Key Skills of a Great Recruiter

There are many types of recruiters out there, from tech to finance and entry level to executive, but there are certain core competencies that make up a great recruiter.

1) Great Recruiters are Persistent and Relentless

The first sign of a great recruiter is that they seek out only the best candidates for their clients. They don’t just take a risk, throw something against the wall, and hope it sticks. Great recruiters do countless interviews, second interviews and “detective” work to make sure that candidate really is the best fit for not only the job but also the company before even presenting a candidate to an employer.

Great recruiters maintain high standards for themselves and their clients and it takes work. They want to see their candidate through the entire process and make sure they have a lasting relationship with their client. Recruiters who are invested in their clients best interest want to see candidates join an organization where they will thrive and hopefully, when they check back in 5 years, not only is that candidate still there, but they are successful.

2) Great Recruiters Ask Questions and Seek to Understand

Seems basic, the Socratic method, but a sign of a great recruiter is the ability to ask questions without fear and to not assume they know the answer. This is not only true for their candidates but also for their clients as well. They seek to understand the exact needs of their clients not just today, but what this role and the company will look like in a year or in five. What are the overall goals of the organization and what is going to make the person in this position successful?

This goes for the reverse as well. It is important to not assume the answer when asked questions. Many recruiters feel the pressure to answer questions immediately to avoid seeming unprepared or undeserving of the clients business. Although humbling, it is a better approach to let the client know that you will provide a comprehensive answer to their question once you’ve been able to do a bit of research or obtain more information.

3) Great Recruiters Are Excellent Detectives

Part of asking questions is knowing where to find the answers. Many questions can be answered by doing a little digging. So many questions can be answered online, either on a candidate’s social media profile or from news articles and company websites. Going into a conversation with knowledge is key, it can help drive the conversation forward and prevents wasting anyone’s time.

Detective work isn’t just done online, it is also done through talking with past employers and colleagues. Great recruiters know the importance of keeping connections throughout the industry and that important information doesn’t just come from above. Speaking to employees who in the past worked for a candidate or an organization can provide great insight.

4) Great Recruiters Know How to Network

Networking is an obvious and integral part of recruiting. From finding potential clients to candidates, recruiters know the ins and outs of networking and how to do it efficiently. These days there are some impressive online tools like Linkedin, but you can’t discredit the importance of one-on-one, in person relationships. Not everyone is so willing to advertise their opinions or insider knowledge on social media or in news article but they may share it confidence. There is something to be said for maintaining the old fashioned “hand-shake” and great recruiters know when to use it.

5) Great Recruiters Have Confidence

Great recruiters are confident in their ability, even when the sales cycle takes forever and their best candidate just accepted a promotion from their company to keep them from leaving. Perseverance and confidence are what keep great recruiters from burning out and giving up. It’s setting specific goals for the day, week and quarter, working hard to achieve those goals and gaining the confidence over time that even when you have a set back, you will overcome it because you are a recruiter, drive is in your blood.

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