How to Become a Virtual Recruiter

May 19, 2011

Timing is everything because this is a GREAT time to learn how to become a virtual recruiter!  Why?  Because the old staffing agency model is slowly dying and being replaced by experienced virtual recruiters working from home! And, most importantly, there is a looming labor shortage being caused by the current generation of retiring Baby Boomers!


Up until the last couple of years, you HAD to work for someone else if you wanted to be in the staffing and recruiting industry!  The overhead, franchise fees, office equipment, training, back office systems and memberships just made it too expensive to work on your own.

Recruiting Stays the Same … And Also Keeps Changing

Recruiting basics remain the same but the ‘recruiter’ job description is always changing.  Since almost 60% of on-site recruiters were downsized or laid-off during the economic downturn of the past couple of years, some of those recruiters have ‘gone rogue’ and have discovered the wonderful world of independent recruiting – working from home.  I doubt, though, that most recruiters understand that being a recruiter is one of the few jobs that actually lends itself to working remotely (virtually).  In fact, recent studies show that virtual recruiters (those working from home) are actually MORE productive than on-site recruiters!  Working primarily at home is the main difference between a virtual recruiter and the old staffing on-site recruiter role.

So…How Do I Become a Virtual Recruiter?

The most important step is to study the job description and daily habits of an experienced recruiter and determine if you have the skills, commitment and interest to make it as a competent, full-cycle, money-producing recruiter.   Though the following requirements in the ‘recruiter’ job description are NOT all inclusive, they will give you a pretty good idea of what your daily tasks will be.  The first set of requirements come from the traditional staffing agency ‘recruiter’ description and the second list includes qualifications that I would include for all forward-thinking, effective and successful future virtual recruiters:

Traditional Requirements for Recruiters

  1. Complete knowledge and control of ‘cradle-to-grave’ placement process (25 or so unique steps) including:
  • relationship building through industry knowledge used in gaining trust  and credentialing yourself as a valuable resource in soliciting job openings
  • creatively recruiting, screening and interviewing the best possible candidates
  • managing the entire interview process including debriefs and follow-up interviews
  • controlling reference/background checks, offer, acceptance, compensation and all other critical aspects of a successful placement
  • acting as liaison during the resignation, counter-offer, start dates and relocation details
  • billing and collecting in accordance with your fee agreement

2.  Meeting educational requirements (4 yr degree a plus) and/or industry specialization and training

3.  Acting professionally and ethically at all times

4.  Maintaining good time management skills; being self-motivated and results driven

5.  Personable with good communication, listening and writing skills

6.  Computer/Internet savvy with knowledge of social networking and other passive recruiting techniques

Future Qualifications for Virtual Recruiters

  • Development of Just-In-Time talent identification and acquisition
  • Always stay in learning mode; pay attention to industry/job trends in order to act as a true consultant to your clients
  • Understand that job board candidates only represent 20% of the possible workforce; most candidates are happily employed and are NOT on the job boards
  • Understand the baby boomer generation and looming labor shortages
  • Know your metrics – and how to adjust them for best results
  • Keep abreast of trends and innovative recruiting techniques to stay competitive in state-of-the-art recruiting practices
  • Always be involved in training, training, training
  • Listen twice as much as you speak; know the right questions
  • Learn to leverage your time and grow your business through outsourcing

Sounds Complicated…Is It Worth It?

The answer is simple. A contingency fee recruiter can easily earn $50-$120K a year; in-house corporate recruiters with full cycle recruiting skills will earn $60-$95K or more.  Contract recruiters make anywhere from $20-$75 per hour — depending on their skills and the industry.  Not only can you earn a very generous income but you will have the luxury of working from home!

The Most Important Element of Your Success

The most important requirement for success in your new virtual recruiting career is …training, TRAINING, TRAINING!  It’s like the old paradigm used when starting a new business of ‘location, location, location’.  You must find a great training program and a mentor/coach who will help you stay focused in applying your new skills and guiding your career as a recruiter.  Your comprehensive training will teach you all of the traditional and future qualifications listed above.

Recruiting is not rocket science!  You are not born with recruiter skills – they are all learned.  And, the recruiter with the best training and time management skills will WIN every time in this exciting career opportunity of the future.


Sybil Goldberg, Basic Author

Spectra now offers three unique Virtual Recruiting Programs – all with free top-rated training.  CLICK HERE for a free information packet or CHECK OUT THE THREE PROGRAMS HERE.

1 Comment on “How to Become a Virtual Recruiter

  1. I am a recent MBA gartuade, looking for employment with a pay increase and relocation. Could use some assistance with Resume, cover letters, tips or recommendations on job headers.

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