8 Skills That A Recruiter Should Have
- Strong sales skills — if you haven’t figured it out by now, recruiting is sales. If you disagree, you are in the wrong business. Not only do recruiters need to sell their clients (internal or external), but they need to sell candidates on opportunities and be able to articulate why company X is an employer of choice and why a particular opportunity is not just a great opportunity, but how it is the opportunity of a lifetime.
- Ability to cultivate and build relationships — anyone can pull a name out of a database and place a call. It’s another thing to actually cultivate and build relationships with the candidates we recruit. Perhaps knowing a little about what makes them tick, what their hobbies are, engaging in a conversation rather than just following a script, etc. Social media, smart phones, and other communication platforms have built bridges straight into our personal lives. By creating a more open, friendly, and communicative relationship with candidates, the candidate experience will increase, making the recruiter and company stand out professionally and as an employer of choice.
- Hunter’s mentality — there are so many ways to source for talent these days. There is an abundance of sites, networks, tools, and platforms all built in some fashion to make a recruiter’s life easier. But it is how each recruiter uses these tools that will make the difference. It all starts with the mentality of the individual. Recruiters are big-game hunters, and having the mindset to hunt and be relentless until the hunt is done is a priceless skill set. If a recruiter is going to sit at a desk, log in to Monster and keyword search all day — that is not the hunter mentality you want. You want someone who will use cold calling, social media, searches, networks, etc. in order to find the strongest and most-qualified individuals.
- Big-picture thinking — simply focusing on single searches each day is great, but having the ability to see how candidates can fit into an organization, the potential value they can bring, or even knowing where a superstar candidate could fit in, even if there is no immediate position available, is invaluable. Moreover, keeping an eye on future tools, technology, and best practices and knowing what is coming down the pipeline will keep your company well versed and competitive in a tough talent market.
- Strong follow-up skills — probably the #1 topic that irks me the most about recruiters – follow-up skills. How hard is it to return a call or an email — I will tell you that it is not hard at all nor does it take a severe amount of time to update a candidate, hiring manager, co-worker, etc. on events. I have heard all the horror stories of a recruiter (agency or corporate alike) calling someone frantically, building them up and setting them up to interview, only to never reach back out to the candidate again. All that does is breed negativity and it is not part of the relationship-building process what so ever.
- Listening — anyone else ever had the recruiter-talk-your-ear-off presentation about how great they are, the database they have access to, successful placements, etc.? Recruiters need to listen first and talk second. Recruiters must possess the uncanny ability to listen and take a proper job order. Too many recruiters run their traps to no end. It’s annoying.
- Consultative in nature — recruiting is a science and there are methods and processes. The majority of hiring managers need to be consulted on these procedures and processes in order to build long-term success and proper process flow. Good recruiters have the ability to advise and push back on their clients if need be. A good recruiter will act as a trusted advisor for their clients, and in return, clients will respect and act on given advice.
- Personable and approachable — how many times do candidates call or meet a recruiter at a career fair and they are nervous on the other line or on the other side of the table. I love taking an approach opposite that which a majority of other recruiters take. I answer my phone calls and return emails. People will call me and are surprised that I even answered my phone. They are even more surprised that I am in a good mood, ask them how they are doing, thank them for their call, and take one minute of my time to let them introduce themselves and follow up with me. My mother always told me that I could catch more bees with honey than I can with vinegar.