The five qualities of the perfect recruiter


Whether you’re new to recruitment or more experienced, it’s always worth setting aside time on a regular basis to assess how you can go beyond your job remit to make your career prospects perkier.

One of the niftiest ways of achieving success is to emulate the professional habits of high-fliers. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top five habits of stellar-performing recruiters. If you can adopt these five qualities, you’re well on your way to putting your career on an upward trajectory…


Work on your relationships

Emma Kelleher, managing director at Caterek Recruitment hits the nail on the head when she says: “I believe the perfect recruiter is someone who can empathise with both parties. You should have a good understanding of your client’s requirements, ideally having taken the time to visit them, see what the potential candidate is going to have to do and where they will be working.”

You work in a people business, so it’s not rocket science that you need to be able to handle all types of personality, mood, ability and talent on a daily basis. If you like and understand people, you’ll be a natural at networking – the life-blood of recruitment – and by building trust you will attract and retain clients as well as jobseekers throughout their career. They are also more likely to recommend you to other job-seekers – so watch out, you could get busy.


Treat technology with respect

The best recruiters we looked at are not techno-geeks. For sure, they use email, social media and the Internet to speed up communication with candidates and clients and to research new talent or industry trends, but they are too busy meeting people, making phone calls and networking to become totally obsessed with the Internet.

Similarly, while it’s important to make sure candidates and clients understand the value of getting online for assessments, interviews or to keep in touch – especially if they are located at a distance – be prepared to adapt your own computer wizardry to suit their capabilities.


Find some inner zen

Matching the best candidate to a plum vacancy can be a slow-burn. Sometimes, a placement will take a lot of research and patience and if you try to rush it you may end up pushing the employer into making a disastrous job offer  – which will come back to haunt you.

You also need to be flexible. Frustrating as it may be, you will need to swallow that spiky remark if candidates or clients ask to reschedule interview dates or make last-minute diary changes.

Worse still, if a candidate doesn’t turn up to the interview, or the client fills the vacancy internally or pulls the job, you’re going to have to find some inner calm, think on your feet and rescue the situation.

Needless to say, if you blow your top with a difficult employer or callow candidate, you’re going to blow the working relationship.


Honesty is the best policy

Check out any of the top recruiters and you’ll notice they make a point of being transparent about their client list and which sectors they specialise in. Most importantly, they are honest about whether they can help individual jobseekers.

It’s important to assess a jobseeker’s qualifications, skills and attitude and to be upfront about whether their aim is achievable, what their chances are and if so, how long it might take. In some cases, you may have to suggest that they get further training.

If they are right for a vacancy, you need to give clear information about the job specification and the company and keep them updated when their application goes through.

Pretty much the same goes for your dealings with the client. You need to be sure that the candidate has the qualities they require and not hide any crucial deficiencies if you want to build a long-term working relationship.


Listen up

Frankly, nobody wants to hear about you. To make the most successful placements you need to ask clients and candidates open and probing questions about what each side wants in terms of career prospects, salary and job specification. Then you need to take on board the answers.

As Kelleher says: “You should also have a very good knowledge of the client’s requirements with regards to any specialist knowledge or qualifications, so that you can fully vet your candidates.”

You also need to get an understanding of whether the employer and candidate will be a good cultural fit and to do that you will need to get to know both sides on a slightly more personal level.

In short, you need to use all your senses. That way, you will know whether a vacancy will be of interest to the candidate, or an employer will take a second look at a candidate even before they do.

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