Probably the extroverted type with above-average levels of confidence. But looking around the office here at Bloom, it is abundantly clear that not every successful recruiter fits that mould.
So, if you don’t need to fit the ‘sales’ stereotype, what qualities do you need to be a successful recruiter?
Sourcing brilliant candidates is only a small part of the recruitment process, and it’s easy to forget that clients utilise recruiters for their market expertise as well as their headhunting abilities. In order to separate the excellent consultant from the average, you need to be able to influence the hiring process and demonstrate your market knowledge. Think beyond the existing procedure. How could the client alter the interview process, to help them retain that great candidate? What suggestions could you make to help your client hire the correct team for their upcoming project? As a consultant, you have the power to influence so many aspects of so many processes which will not only benefit you but also help you build trust and ultimately, a stronger relationship with both your candidates and clients.
Not every candidate or prospective client is going to pick up the phone the first time you ring, so you have to be tenacious with your calling, and be willing to "try-try-again". You also have to remember that there is a very distinct difference between being tenacious and being downright irritating, so it is crucial that you strike the balance between the two, but at the same time don’t give up hope too quickly.
Clients and candidates are often approached by multiple recruiters every day, which is why you need to stand by the message you want to deliver and keep reminding them why they should make talking to you a priority. This also means that a sense of urgency is required on your part when market competition is high. A candidate’s situation can change in a matter of hours, so you need to be acting quickly. If you don’t, your client might miss out on securing the best talent (and you’ll probably beat yourself up if you miss out on a potential deal!).
Recruitment can be tough sometimes - we’re dealing with humans after all, which means that not everything is going to magically fall into place. If things aren’t going your way, you need to be able to pick yourself up and remind yourself of your ‘why’. I think most of us would be lying if we said that money wasn’t a strong motivator, but there are many other rewards associated with being a recruiter. Maybe you helped a client build up an entire team from scratch, or helped a candidate land their dream job which means they have a better quality of life for themselves and their family. If you have a strong sense of purpose, you’re more likely to enjoy what you do each day and be able to power through when you need a Plan B (or even a Plan C).
Listening is arguably the most important part of a recruiter’s day-to-day job. You need to qualify each candidate you speak to; you need to ensure you’ve understood your client’s requirements; you need to ask questions of candidates if you are going to build up a strong knowledge of your market. The list goes on. The little details are what make all the difference, which is why it is absolutely essential that you are always listening to extract as much information as you can. Don’t just be waiting for your next opportunity to ask a question.
This is something that doesn’t come in great abundance to some of us. But even those of us who are perhaps more introverted and less naturally confident can be successful in recruitment. The more time you spend perfecting and delivering your message, or 'USP', the more likely you are to start believing it yourself. As well as being persistent with your message, you need to understand why (and, importantly, believe it yourself) somebody would choose to work with you over anyone else. Ultimately if you endorse your own personal brand, the likelihood is that others will too.
Recruitment isn’t black and white, and sometimes it can be a challenge, but when you have the above skills (and several cups of coffee), the success you share with your colleagues, candidates and clients will greatly outweigh any hurdles you have to get over along the way.
By Sophie Weeden