June 21, 2021

12 Characteristics All Top Recruiters Share (and Why They Get Results)

Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers!

Today’s Question: The best recruiters all have certain characteristics in common. In your opinion, what’s one of those traits, and why?

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization composed of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs.


1. Honesty

If you want to hire a bunch of employees who aren’t right for the job, make sure you go with a recruiter who is a real people pleaser. If you want employees who are actually a great fit for your company, go with a recruiter who has a proven track record of hiring based on real potential and results, someone who isn’t swayed by emotion. — Zac Johnson, Blogger

2. Discernment

An excellent recruiter knows what the company really needs — beyond what’s mentioned in the job description. They will also see beyond what the applicant is trying to show them. They know what questions to ask and how to read the applicant, and they can even aid retention by helping the company determine how to best position a new hire for success. — Daisy Jing, Banish

3. Confidence

Working as a recruiter involves a lot of networking and interacting with big groups of people. A recruiter who has confidence in themselves and the skills they can offer will be the most successful. This confidence will give them a more approachable demeanor (that builds positive relationships) and will help them communicate effectively with candidates and hiring managers. — Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

4. Approachability

The recruiter is the face of your company, so they need to be trustworthy and a good communicator. Building rapport with potential candidates can put them at ease during interviews and allow you to see what they really have to offer the company.
You want a recruiter who makes a good impression from the moment a potential hire opens that first email. — Matt Bertram, EWR Digital

5. Relevant Industry Experience

I think the best recruiters are people who have direct experience working in the industry they’re recruiting for. Often, job descriptions are written by people who have no idea what the job is about nor the qualifications a person needs to do it right. This is especially the case in the tech industry. Recruiters with direct knowledge are valuable and get the best results. — Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

6. Charisma

I think all excellent recruiters have charisma. They can take any topic and build excitement. You need these kinds of people when you’re looking to expand your team. Imagine getting contacted by a recruiter who sounds like they don’t want to be there. Would you want to work for that company? Odds are the answer is no. — Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

7. Likeability

Recruiters should be personable and likable because they are often the first point of contact during hiring. If a recruiter is rude or sarcastic, the candidate will most likely not want to go through with the interview process because they’ll perceive the company culture to be the same way. — Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

8. Analytical Skills

Recruiters need to be able to analyze the data and devise an effective recruiting process. They should track and review important metrics like time to hire, cost of hire, and quality of hire to get a clear and data-driven picture of their recruiting efforts. Then, they should adjust their recruiting strategies to improve their ROI. — Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

9. Listening Skills

The best recruiters know how to sell a company or position to a potential hire. More importantly, they know how to listen to what a candidate wants out of the position, and they use that information to craft a response that will get both the client and candidate on board. — Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

10. An Eye for Talent

To be a good recruiter, you need to know how to spot talent and develop it. All great recruiters do this well, or else they wouldn’t be great at what they do, right? But the devil is in the details: Spotting talent can be a talent in and of itself or a skill developed over years. — Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS

11. Adaptability

Great recruiters are people who can adapt their strategies to fit the industry they’re in. There are some areas where they need to have a strong interpersonal network to find skilled workers. In other areas, they need to know how to leverage online tools and social media to reach out to professionals. Being savvy about how candidates work and live is a game-changing trait. — Blair Williams, MemberPress

12. Proactive Thinking

Successful recruiters think proactively. They know that the best candidates are passive job hunters, so they use inbound recruiting strategies to reach them. They engage with talented people consistently and build pools of such candidates even before there’s an opening. They’re never in crisis. — Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite


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