Recruiting is a competitive industry, full of people who love to celebrate the win, so one of the most important traits of a recruiter is their competitive drive, says Tony Sorensen, CEO of Versique Search and Consulting and McKinley Consulting, a leading Minnesota IT and business consulting services group.
“It’s an attitude that reflects the desire to help the client hire top talent and the candidate land a great new position,” says Sorensen.
Another crucial part of being a successful recruiter is the ability to foster relationships and maintain meaningful connections.
“While some recruiters attempt to connect with as many people as possible on a shallow level to build a vast network, it’s the deep connections that allow successful recruiters to bring together candidates and clients who are well suited for one another,” says Sorensen. “Your reputation as a recruiter and your business will be much better off by building genuine relationships and maintaining them over time.”
Farhan Farooqui, President and CEO of HR Milieu, a Dallas, Texas-based HR consulting services provider, says the soft skills like listening, communication, confidence, marketing the company and the role, being goal-orientated, a relationship builder and having time management skills are important traits of any successful recruiter. They also must be technology-driven, and a team player with outstanding problem solving skills.
But Farooqui points out four key factors he relays to clients that are increasingly important to a recruiter’s success:
1. Understanding the business and leadership styles: A recruiter needs to not only have a relationship with the hiring managers, but also understand the business and where the candidate will fit. And they must be able to speak to candidates to help provide a realistic picture to the position and the leadership team or management style with which the candidate will have to work with while of the job.
2. Strong technical aptitude and understanding: Gone are the days when Facebook and other uses of the Internet were taboo in a workplace. A recruiter needs to examine a candidate from many angles. A recruiter should look at not what the candidate tells about himself/herself on the resume but what is not being said. Remember… What happens in Vegas, stays on Social Media! Being technically savvy is a must.
“Searching Google is a common practice for successful recruiters,” says Farooqui. “Being able to see the Tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn presence of the candidate is becoming a necessity. Many times what the resume says is quite different from what the same candidate said on LinkedIn or another social media site. Remember, not everyone has their tweets protected.”
3. Futuristic Approach: Many recruiters look at candidates as their next “fill” says Farooqui. While filling a job is important, the on-the-job success of the candidate is vital to any recruiting process. Most recruiters forget the new hire once they are on-boarded. It’s key to keep a relationship with one’s past hires. Not only can such individuals be a source of finding more talent for a recruiter but a quick phone call to a new hire after 90 days with the new company goes a long way.
“We like to call a candidate after 90 days, and ask a simple question,” says Farooqui: ‘Is this position what I described to you during the interview process?’ If the answer is no, there is something to learn for future hires.”
4. Customer Service Orientation: Last but not least, Farooqui and HR Milieu place a strong emphasis on candidate/applicant experience.
“I am a big proponent of providing a world class experience to all who show interest in any position,” says Farooqui. “Hired or not hired, the recruiter should pay extreme attention to each applicant and feel that successful recruiting includes reputation management, which originates from candidate experience. It’s not what the new hire says – but what do the “not-selected” candidates say about your company, your professionalism, the process, and if asked, will they apply for another position at your company?”
Recruiting is tough, but successful recruiters know what it takes to succeed. What are your favorite attributes and skill sets of a successful recruiter? What separates the best from the rest?