The 4 Components of a Great Recruiter Training Program

While much attention is paid to learning and development opportunities in general, comparatively little is given to the more specific issue of learning and development for recruiters.

Like any employee, a recruiter needs access to training opportunities to perform at their best and grow as a professional.

If you want to create a killer training program for your company’s recruiters, make sure it incorporates the following four elements.

1. Boolean Search and Other Best Practices for Online Sourcing

Sourcing new candidates is a major component of any recruiter’s role, and while anyone can punch basic keywords into LinkedIn, recruiters need to be more adept at these kinds of searches than the rest of the population. After all, If recruiters are going to keep a constant eye out for great new talent, they’ll need to be as efficient as possible in their searches. They can’t afford to waste hours or even days scrolling through massive lists of search results.

Every recruiter training program needs a well-developed module on Boolean search, the most basic – and, perhaps, most valuable – approach to smarter searches. When recruiters have mastered Boolean operators, they can conduct quicker, more efficient, and more effective searches.

Beyond that, recruiter training programs need to stay up to date with the newest developments in online sourcing and searching technologies and best practices. While it’s doubtful that Boolean search will ever be totally outmoded, new techniques and capabilities will certainly spring up as time goes on. The best training programs need to introduce recruiters to new concepts as they arise.

2. Business Development

This component of a great recruiter training program is really only applicable to training programs for agency and other third-party recruiters. If you’re creating a program for in-house corporate recruiters, feel free to skip to the next component.

That said, it’s all too easy to forget that a third-party recruiter’s job isn’t just about finding talent. It’s also about finding new clients. The tactics that work for bringing in new candidates won’t necessarily transfer to the realm of business development, so be sure your recruiter training program contains a dedicated segment on landing clients.

Some business development topics you definitely want to cover include: prospecting for potential clients online, sending cold emails and making cold calls, pitching clients, and proper behavior during client meetings. It probably wouldn’t hurt to have recruiters bone up on their customer service skills, too.

The 4 Components of a Great Recruiter Training Program - eFront Blog

3. Live Role Play

As the venerable HR and recruiting expert Tim Sackett points out, computer-based training can’t fully prepare a recruiter for the realities of their role. Recruiting is a deeply human career, and the success of a recruiter depends on their ability to make connections with people. That’s why any good recruitment training program needs to include a live element, in addition to tech-enabled lessons.

This live element should, ideally, take the shape of role-playing sessions during which a trainee practices navigating real-life scenarios they may encounter with candidates, hiring managers, and clients.

“Even recruiting leaders shy away from this because it’s ‘embarrassing,’” Sackett writes. “To me, it’s more embarrassing to have recruiters who don’t know what they’re doing!”

We couldn’t agree more.

4. On-Demand Learning

Recruiters don’t have the time to look at resumes for more than six seconds, let alone carve whole hours out of their days for mandatory training. Rather than dictating that recruiters attend certain classes or sessions, give them access to on-demand learning. That way, recruiters can brush up on the skills they need when they need them. This also ensures that their workflows aren’t interrupted by ill-timed training opportunities.


We’re only scratching the surface here. Recruiting is a complex role with many facets, and the best training programs will dive deep. That said, no recruiter training program can succeed in today’s day and age without the above four components. Start with them, and you’re on the right track.

Author’s Bio: Matthew Kosinski is managing editor of Recruiter.com.

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