Recruiting can be a lucrative career. It is also a fiercely competitive one that requires you to have a very strong personality in order to succeed.
Not everybody has what it takes to be a recruiter, but maybe you are one of the few who can really make the grade. Not sure if you are? Here are the 10 qualities you’ll need to possess if you want to be the cream of the crop in the recruiting world:
1. The Ability to Build Relationships
Recruiting is personal. If you pursue a career as a recruiter, you should be prepared to deal with people from a wide range of backgrounds each and every day.
You will need people skills that go beyond just being “outgoing” and “personable.” You have to be the kind of person who can recognize when a personal and professional connection can be made – and you also need the ability to convince sometimes resistant parties that they should connect with one another.
If you want to be a recruiter, you should be the type of person who loves to meet new people. Your ability to build new relationships will be key to forging the sense of comfort and familiarity that makes both clients and job seekers alike trust you.
If you want to gain the confidence of clients and job seekers, you need to exude confidence of your own.
The job of a recruiter involves a lot of cold calling and a lot of time spent convincing clients that you are more than qualified to meet their staffing needs. If you present yourself as being confident and self-assured, you’ll have a much easier time succeeding at both.
3. Great Listening Skills
The recruiting process is driven by lots of requirements. If you do not have great listening skills, you risk misunderstanding the requirements of both your clients and the job seekers you work with. Unfortunately, it only takes a few tone deaf submissions to lose the confidence of both.
If you have a great interest in other people and you enjoy listening to others, these will be great assets in your recruiting career. When you truly understand the needs of your clients and your job seekers, you are almost guaranteed to create successful matches that will result in long-term employment.
4. Well-Developed Marketing Skills
Recruiting is a sales and marketing job, with a bit of extra specialized knowledge thrown in. You must be able to market yourself to potential clients and convince them that you are the right choice. Once you have your clients signed, you must convince them that the candidates you have are a good fit for them.
At the same time, you must be able to market job opportunities to job seekers in a way that makes them excited about pursuing those opportunities.
Finally, you have to be able to do all of these things even the job seeker isn’t an ideal fit for the client or the client isn’t the perfect fit for the job seeker. This is because a perfect match between a job seeker and client is like a unicorn: it’s a beautiful thing, and it’s also a myth.
5. A Goal-Oriented Mindset
Salaries in recruiting are often very low, and you are expected to make up the difference through commissions and bonuses. If you choose to go the route of self-employment, there is no salary. There is just you and the commission that you earn when your job seeker makes it through the probationary period. You must work tirelessly to gain clients and job seekers, and you must meet the target numbers that are set by your employer, or that you set for yourself.
6. Great Communications Skills
Unfortunately, not every piece of news a recruiter delivers is good news. There will be many occasions on which you will have to tell an eager candidate that they were turned down for the position.
Sometimes, you will be able to do this face to face, and that is difficult enough. If you are recruiting on a national or international level, however, you will often have to perform this task over the phone. In order to deliver bad news without burning bridges, you must have tact, empathy, and good communications skills.
Many of the interactions that you have with clients are about you making promises – and then following through on those. Your clients must know that they can count on you doing what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it. If you guarantee that you will have six resumes available to a client within two weeks, then that’s what you need to do. If you say that each job seeker you submit has been thoroughly vetted and meets the job requirements, then that should truly be the case.
There are many opportunities in this industry to take shortcuts and get ahead by behaving in ways that are less than ethical. For example, you can fudge background checks, encourage job seekers to be less than honest, post false ads to get resumes and client leads, and engaged in many other “get rich quick” schemes.
If you do these things, you will likely make yourself a quick buck – but if you have the integrity to behave in an ethical manner, you can forge a great career. That will be far more lucrative – in terms of money and fulfillment – than any sketchy maneuvers you’re tempted to pull.
9. The Ability to Multitask
When you’re a recruiter, never will a day go by where you can relax and take things slow. Each day will be spent juggling a variety of tasks at the same time. You will field calls from existing clients, schedule interviews, make connections with potential clients, slog through endless piles of paperwork, sit in on interviews, and search job listings. Can you handle all of that in one 8+ hour day? If so, then you may make a pretty great recruiter.
10. The Ability to Think on Your Feet
A job seeker calls to inform you that he has accepted a position and will not be at the job interview you have set up for him – oh, and the interview is in twenty minutes. A client sends you an irate email that the person she just hired on your recommendation never showed up for his first day of work. Another client calls and tells you that they need 20 manufacturing jobs filled in less than two weeks. What do you do?
Whatever you decide, you must decide quickly in order to smooth ruffled feathers and to assure clients that you can come through for them.
Being a recruiter isn’t always easy – but it can be a very rewarding career. If you want to break into the industry – or up your recruiting game – then you’d do well to cultivate these 10 qualities in yourself.