What makes a Recruiter successful?
In my experience, there is a scarce supply of successful Recruiters in South Africa. This is a difficult situation because the more consultants you have; the more clients you can service and the more candidates you are able to place in exciting new jobs. Before I meet with any potential new Talent Acquisition Specialists, aka Recruiters, I have sat down and prepared a few questions for our upcoming interviews. One of the questions that I have prepared is “What are the top five characteristics that Recruiters need to be successful?”.
This question got me wondering about the most successful Recruiters in the industry. What set them apart from your average Recruiters? After some soul searching, I came up with the top five characteristics that, in my opinion, all successful Recruiters need to demonstrate on a daily basis.
Here we go, in no particular order as they are all as important as each other:
1. Communication & Listening Skills
Both of these are incredibly important and a successful Recruiter will know when to listen and when to ask questions. Written, verbal and non-verbal communication all need to be of the highest standard when dealing with business professionals. Why would a top CA entrust their career aspirations to someone with poor spelling or someone who sends their emails in ‘text speech’ eg: Can u make intaview on Fri afternoon @ 2?
As Recruiters, we need to listen very carefully to both our candidates and our clients. Recruitment, at the end of the day, is a matching game. We are matching people to jobs and if these two entities are not on the same page; we will never develop a happy working relationship between both.
2. Relationship Building Skills
Recruitment is all about relationships as we know that people ‘buy’ from people. I am in the lucky position now where I am getting repeat candidates who approach me as soon as they put themselves on the market. This is a great scenario as I know that they are not dealing with any other agents as I am their trusted advisory when it comes to their career.
As Talent Acquisition Specialists, if you build a fantastic working relationship with your clients, you will see that you will eventually become the only Recruiter that they will deal with. You will get the first phone call about a new opening on their team. You will also get that all important headstart on other agencies that the official hiring managers may be getting in touch with.
Recruitment has a lifecycle all of its own. Some points in this lifecycle are busier than others because at some points you are frantically sourcing for top candidates and during other stages, you are waiting for feedback from your clients. One thing that can be guaranteed is that at month end, when you are trying to get candidates with a calendar months’ notice to resign, things will be hectic. As a Talent Acquisition Specialist, you need to be able to work on several orders at one time as well as trying to work on different stages of the recruitment process, at varying clients, simultaneously. This can take some serious juggling!
4. Time Management Skills
After having it drummed into my head when I was working as an agency Recruiter, I often stop and ask myself, ‘Am I working on a money generating activity?’. If I am not, I stop and move onto something that will help me make a placement. I save the admin until the end of the day, or week, when things have calmed down and my brain has shifted into ‘weekend mode’.
I always have a chuckle at people who say they got into the Recruitment industry as they love people and just want to change the lives of everyone they know! This industry will test your patience with people like none other. I just have to think back to the number of candidates that I have had who have signed a new contract and then decided not to pitch up for work on the first day. Or the clients who interview five of my candidates, three times each, and then take an internal applicant.
Recruitment is not easy but it is worth it just for that one candidate out every eight that you place. The candidate that I am referring to is the one who is dedicated to the recruitment process and who does his best at every stage in the interview process. The candidate who you place in an exciting new role where his salary means he can move into a better neighbourhood and send his kids to a better school. These humble, appreciative people make working as a Recruiter worthwhile.
Hopefully, you will agree that if you have these inherent characteristics, you will definitely be a successful Recruiter one day. If you feel that you need help to develop one or more of these characteristics, please get in touch with me as I know a few tips and tricks to make you an incredibly successful Recruiter.