A pretty straight forward question with a rather complex answer.  The thing is recruiting is truly an art.  An art that works differently for each individual person. What works for one person may not for another. That’s because in order to succeed in our space (I mean really kill it, not just get by in the tough, ruthless, rewarding world of recruiting) you have to find what works best for you and invest your heart, soul, personality and countless hours into making it and more importantly creating your own network.  If done right, the reward far outweighs the frustration.

Starting off in the recruiting world is definitely not an easy feat. You hit more rejection then you do success. However, those who are relentless, hungry and driven do not allow that to get in the way. Ever heard the saying, “great things take time?” Well that is definitely applicable when it comes to recruiting. It comes down to a balanced, consistent numbers game of constantly pushing, reaching out, cold calling, meetings and not letting rejection smack you in the face.  Instead, use it to push you, motivate you and learn from.  Given time, you begin to build a network for yourself which is definitely one of the most vital parts of being a successful recruiter

So what are the key factors that separate a good recruiter from a great one you ask? Besides being tenacious, reliable, hardworking, goal driven, persistent and up for the challenge…

Confidence: How will a potential candidate or client have confidence in putting trust in you if you are not even confident in yourself and your recruiting abilities? An individual’s confidence or lack thereof is easier to read then you may think. There is a certain air of confidence that must be exuded when speaking with a candidate or client. It will draw people to you and have them wanting to know more. The secret sauce?  Ask questions.  Knowledge is Power.

Excellent listening skills: Listening is one of the MOST vital factors in being a great recruiter. The more you listen to your candidate, the more you will find out about them.  You will learn what they like, what they hate.  Do they have a family, are they looking to relocate, what are they looking for in their next role, are they even looking and what it might take for them to make a career move. Most importantly you will learn all about their role and guide yourself one step closer to mastering that skill in knowledge.  If you do not give your candidate a second to speak how can you learn anything about them and what THEY want.

Interpersonal: Of course there needs to be a balance between having your candidate or client as your BFF and a healthy, friendly working relationship. However, you need to create a strong interpersonal relationship with them. They need to be able to trust you and know that you have their best interests in mind. Get to know them professionally as well as personally. Ask your client Tom, how the kids are, how was the vacation they took last week? Ask Sara your candidate how her trip to California was or how was her honeymoon? Be ENGAGED! Whether you’re trying to find the perfect role for a candidate or searching for the perfect candidate for the role on your lap, you MUST be able to provide either relationship with reassurance that the job WILL get done.  Furthermore, by digging a little deeper and getting to know them on a personal level it allows them to feel comfortable speaking with you and let down their walls. If they think you are just a sales person looking for your next commission check the conversation will be very surface level, cold and not nearly as productive.

Time Management/Detail Oriented/Multi-tasker: Let us tell you,  there are times when, as a recruiter, your head is about to spin off because you are doing 100 things at once, every day. You must be able to stay organized. Now of course this looks different for every person. However, time is of the essence as a recruiter. Your potential candidate can be swooped away at any time by another recruiter if you’re too busy or disorganized. With that being said, time management, attention to detail and the ability to multi-task are extremely important in order to be effective, efficient and successful. Whether it be speaking with candidates, speaking with a client or closing a deal. Speaking to a candidate about a role not appropriate for them or talking to a client about crucial details that were discussed the week prior is the last way you will get ahead in recruiting.

Marketing: Social Media, digital advertising, promotions. This is the way of the 21st century. Social media is THE way that companies, sports teams, services, the whole modern world promote themselves. It’s free advertising, why wouldn’t you take advantage of that? This allows you to not only promote your services and roles, but a more personable approach of who you are as a recruiter. Brushing up on your social media skills will definitely only help you in reaching a wider audience and being more successful.

What works for one recruiter may not work for another. It takes time, trial and error and countless hours to find out what works best for you and your network. However, the above tips and advice can only further help you in your career…. Ready, set, recruit!