitment agency has filled over the previous 12 months – the typical salaries are:

Commerce and industry

  • Talent/resourcing coordinator: £25,000–£33,000.
  • Talent/resourcing adviser: £30,000–£50,000.
  • Talent/resourcing partner: £45,000–£70,000.
  • Head of talent/resourcing: £55,000–£90,000.

Public sector

  • Talent/resourcing coordinator: £22,000–£33,000.
  • Talent/resourcing adviser: £27,000–£38,000.
  • Talent/resourcing partner: £35,000–£54,000.
  • Head of talent/resourcing: £43,000–£67,000.

In the Hays survey, the highest salaries were available in London and the lowest in Northern Ireland. While these salary figures can give you a flavour of what to expect, bear in mind that these figures are only a snapshot of the vacancies that they have filled.

Salaries for in-house recruiters are often larger than for recruitment consultants because consultants usually have the opportunity to top up a lower base salary with commission or on-target earnings for filling vacancies.

Who employs in-house recruiters?

In-house recruiters typically work for large organisations across the private and public sectors that regularly hire a considerable number of people. These include law firms, banks, technology companies, engineering firms, professional services firms and consultancies, supermarkets and the Civil Service. Look at the large companies advertising graduate schemes on targetjobs and it is likely that they have an in-house recruitment team.

What qualifications do you need to be a recruiter?

Employers place more importance on your soft skills and your potential to learn on the job than they do on your academic achievements: many don’t specify a level of qualification above GCSEs (or equivalent) for entry-level roles, although they do require a good level of literacy and numeracy.

However, as well as applying for individual entry-level roles, graduates can apply for HR graduate schemes, which often include a rotation in recruitment (often called talent acquisition). Once they have completed the programme, graduates can choose to specialise in recruitment. HR graduate programmes often require degree subject related to HR, business, management, psychology or marketing. For school leavers, there are also HR apprenticeships available, most commonly for those who have A levels (or equivalent).

Previous work experience in a sales role, administration, customer service or HR will stand your application in good stead.

What key skills and attributes do recruiters need?

Excellent in-house recruiters are:

  • Target-driven and outcome-focused.
  • Strategic and creative thinkers.
  • Strong communicators and able to build strong relationships with colleagues, third parties and candidates.
  • Able to enthuse and inspire others: for example, when at career events.
  • Proactive when solving problems.
  • Analytical and comfortable interpreting data.
  • Resilient.
  • Organised and detail-focused when it comes to administrative work.

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