How to Become an Online Recruiter

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Virtual recruiting is becoming a very convenient method for developing a recruiting career. Virtual, or online, recruiting is done through the used of web-based applications and resources. There are two elements to recruiting: clients and candidates. The clients are your hiring companies and candidates are the job seekers. Information on potential clients and candidates can be found through specialized online databases and reference materials. If you can match the right candidate to the right job order you will make a placement more often than not. Recruiting is about repeating this process over and over again.

Becoming a Virtual Recruiter

Decide whether you will be an independent or agency virtual recruiter. As an independent recruiter you will be responsible for creating your entire business structure from the company name to the accounting system. As an agency virtual recruiter you will have the backing of an agency much like if you were to recruit for a brick and mortar operation. Recruiting requires tools, subscriptions and software that can be expensive. Decide up front what your budget will be for entering this career field. Conduct research on online or virtual recruiting agencies and independent recruiters. There are many websites that cater to strictly recruiters. and are two sites that host independent and agency virtual recruiters. You can join the chat and blog discussions to learn more about the activities of the industry.

Build your recruiting infrastructure. There are several tools that all recruiters need to succeed in this highly competitive industry. These tools are: job board subscriptions, split board subscriptions, candidate tracking software and a website. If you plan to be an independent recruiter you will have to purchase these tools up front. As an agency virtual recruiter, most of these tools will be provided to you. You will need a resource for locating potential candidates. Job boards such as CareerBuilder, Monster, Dice and Yahoo Hot Jobs maintain resume databases full of job seekers in all areas of the United States. The cost of a subscription to one of these sites can run from $2,000 to $10,000 per year. The next tool that you will need will be an industry research tool. ZoomInfo is a site that compiles data on companies as well potential passive candidates. ZoomInfo information contains company statistics and key contact lists to make it easier to get in touch with hiring managers. This membership can run anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 annually, depending on the features you choose. Split boards are a way to share your key job orders and candidates with other recruiters. This allows you to make a 50 percent placement with another agency or independent recruiter. These memberships are often free or cost very little per year.,, and are all examples of split boards. Purchase a subscription to a candidate tracking software package. Sendouts Pro is the No. 1 rated software for the recruiting industry. It allows you to track all of your candidates, clients, job orders, hiring managers and marketing activities.

Develop your business pricing, guarantee and invoicing requirements. Decide whether you will focus on temp, temp-to-perm, or direct hire recruiting. With direct hire recruiting you will charge your client a percentage of the candidate’s first year’s salary. This percentage can range anywhere from 15 to 35 percent. The most common fee is 25 percent. With temp recruiting you will be required to provide an employer of record for the employee being leased to the client. This is more difficult and time consuming. It is best to stick to direct hire recruiting in the beginning. If you choose to work through an agency then they would act as the employer of record for the temp relationship. You will need to provide your client with a guarantee. This is a period of time in which if the employee is fired for cause or voluntarily leaves the company, you will replace that candidate free of charge. This period can be anywhere from 30 to 120 days or longer. The standard industry guarantee period is 90 days from the candidate’s start date.

Develop a niche market. You can recruit for any skill set or industry available. However, you will be a more effective recruiter if you recruit to a skill set or industry that is familiar to you. If you are a former accountant then the accounting and finance sector is a good place to focus. Accounting is similar in any industry so you can call on almost every type of business. Once you choose a specialty you can begin to make marketing calls into potential companies for job orders.

Recruit and market to a well established schedule. Recruit qualified candidates who are within your niche market. Recruit a mix of talent at different stages of their careers and industry. If you are an accounting recruiter then recruit tax accountants, auditors, general accountants and any other specialty accounting skills that you might be able to place. Divide your time between recruiting and marketing. You must have job orders to make placements. Look for companies with a vacant positions and open job orders. This can be done by searching the job sites for employment ads. compiles all of the jobs listed on the major job boards in one location. Once you find a position with a company that is within your niche call them and sell your staffing services to them. You can market your newly interviewed candidate base to them for a potential fit.


Manage the send out or interview process. Be sure to disclose all of the relevant details about the position to the candidate in the beginning of the process. Do not wait until you have a potential employment offer to disclose any uncomfortable facts about the position. Do the same for the client. Once you make a placement, be sure to check in with your candidate on a regular basis over the first 90 days to ensure that everything is going well. You should be transparent about your communication with the candidate. Once the guarantee period has elapsed you should not contact the employee any longer. Repeat this process over and over. Recruiting is a process-oriented career. If you do not like to duplicate a process over and over again then recruiting is not for you. Although the job orders, clients and candidates all differ the process is always the same.


Be careful about disclosing whom your job order is with until you have developed a relationship with a candidate. Interview them first. You do not want them to apply directly to the company. Be sure to require a split fee agreement when working in another recruiter or agency on a split deal.