What Does a Human Resources (HR) Recruiter Do?

Learn About the Salary, Required Skills, & More

Image shows a woman at a desk on the phone with her computer open to a spreadsheet and a stack of resumes beside her. Text reads:

Image by Alexandra Gordon © The Balance 2019

A human resources (HR) recruiter is responsible for all aspects of recruiting for organization and plays a critical role in ensuring it's hiring the best possible talent.

HR Recruiter Duties & Responsibilities

The job generally requires the ability to perform the following duties:

  • Develop and execute recruiting plans
  • Network through industry contacts, association memberships, trade groups, social media, and employees
  • Develop and track goals for the recruiting and hiring process
  • Coordinate and implement college recruiting initiatives
  • Handle administrative duties and recordkeeping
  • Collect data on cost per hire and time-to-hire
  • Screen applicants to evaluate if they meet the position requirements
  • Work with hiring managers to create job descriptions
  • Conduct regular follow-up with managers to determine the effectiveness of recruiting plans and implementation
  • Develop a pool of qualified candidates in advance of need
  • Research and recommend new sources for active and passive candidate recruiting

An HR recruiter's main goal is to efficiently and effectively fill open positions. They develop local and national recruiting plans using traditional sourcing strategies and new, creative recruiting ideas. They also may test applicants and extend job offers.

HR Recruiter Salary

An HR recruiter's salary can vary depending on location, experience, and employer. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics collects salary data for the broader HR specialists, which includes recruiters.

  • Median Annual Salary: $60,880 
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $104,390 
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: $36,270 

Education, Training, & Certification

At least bachelor’s degree is required for this position, as well as some experience.

  • Education: This position usually requires a bachelor's degree in human resources or business with coursework in business, psychology, writing, communication, management, and accounting.
  • Experience: Employers usually want to see some experience in human resources and prefer corporate recruiting experience.
  • Certification: Some employers may require or prefer candidates to have Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification, which is offered by the Society for Human Resource Management. 

HR Recruiter Skills & Competencies

To be successful in this role, you’ll generally need the following skills and qualities: 

  • Communication skills: Recruiters communicate with managers and employees regularly to establish rapport, gauge morale, and source new candidate leads. They must also be able to communicate with potential job candidates.
  • Interpersonal skills: Recruiters must have the ability to work with various departments on filling open positions and fostering teamwork. They must also be able to effectively deal with potential candidates.
  • Decision-making skills. Recruiters must be able to review candidates’ applications and decide whether or not they meet the qualifications to be considered for positions.
  • Discretion: Like most human resources positions, recruiters often deal with confidential information.

Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in the general field of human resource specialists will grow 7 percent through 2026, which is the same as the overall employment growth for all occupations in the country.

Work Environment

Recruiters work in offices, and they may need to travel to attend job fairs and visit partner colleges. The job can come with high pressure and expectations since a recruiter is responsible for ensuring a high-quality workforce. Recruiters generally need to maintain poise under pressure and feel comfortable meeting with and speaking with new people often.

Work Schedule

Recruiters generally work full time, about 40 hours per week, during regular business hours. They may be required to travel for recruitment meetings, college visits, and career fairs, which can take place on weekends or outside of usual business hours.

Comparing Similar Jobs

People who are interested in becoming recruiters may also consider other careers with these median salaries: