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

Today’s Question: Good habits can make all the difference between standing still and accomplishing your goals. What habits do top recruiters tend to have, and how do they help those recruiters succeed?

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.


duran1. Keeping Your Calendar Updated

You need to stay on top of all your meetings, phone calls, and appointments. It’s partly a matter of etiquette, but it’s also about organizing your day. People will see you as rude if you arrive late or fail to answer the phone at a certain time, which is not good for your reputation as a recruiter.

Duran Inci, Optimum7

john2. Being Helpful

It’s important for recruiters to be helpful. If a potential candidate is not the right fit, it’s okay to say no. If you do, however, you should then look for opportunities to be helpful to the candidate in other ways. It’s all about building a network so the candidate and you both have more connections for the future.

John Hall, Calendar.com

vikas3. Screening In Instead of Out

Instead of screening candidates out, the best recruiters focus on how a candidate’s capabilities can fit the unique needs of the role. Listen to the benefits each candidate can offer and apply them to what your team is looking for in a new hire. Don’t forget: If someone is a little quirky at first, that person might just be a great cultural asset to your team!

Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz

yaniv4. Hiring Positive People

Obviously, you want to hire the best people for the job — and attitudes are important. If you think someone is going to bring the energy of the team down, that’s enough to rule them out. Never doubt your gut. Hiring someone who brings the team down will inevitably drive your positive team members away, leading to higher turnover and even more hires in the future.

Yaniv Masjedi, Nextiva

daisy5. Asking Discerning Questions

Discern the applicant’s real value by asking questions that reveal their character, weaknesses, and intelligence. It is very important that recruiters value the competence of the employee and how in sync they are with the employer.

Daisy Jing, Banish

shaun6. Listening Actively and Taking Notes

Successful recruiters actively listen to understand the company’s needs and identify what the ideal new hire looks like. Instead of simply moving through the questions, they listen to the client’s problems and take notes to develop a detailed understanding. Great recruiters apply the same habit to conversations with candidates, allowing them to ask deeper questions and learn more about potential hires.

Shaun Conrad, My Accounting Course

blair7. Leveraging AI and Automation

Recruiters have a lot to keep track of, from scheduling to communicating with applicants. Automation and AI tools can take some of the load off of your shoulders so more can be done in less time. The key is to use automation in strategic places in your recruitment processes. For example, a tool like Calendly allows applicants to schedule meetings with you, instead of the other way around.

Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

firas8. Internalizing Feedback

Most recruiters will throw any eligible candidate at a role. Although an applicant may look good on paper, their skills might not directly translate well for the job. The best recruiters internalize the feedback provided by clients and find ways to truly deliver the right candidates.

Firas Kittaneh, Zoma Mattress

thomas9. Seeking Opportunities Everywhere

Great recruiters seek opportunities everywhere. They never take things at face value and always dig deeper. For example, they don’t passively read updates from connections on LinkedIn. They analyze and assess what each update means. If someone is celebrating a new job, does that mean their new employer is hiring others? If two companies merge, is that an opportunity to headhunt some of those companies’ senior people?

Thomas Smale, FE International

stephanie10. Creating Positive Experiences

The best recruiters are friendly and make candidates feel comfortable even in rather uncomfortable situations. They’re not out to intimidate anyone; they simply want to find the best hire for the company.

Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

jared11. Keeping Up With the Latest Trends

Knowing the latest recruiting trends, as well as the trends shaping the industry you’re recruiting in, is crucial for a recruiter to succeed. You need to be able to keep up with the latest candidate and company demands to ensure everyone gets what they need and deserve.

Jared Atchison, WPForms

kevin12. Leveraging Social Media

Social media is a great way to connect with potential customers and reach new employees. That’s why the best recruiters work with their social media teams and content creators to convey the values and image of the company as clearly as possible through their networks.

Kevin Leyes, Leyes Media & Team Leyes, by Leyes Enterprises

jared13. Proactively Building Connections With Top Talent

A recruiter who is consistently building connections with top talent will be better equipped to take action whenever a new role becomes available. Having already established a connection with potential hires helps expedite the process tremendously.

Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.

matthew14. Knowing Your Companies and Clients

A recruiter is the first point of contact a candidate will have with a company. A successful recruiter will know the ins and outs of the company and speak clearly about the roles they are recruiting for. The better they understand these elements, the better their results will be.

Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, PA

jordan15. Tracking Results

Top recruiters know how to spend their time most effectively. That’s why it’s essential to track your efforts. Use data to shepherd your use of time. (E.g., Identify the channels your applicants use most and focus outreach there.) Good metrics keep you organized and efficient, and they tell you what is or isn’t working.

Jordan Conrad, Writing Explained

Andrew16. Going With Your Gut

Go with your instincts when in doubt. One resume or interviewee may clearly stand out over another, but if something just doesn’t sit right, the best recruiters go with their guts. Instincts can often win out over data and information.

Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance


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