Whether you are recruiting directly for your company or for a staffing firm one thing is for sure: you are in a very competitive industry and there are a ton of us out there. So what separates good recruiters from mediocre ones? What makes a candidate want to come back and work with you over and over? I take a look at some of the traits of a good recruiter from the perspective of the job seeker.
1) Listens. A top recruiter not only knows the right questions to ask but also truly listens to your answer without passing judgment or making assumptions. By listening to your answers she/he is able to speak intelligently to the client about your strengths and how you would be a fit for the position.
2) Cares. Of course we all want to put people to work; that’s the business we are in. But a good recruiter does not just see their candidates as a submittal number but cares about their end goals and what they specifically are looking for. The caring mentality will go a long way in earning the trust of a candidate and keep them coming back after each assignment has ended.
3) Shows integrity. Candidates want to work with someone who does what they say they are going to do. Good recruiters always follow up with their candidates no matter what. Sounds simple enough, but you would not believe the number of candidates that never hear back from their recruiter after they have been submitted. Do you think those candidates will call that recruiter back first when they are back in the market? Unlikely.
4) Builds relationship. This is something that cannot be taught, but the art of getting to you’re your candidate and making a candidate feel special goes a long way. Similar to how sales people remember specific details about their clients, a good recruiter gets to know their candidate, knows his wife’s name, how many kids he has and takes an actual interest in candidates as people, not just statistics.
5) Lives in the details. Your recruiter should know what makes you tick. Whether it is rate, location, new technology, culture or company size; it is impressive when a recruiter documents these facts on each candidate and finds opportunities that match not only their skill set but also these other important factors.
6) Relentless. An average recruiter will submit candidates and call it a day. A good recruiter will really push to get feedback for them, so that they know what their next steps are and, in the case of a rejection, what they could do differently next time. Feedback in the recruiting world is not always easy to obtain, especially in high volume accounts, but a good recruiter never gives up.
At the end of the day being a recruiter is very similar to being in sales, and relationships that you build as a recruiter will be integral to your success. As a recruiter, I will never forget the first person I ever placed; he worked his way up the chain and became a hiring manager! By maintaining a great working relationship with this candidate, I in turn was able to work on exclusive requirements for him later down the line.
I would love to hear your experiences as a recruiter – the good the bad and the ugly! Sometimes our best lessons can be learned from a “what-not-to-do” perspective.