by Helen Dodds | 16 February 2017
There is a common perception in today’s society that recruitment is easy, but let me tell you something I’ve learned from experience, it certainly is not. Recruitment is much more than sitting behind a desk, finding candidates for vacancies and helping people out of work. The majority of recruiters work long hours, in a fast-paced environment, with ever-changing goal posts, it is a tough job!
There are many challenges recruiters face day-to-day and it is important that you possess a variety of skills and characteristics in order to overcome said challenges and be successful within your field. If you are thinking about choosing a career in recruitment take note of the following attributes that are essential if you want to carve a successful career.
A successful recruiter should be:
- Passionate: Recruitment is a sales role and if you are not passionate about the product or service that you are essentially ‘selling’ then you have little chance of being successful. When recruiting for a client, you become an extension of their business and recruitment process, you therefore need to be informative and passionate about them as an employer. This also applies to the candidate you’re representing, if you have a little passion and a genuine interest in people will help you go a long way.
- Positive: There are many things that won’t go your way on a daily basis including candidates not turning up to interviews, candidates accepting counter offers from current employers and losing out to a competitor to name but a few. You cannot always prevent these things from happening and so it is important not to become disheartened by them and maintain a positive attitude. Tomorrow is a brand new day!
- Resilient: You have to have a thick skin in recruitment especially in today’s market with the negative press the industry gets. Yes there are a lot of recruiters out there but only handful who provide a good service. To be successful you have to join the few, not the many.
- Empathetic: Perhaps the thing I find most difficult about recruitment is having to tell candidates that they have been unsuccessful, whether it be at shortlist or interview stage. It is never an easy thing to do and it is important to keep your candidates happy. Having the ability to understand how an individual is feeling is imperative in recruitment. Gather information, listen to their thoughts and feelings and use the experience to do better next time.
- Understanding: This is different from the above. This is about your comprehensive understanding of the wants and needs of the individual you are working with, whether it be your candidates or clients. Listen to your client and make sure you know what is important to them. What exactly is it that they are looking for? Meet with your candidates, spend time with them, and build that rapport through understanding.
- Persistent: Studies over the years have shown that 80 percent of sales occur after at least five ‘no’s’. There will always be objections, it is the nature of recruitment. Certain organisations may have already built relationships with competitors or you may be new to your market and struggling to develop your own network. No matter what the obstacle is, the key is not to get discouraged and keep at it.
- An industry expert: Your candidates and clients will expect you to possess in-depth knowledge about the job you are recruiting for, so having expert knowledge of the sector and the role is essential. Listen to your candidates and clients and learn from them. Utilise your networks to build upon your understanding of your market.
- Honest: Every recruiter wants to be viewed as a trusted advisor, so managing expectations with honesty is extremely important. Misleading your candidates or clients can be detrimental to your reputation and credibility.
- Communication: Recruiters do not just liaise with stakeholders via the telephone, we send emails, we make contact via LinkedIn, and we attend networking events. Maintaining clear lines of communication is essential, and remembering to keep clients and candidates up-to-date is a must. Solid relationships are built on strong communication.
It doesn’t stop here! There are many other traits and characteristics that a successful recruiter must have including confidence, focus, determination, informative, interesting, committed, competitive and organised to name but a few.
Whilst a role in recruitment can be challenging, the rewards most certainly outweigh the hard work we invest. If you have had a positive recruitment experience recently you will probably agree that it is the consultant working on your behalf that made all the difference. You also should remember that working alongside that consultant will be a team of like-minded individuals who all share the above skills and characteristics and a desire to provide you with the best possible service whether candidate or client.