November 6, 2014 5:10 pm

What makes a good recruiter – in many cases a non-recruiter! Part 1…..

Everyone else has written about this topic so I thought I may as well too as I think I know what makes a good recruiter.  It will probably take me at least 2 blogs as there are quite a lot of attributes I think a good recruiter should have. Timing wise I am writing about this now as going into the new year, most of our clients are discussing their hiring plans and I hope this time they will brief us differently to how they briefed us at the beginning of this year and the year before, and the year before that – “We want someone with 3-5 years local experience, big biller, blah, blah” you know the spiel.

The first thing our clients have to recognise is the attributes that make a good recruiter maybe not be in an existing recruiter, they can be in anyone to an extent.  Look at me, I was a chef and yes, I am assuming I am a half decent recruiter. So in no particular order, when you are hiring I believe you need to look for these traits:

  • Resilience – there is a reason our industry has coined the phrase “champagne and razor blades”. You have to get up and dust yourself off when a candidate does not take a role for example, and if anything I think these days we are covered in dust more often than not. So when hiring your potential recruiter they must be able to demonstrate when they have just got up and got on with it;
  • Being a people person – this does not include to an extent those that want to get into recruitment because they “want to help people”, they are counsellors. You need to see your potential recruiter is someone who is confident when speaking with all sorts of people – are they confident speaking to you? Are they someone who is engaging – were you engaged when meeting with them?  Someone people gravitate to – will your clients like them? And someone people enjoy being with – have the people in your business, who have interviewed the potential recruiter, enjoyed the interview?;
  • Driven – good recruiters are self-motivated. They don’t wait for others to motivate them, they are focused and every day want to do better than the day before or achieve more than the month before. They don’t need to be told how many calls they need to make, they know how many calls they need to make and will just get on and do it as they know if they are quality calls they will get a quality outcome;
  • Knowledgeable – if the potential recruiter doesn’t already have the knowledge of the sector they will be working in, they need to demonstrate self-learning – a want to be an expert and to not only participate during hours in activities to learn more about their sector, but to participate in activities outside of work that will help them learn and network. This is an ongoing attribute – how are they going to stay on top of their game?;
  • Respectful – as recruiters we need to remember that changing jobs is deemed one of the 7 most stressful things you can do in your life, and we need to remember as a recruiter we are often facilitating this process. So your potential recruiter needs to be someone who shows people respect.  I used to always ask our receptionist once I had met a potential recruiter, how they had greeted him/her, did they show respect?  We have to remember we can’t place everyone but if we can’t help someone I believe you don’t ignore their call – you call them, tell them respectfully you can’t help them and give them advice on what to do next in their pursuit to find a role – this does not have to be a 15 minute conversation, it can be one simple suggestion which takes no time to relay;
  • Time conscious – leading on from above, I have seen many recruiters who are counsellors and spend hours of time on the phone to people they can’t place. While it’s important to be respectful, good recruiters spend time with the people they can place and time networking with top talent. They remember it’s a sales role and you need to spend your time with the product you can sell; and
  • Work hard – the harder you work, the more quality activity you will undertake and the more successful you will be. Recruitment is a numbers game and the more you do, the more you will bill.  Has your potential recruiter worked in a fast paced environment? Do they demonstrate high energy?  Are they processing the information you are giving them in the interview and interacting with you?; and
  • Influence – this is key, you have to be able to influence your clients and candidates and sometimes younger consultants can feel intimidated by this but if they are a knowledge expert there is nothing to worry about – they are the recruiter at the end of the day. So how has your potential recruiter influenced others or a decision being made, in their current company?

As I said this is list is not exhaustive, in fact I will write my next blog on this and maybe the one after that too however I would love to hear what attributes you believe makes a good recruiter.  And remember please Like us on Facebook and Follow Us on LinkedIn so we can keep communicating and sharing experiences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *