How 5 Recruiters Got Their Start
Ever thought about being a recruiter, but not sure how to get started?
Turns out, there's no one route. While some people start right out of college with HR or communications degrees, plenty of others go down different paths altogether—everything from tech to marketing to finance. Then, when they realize that working with and helping people is their favorite part of the job, they find their way into the world of recruiting.
Because, more than a specific skill set, recruiting requires a love and understanding of people. You'll get to know them, help them uncover their career or hiring goals, and match them with great employees or hiring managers.
This week, we sat down with five recruiters to see how they turned their passion for people into a job. Read on to learn more about their career paths, then hop over to The Muse to find a recruiting gig of your own.
Director of People, ZocDoc
Karsten's always been creatively inclined, so he went to school to study theater and writing. But when he graduated, he decided he needed "some life experience," and he moved to Japan for three years to teach English.
But once he was there, something changed: What was most important to him in a career wasn't creativity, it was making an impact on people's lives. So when he returned home, he looked for jobs that let him do just that. When he found a role at ZocDoc that let him help bring great people to a company that's doing great work, he says, "it was a great day."
Former Head of Talent, Foursquare
Morgan studied Computer Science in college and thought she might herself become an engineer. So she moved to Silicon Valley, landed a job at Google, and got involved in recruiting for the company. She's been finding great talent for startups ever since.
And that's been a perfect fit—because while she didn't end up being an engineer, she's always loved being around technical people. As the former Head of Talent at Foursquare, Morgan spent her days talking to engineer candidates about why Foursquare's such a fantastic place to work and brainstorming about how to make the office great. Now, she runs her own Silicon Valley tech talent agency.
Legal Recruitment Manager, Goodwin Procter
As a college student, Susan didn't know what she wanted to do, so she tried several things, including interning at an advertising agency and a securities firm. She ended up landing her first job as an analyst at an investment bank.
And she liked her role, but she wasn't passionate about it—until she got involved in her company's MBA recruiting program. She loved the experience of talking to others about their goals and soon had the opportunity to move into recruiting full-time for a law firm.
Susan's path of having a few different jobs herself is part of what makes her so great at her job now. “You’re talking to people about their careers every day, coaching them,” she explains.
University Relations Recruiter, Dell
Andrea, who helps Dell’s Finance business unit find great people, has always worked in recruiting. She studied communications and interpersonal communications in college, and "the people piece" of her education was really what brought her to a career in HR and recruiting.
But she wasn't always in finance recruiting. She actually started in healthcare, first hiring physicians at a hospital and then working for a healthcare vendor. She came to Dell via professional contacts and networking—a great lesson for anyone who wants to break into the field. "Every job I've ever gotten has been through great networking."
Leslie launched her career in Amazon.com’s Sales Department, and she quickly discovered that she really enjoyed building strong, talented teams of people. She wasn't necessarily looking for a new job, but stumbled onto imo while browsing through her Kindle Fire—and was instantly hooked.
So she decided to take a leap of faith: She transitioned from a big company to a small startup to take on a new role at imo, and the risk paid off. Now, Leslie is passionate about her job recruiting employees, interns, and college students and bringing them on board to a company she loves.
Hear from Leslie
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