What makes a great Recruiter?

Working as a Recruiter can be a challenging job for the person who has great interpersonal skills and is target driven. But if you prefer to just hide yourself behind a computer then I can tell you “It’s not for you!” You need to deal with people and that on a daily basis. Now if tomorrow I would go to a job interview for the position of a Recruiter and they would ask me “What makes a great Recruiter in your opinion?” I would answer like this:

A great recruiter is someone who knows how to connect with people quickly, easily and with impact, no matter what their background is. He would do it by showing genuine interest in them, caring about what is going on in their lives without being intrusive, by adding value if they need some advice, by remembering their birthday and interests, by being kind and honest.

I would expect the person to look, sound and act with great confidence at all times. Someone who doesn’t really stop engaging with people once they have matched an employer with a candidate (in case we are talking about an Agency Recruiter) but who keeps up the relationship also afterwards. This Recruiter would know exactly that if both of them are again on a job or candidate hunt, they would turn to him for help due to his great relationship.

The perfect recruiter is someone who does not just try to fill a position by meeting a corporate target in order to earn a commission, but who wants to make sure that the candidate is absolutely happy with the new job role.

Being able to influence people in a genuine way is another highly important skill a recruiter must have. I do believe it’s an art because very few would be able to persuade a highly satisfied employee to change job.

Someone who keeps his eyes and ears open at all times and knows how to network effectively with others at the right time is surely doing a good job. Having a creative mind and being able to spot opportunities which others don’t recognize, is something that would give him an edge.

Another important trait that a great Recruiter should be able to master is his time management, organisational and multitasking skills. Keeping many details in mind and setting the right priorities is essential. Nowadays being quick is particularly important in this industry since clients as well as candidates are exposed to many other options too.

I remember when Greg Savage, an Australian recruitment expert, once referred to the recruitment industry as “The Business of Rejections”. A savvy Recruiter knows how to deal with rejections effectively from the clients’ as well as job candidates’ side. He needs to be someone who does not get discouraged easily, does not take comments personally and is fully aware that persevering and being resilient plays a big part in this challenge. In this particular job many unpredictable situations can happen, such as: people not turning up to interviews, people changing their minds in the last moment, finding other opportunities from other sources, starting the new job but leaving soon afterwards, etc.) – let’s be honest not everyone can take it!

A great Recruiter is also reliable, punctual and sticks to what he promises when dealing with others. This attitude will help him to be perceived as a smart, trustworthy and credible professional.

He knows how to communicate well in various situations by being always articulate, polite and knowing how to give constructive feedback. Reading peoples’ body language in order to know what others feel or think can be very beneficial and allow him to turn a situation around. Having a big network of people which he can rely on when it matters is certainly something that would benefit him.

The perfect Recruiter in today’s modern world also knows how to use sophisticated HR Software and social media channels in order to attract and hire the best candidates in a quick and cost-efficient way.

Since one of the main task of a Recruiter is to conduct job interviews he needs to know what the most relevant questions are that need to be asked and how to interpret them correctly (being able to read between the lines). He acts like a great ambassador for the company and knows how to sell “benefits” rather than features to candidates and clients.

One more time, what makes a great recruiter? Basically, someone who breathes, lives and dreams about recruitment. No matter how much HR Professionals rely on technology in order to satisfy their hiring needs, we must not forget about the HUMAN factor. 

Karin Schroeck-Singh
Karin Schroeck-Singh is a passionate Public Speaker, eBook Author, and a freelancing Online Content Producer. She has an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and gained 18 years of international work experience in Italy, the UK and India.