A virtual recruiter, or a headhunter in slang terminology, is a human resource professional who finds candidates to fill jobs. Rather than working from an office and conducting face-to-face interviews, virtual recruiters use the telephone, Internet resources and fax machines to conduct their business. Typical duties for this job include contacting clients to determine hiring needs, advertising for candidates, reviewing resumes to determine the best candidates for a position, performing background checks when necessary and arranging telephone interviews between the candidate and the hiring manager. Many of the more time-consuming human resource tasks can be handled by virtual recruiters.
Many businesses have found that they can downsize their human resource departments through the use of virtual recruiters. Other companies may be too small to justify the expense of a department or individual to handle infrequent job vacancies. Most of these jobs are commission-only, meaning that only the recruiter who successfully places a candidate will receive payment.
The lack of a guaranteed income is often cited as one of the disadvantages of virtual recruiter jobs. Flexible hours and the ability to work from a remote location are among the advantages enjoyed by those in the profession. Together, these freedoms mean that one of the most important traits a person in this field must possess is self-motivation. Just as a salesman will obtain few orders without laying the groundwork, building relationships and calling on customers, virtual recruiters must be able to motivate themselves to perform similar tasks in their specialty.
A job description for this position reveals that the position requires significant contact with others. Clients will often reward recruiters for past performance with exclusive contracts or advance notice of their needs. Establishing a rapport with a client through emails and telephone calls is an important part of the job. Maintaining a database of current and potential clients is typically just one part of a virtual recruiter's busy day.
Most of a recruiter's time is spent finding candidates to fill positions. Potential candidates may be found by placing online ads, researching sites that allow workers to bid on jobs or making phone calls to past applicants to see if they are currently seeking employment. Before referring the applicant to the client, however, the recruiter must review his or her resume to make sure that the candidate has the training or skills the employer needs, verify past employment and, if needed, arrange for the applicant to complete an online skills assessment. The virtual recruiter will also interview the applicant over the phone. If there is a good match between the applicant and the position, the recruiter then arranges for the candidate to be interviewed by the employer.