Hard-to-find Recruiting Skills

Boston vs CACurrently there are 6,890 recruiter jobs posted online and about 3,246 employers filling these openings throughout the U.S. This number reflects all job listings that specifically use the terms recruiter or recruiting in the job title. Some of the recruiters reading this article will be looking for a job or filling a recruiting opening in 2015.

With this in mind, we researched which of the most in-demand recruiting skills, with at least 50 job ads or more, are likely to be hard to find. For recruiters, we’ll offer suggestions for what you can do to find talent.

Recruiters are already hard to fill without requiring specific in-demand skills sets. Recruiters score a 75 on the WANTED Analytics Hiring Scale. The Hiring Scale considers multiple factors, including demand, supply, unemployment rates, job, skill, and more, to calculate a score ranging from 1 to 99, with 99 indicating hardest-to-recruit.

In addition to understanding skills related to recruiting, like applicant tracking software, the most commonly advertised recruiting skill, employers are requiring recruiters to be specialized in the fields they’ll be recruiting. We noticed this to be the case for occupational categories that are considered difficult to fill. Of the most in-demand recruiting skills, technical skills score the highest, meaning they’re the most difficult ability to find. Software-as-a-service scores an 82. Technical recruiting, Java, and User Experience were close behind, scoring a 79. Investment banking was another specialization listed below that employers need recruiters to understand.

Do you have these skills? Have you listed them on your LinkedIn profile and in your resume so that other recruiters can find you?

Are you sourcing for recruiting candidates with these skills? Hiring Scale scores and recruiting difficultly will vary depending on your local market. However, for some of the technical skills listed below, hiring conditions will remain challenging throughout the U.S. Recruiters with SaaS experience are hard to fill in most metro areas where these jobs are in-demand. The Hiring Scale score is lowest in the Boston metro area; however, with a score of 81, finding candidates is still likely to be challenging.

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Since you’ll likely experience difficulties finding candidates across the U.S., you may want to consider training internal recruiters in skill areas that are hard-to-find. Provide candidates or employees with opportunities to learn Java, software development, SaaS systems, and other hard-to-find skills. If you don’t already have training opportunities in place, reach out to local colleges and universities or online schools to set up programs.

On the other hand, if you have these skills, there are companies looking to hire you. Employers are competing heavily for candidates with your knowledge, so make sure your resume and online career profiles include these terms.

Do you have these skills or are you looking for them? How are you finding conditions in your market?

recruiting skills

Some of the Related Conference Sessions at the ERE Recruiting Conference in San Diego:

  • Increasing Your Talent GPA, Wednesday, April 29, 2:30 p.m.
  • Build a Sensational Talent Acquisition Operations Team, Wednesday, April 29, 11 a.m.

Ashley Zito Rowe writes for the WANTED Analytics blog, Analysis, and her wine blog, NJ Wine with Me. Her articles and insight have been featured on or cited by ERE, American Staffing Association, Philly.com, GetOutsideNJ, and Hometown Quarterly. She is also a marketing manager for WANTED Analytics, focusing on customer and social media engagement.

When she isn’t researching hiring trends or drinking New Jersey wines, she’s likely to be adventuring somewhere in New Jersey, painting something, or watching Disney movies.

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6 Comments on “Hard-to-find Recruiting Skills

  1. I have to call Bravo Sierra on any focus on the above skills. They are all thinks that can be learned easily. They are not what leaders look for in recruiters, they are what makes it to a job posting via a compliance driven and real world job preview job description. So in order to not provide false info to folks that want to be recruiters here is what you need: entry level all you need is three things, Energy, Intelect and Integrity. To move up you need to develop and express business accumen, the ability to deal with ambiguity, and strong closing skills. That is all.

    1. Agreed. While a person may have technical skills in any of those areas listed, you get the same problem people encounter when they promote their best salesperson to a manager, and that person fails; qualities that lead to technical expertise are not necessarily transferable to recruiting. What’s more, expecting a recruiter to have such a narrow focus is a bit weird, and no one can be an expert in every programming language, every release of every database, every ERP system, every CRM system, etc. So, what happens when your expert Oracle recruiter needs to find a top notch accountant who has used MAS 90, or a great sales engineer with experience in low voltage building automation systems? Seems like this is yet another variation of wish list job descriptions, “We want a Java programmer who can also recruit new employees and do light HR work…”

  2. Sorry, but ATS is not a skill, and great recruiters are not defined by how well they know Java or SaaS. But this is part of the problem with how recruiters are brought into the profession, trained, developed and advanced. It’s a core misunderstanding of what it takes to be a great recruiter.

    Great recruiters can recruit anybody in any industry. They don’t need to have a background in engineering or finance (although that doesn’t hurt either), and they certainly don’t need to be able to code or navigate any particular ATS or CRM tool. What great recruiters have in common are core intrinsic traits and competencies, such as relationship building, business acumen, persistence, goal-oriented, adaptability, creativity, and the ability to influence, lead and problem solve.

    It’s easy to list things like Taleo and Java and 5 yrs experience of tech recruiting as must have skills, but if I’m hiring a recruiter, I want to know what they’ve accomplished, and that more often than not has to do with the competencies and behaviors listed above.

    Give me someone who is great on the phone and knows how to work a room, and I’ll teach them how to use an ATS, and the right way too (just because you’ve used an ATS doesn’t mean that you’ve used it effectively). Give me a finance recruiter who has the capacity to learn and strong intellectual curiosity, and I’ll help them to learn the difference between Java and Javascript.

    As a profession, we are too often misguided on what defines success in what we do. Let’s refocus on what can be taught, and what motivates someone to want to be a great recruiters, someone who truly has what it takes to be successful. If we do that better for ourselves, that might just help us as a profession be more effective in recruiting the right people into the right jobs, teams, companies, cultures, etc.

    1. Excellent rebuttal. Unfortunately, the article highlights a position far too many internal hiring managers support.

  3. Just a quick read of the article…and I admit it is a VERY quick read…I wonder if the issue is not that the ‘cruiter can PROGRAM or DEVELOP in JAVA or is a UX whiz, rather that the person has actual done significant work in that area? In that sense, I agree with Ben…to a point. My sense is that a solid ‘cruiter/talent acquisition person (or whatever the hot name for us is these days) must have a breadth in industry verticals and a depth in job families to be recruiting literate.

    I have personally witnessed some abject failures when a claim was made that “…teach someone with no recruiting background to parse a job outline and convert that to a pre-structured Boolean Search and develop call lists for hunters to use.” That may work for commodity jobs…call centers and the like…not for highly sought Dilberts..MS-EE or MS-SE with relevant experience.

    Thoughts on a Friday…

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