The 6 things you want in a good recruiter.

The clients I typically work for require executive recruitment services; they fall into 1 of these 3 categories:

  1. Mid to Large sized companies with no in-house HR whose hiring is decentralized and falls on the shoulders of individual Business Leaders to handle
  2. Small business owners who are overextended and have little time to methodically handle the recruitment of quality candidates to their organization
  3. HR Leaders in large organizations who have multifaceted responsibilities preferring to partner up and source out their recruiting to a professional recruitment agency

If Recruitment Solutions are needed, here are the six things you should look for in a recruiter.

  1. Instinct.

A good gut is a recruiter’s secret weapon. It’s what separates the great recruiters from the mediocre ones.

My instinct about a match is almost immediate but that gut feeling involves sifting through a lot of data, some of it hard, some of it interpersonal.

  1. Soft skills.

Most postings speak to the skills necessary for the job: the specific talents and technical skills required. The core ones are non-negotiable.  That makes perfect sense.

But there is something to be said for learning what people want in a particular stage of their career and what is lacking in their present job that inspires them to move. A great recruiter asks that question before ruling out a candidate who might not perfectly reflect the qualifications.

  1. A willingness to drill down to find the applicant’s motivation.

You need to see that the applicant has the right mentality, the right core values. You must figure out what matters to the candidate in the context of the job but also in the context of who they are as people.  If I see the alignment is there, that’s when I can go back to my client and say ‘okay, here’s why this person is worth a conversation.’

  1. Patience at the front end of the process.

A great recruiter will invest up-front time with the client.

The company creates and determines everything. They get to decide who they want to hire, what they want to pay, how they want that person to develop. My job is to channel that, to get it solidified and concrete so I can step out of that and find them the right person.

The time involved to complete a search can vary. I recently had a project that took me four months to complete. A great deal of that time was helping the client refine their wish list. I don’t have all the answers but I can certainly communicate what I’m seeing, who I’m talking to and the applicant’s motivation.

It’s intel.

  1. Experience.

I’ll just say it: I would not have had the skill set you need to excel at this job when I was 25.  I can’t see how anyone would.

I have always listened very well. I was always intrigued by what made people tick. That just came naturally for me. But only with experience can you learn to channel those assets. You need time to keep fine-tuning your instincts, to keep learning about the motivations of clients and candidates.

  1. Enthusiasm.

Finally, and this one is just as important as the other five, you need a passion for the job. That means seeing it through even when you can’t visualize a successful resolution. If you never quit each dead end is really just another stop on the road to a successful hire.

When I get a great match…well, there’s no feeling like it. Being a great recruiter means you are addicted to the feeling that comes with engineering a match that is perfect for both parties, the company and the applicant.