Recruiting Recruiters: 5 Rules to Get the Best Talent for Your Staffing Firm

Mary Lorenz

As a staffing industry professional, you put tireless effort into finding your clients the best candidates possible. Therefore, it makes sense that you should put just as much effort into finding the best candidates for your own organization. After all, these individuals are vital to your firm’s success, as your firm is only as good as the quality of your internal employees.

Now is the time to start focusing on a recruiting strategy for your own talent. The demand for recruiters is increasing – job postings for recruiters have grown 45 percent, according to Emsi data – which means competition for top talent is getting tighter.

In today’s competitive marketplace, staying ahead of the competition and recruiting the very best talent for your firm requires a proactive, data-driven and innovative recruitment strategy. That means not only knowing where to look for these candidates but also knowing what to look for in potential employees.

Follow these 5 Rules to Get the Best Talent for Your Staffing Firm:

When it comes to finding the right people, the right data is key to knowing where to focus your recruiting efforts and how to manage your expectations. The chart below, for example, shows the 10 metropolitan areas with the largest growth in recruiter positions over the past four years, along with average hourly earnings. Information such as this will help you understand where the competition for these individuals is highest and what constitutes competitive compensation.



While 40 percent of today’s recruiters have their bachelor’s degree, 41 percent have either some college education or a high school degree only. These findings indicate that a college degree does not necessarily predict staffing industry success. Moreover, of those recruiters who do hold a college degree, the majority (65 percent) have a degree in an unrelated field, which underscores the importance of taking background, soft skills and personality into account when sourcing recruiters for your firm. CareerBuilder Supply & Demand data shows that over the last year, candidates looking for roles in the recruiting industry had degrees in the following fields:

  • Business Administration and Management
  • HR Management
  • Psychology
  • Communication Studies
  • Marketing
  • General Studies
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Political Science and Government
  • Education
  • Sociology

Individuals with degrees in the above-mentioned fields tend to have the transferrable soft skills that prove invaluable in the staffing industry, making them top candidates for staffing firms to consider.



 Many of the best recruiting industry professionals come from the most unexpected places, in terms of prior industry experience. Data from CareerBuilder’s Supply & Demand Portal shows that candidates currently looking for work in the recruitment industry have a background in the following industries:


  • Temporary help services.
  • Employment placement agencies.
  • Computer systems design services.
  • Administrative management and general management consulting services.
  • General medical and surgical hospitals.
  • Executive search services.
  • Business support services.
  • Commercial banking.


Professionals in these industries often have the technical and soft skills that transfer well to a successful career in staffing. For instance, computer systems design and medical industries workers make great recruiters due to their technical backgrounds and organizational skills.


Nearly half of current staffing industry employees admit they did not initially set their sights on a career in staffing. According to the Staffing and Recruiting Pulse Survey, 46 percent of staffing professionals say they found their current role “by chance.” This should come as no surprise, considering earlier-mentioned findings that professionals from a variety of industries and educational backgrounds are looking for work in the recruitment industry. These findings suggest many professionals are open to a career in the staffing industry if given the right opportunity. The right employment branding efforts and recruitment marketing efforts can go a long way in attracting talent with the right transferrable skills your organization needs.


References are consistently found to be among the most effective ways to source job candidates and find quality hires — and the recruiting industry is no exception. According to the most recent Staffing and Recruiting Pulse Survey, more than one-third of current recruitment industry employees found their jobs through a connection in the field: 18 percent had a friend or former colleague referred them to their role, while 19 percent said they knew someone in the field and it seemed like an interesting career path to pursue. Take this information as a cue to ramp up (or create) your employee referral program. Encourage your employees to refer friends and former colleagues they feel would be a good fit for the firm, and offer incentives for doing so.


Previous Article
The Importance of Background Screening for Staffing Firms
The Importance of Background Screening for Staffing Firms

According to a 2016 CareerBuilder study, 75 percent of employers have hired the wrong person.

Next Article
GM Leader Shares Semantic Search Secrets to Up Your Talent Sourcing Game
GM Leader Shares Semantic Search Secrets to Up Your Talent Sourcing Game

Get semantic search secrets from a pro. We asked Will Maurer, global sourcing manager at General Motors, fo...