A recruiter’s back to school checklist

The words back to school have always carried mixed emotions for me. I think about the excitement and nervousness I felt as I laid out my back-to-school outfit at the foot of my bed. In 1987, it was stonewashed jeans with pink leather stripes that stretched from ankle to waist. In 1994, it was a pinstriped Dickie's work dress and a leather jacket. The first-day-of-school outfit always changed with the trends of the decade. But the fundamental back-to-school lessons always remained the same.

In considering the job ahead of me in the coming months as a recruiter, I'm looking forward to my own personal orientation -- a reminder to me of the things I already know and an introduction of new things I will learn.

Make new friends but keep the old. Hunting for new candidates is part of the infinite cycle of recruiting. But revisiting and strengthening old relationships is invaluable.

Don't get caught without your hall pass. When working with new hiring managers, it's crucial to understand the ground rules that need to be followed. Avoiding an antagonistic or overly aggressive approach is important in cultivating a strong relationship. Don't break the rules, but in some cases, you might have to bend them!

Eat a good breakfast. You've heard it before -- breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Starting any process with a strong foundation will provide you with the direction you need to accomplish your goal. Put the first things first. Don't skip your recruiting strategy planning in order to save time. Take the time to decide how you are going to approach your task and reach your end goal. And go easy on the bacon!

Have the right tools in your backpack. It's tough to do geometry without a protractor, and it's tough to fill a position without a good job description. Don't get caught in fourth period math without one!

Remember your extracurricular activities. Involving yourself in just one way of recruiting can lead to dreadful results, or at least be dreadfully boring! Expand your methods to find and attract new talent, and improve your personal brand. Use a combination of traditional recruiting methods and social media. Attend networking events, find new ways to keep in touch, or write a blog!

Remember: Keep an eye on the goal while remembering to practice all of the things that will get you there. You'll make the honor role in no time!

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