Michele DunnTell us about your work---what do you do? I do employment recruiting and sales for an independent employment firm. My area of expertise is Information Technology (IT) and I work with employers/ candidates in any area related to IT. What skills are needed? First and foremost, I need to like people. In my area, I have an IT background and I recruit and place everyone from database managers to help-desk personnel . For any area that you recruit in, you need to know the industry, the terminology. If you don't know what you're talking about when you recruit, the candidates and the employers will know it and the trust level in your competence will be compromised. What was your major? I majored in business administration with some computer exposure. Later, I took a computer class and was hooked into learning more about technology. How did you get started in your career? I was working in the tech field, and was mostly dealing with people by phone. I wanted to work directly with people and help them find successful employment fits for their skills and experience. What experience do you need in this job? Learn the industry -- get a job in a related company and get experience so you are knowledgeable. Describe your "typical" workday: I make cold calls to up to 25 companies per day, and email with clients and candidates in both sales and recruiting. I spend time on the Internet looking for candidates. I interview five-seven people per week by phone, two to three per week in person. I get involved at various levels with salary and benefits negotiations once a candidate and employer have found each other. What is the hardest aspect of your job? The most difficult task is making things come together at the same time. I work on commission and get paid only if candidates are placed. I may work on something for days and then someone else gets into the mix and makes an offer or gets the jump on my groundwork. There's money in recruiting, but it's about more than that. I always talk ethics. We affect people's lives and we need to set standards that reflect integrity and good business practice. Another aspect is educating clients and candidates to what the market will bear in terms of salary and expectations, and where they really need to be thinking in terms of finding a job or someone to fill a job. Like anything, it takes time to build a client base, to get a reputation, and to get repeat business. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? When everything comes together! By the time employers come to us, they're usually desperate. They have exhausted their internal recruiting efforts and can't find what they're looking for. By being diplomatic, patient and determined, I can help them find the right person. Also building a good relationship with both employer and client and seeing every party satisfied. That is rewarding. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? Know that you love people. Get experience in the industry you want to recruit for. Get a mentor -- join a recruiters group or network and talk with people who recruit for a living. Realize that this is a long-term commitment and not a get rich quick business. And, no matter what you choose, become PC literate. Most of your recruiting and research will be done on the computer.