What Makes a Great Recruiter: Part I

What makes a great recruiter? Are great recruiters born or made? Can ANYONE learn to be a great recruiter? These are really important questions for anyone responsible for hiring recruiters and working to build a world-class recruitment function.

Over the course of my career I’ve hired and managed, either directly or indirectly, almost 1,000 recruiters and I can tell you without a doubt the answer is…it depends. I believe there are three key areas that separate great recruiters from mediocre ones.

Great recruiters are great at managing relationships. A successful recruiter has to build a strong, trusting relationship with the hiring manager as well as with the candidate and work as a middleman between both sides to reach a mutually acceptable outcome.

Building strong working relationships isn’t just about being a jovial, happy-go-lucky person who is always quick with a joke and asks “how your weekend was” or “how about this weather?” That is one style of relationship building, but strong relationships can be built on respect, expertise, and delivering on promises, just as well (or better) than it can be on simply likability.

Focus on Listening Skills

Great recruiters are great listeners. The act of recruiting is largely an act of asking questions and REALLY listening to the answers. During the beginning of the process, the recruiter asks a series of questions of the hiring manager to determine the job specifications. In the middle of the process the recruiter asks a series of questions of the candidate to determine their fit for the job.

And finally, at the end of the process the recruiter asks a series of questions to successfully negotiate a job offer and acceptance. A mistake many beginning recruiters make is focusing on their TALKING skills instead of their LISTENING skills.

In the early days of training recruiters are often trained on their “pitch” and how to position a job to a candidate.  But the reality is that it’s much more important to be able to listen deeply to what is being said by hiring managers and candidates in order to really conclude a successful, long-term match.

You can see the full article as it was originally posted on Recruitingtrends.com.


Related: Candidate experience, Recruiting best practices, Best practices, Client satisfaction, IT hiring

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