The word “recruit” is defined as the act of persuading someone to do or assist in doing something. As recruiters for jobs, you are doing just that: assisting hiring managers in finding the best candidate for the position, and persuading them that your candidate is the one they need, however being a recruiter is not just about persuasion. Being a great recruiter requires six underlying qualities which people don’t always think about.

Ability to See Past the Resume
When working in recruiting, it is important to note that a lot of people, if not most, struggle with writing resumes, so it is important to understand that they may be far more (or less) qualified than what you are seeing on the document in front of you. This means that you must be able to look at the overall picture and figure out if they are worth calling and touching base with. Most of the time, if people are leaving pertinent information out, it is because they think the information is assumed, which is something that can be easily fixed with a phone call and some quick edits. Having an open mind to see the person behind the document is perhaps one of the biggest assets a great recruiter can hold.

Ability to Read Social Cues
Ever had a candidate with a fantastic resume who won’t call you back or flakes out on phone meetings? Regardless of how qualified someone is, understanding that qualifications don’t make a candidate the right fit for the company is a huge part of recruiting. Not only do they need to fit in with the company culture, but they need to be reliable enough to represent you in a good light as a recruiter. If you send a candidate over who is fully qualified, but rude and perpetually late, this will reflect badly on you no matter what. Being able to read social cues and understanding who will be the best fit for the position will get you extremely far in recruiting.

Often why businesses hire recruiters is because they haven’t been able to find the right candidates themselves. There may be a multitude of reasons for this, one of those being that they can’t see past the resume like recruiters can. Thus, recruiters must have the confidence to show hiring managers that this candidate has all of the qualifications and skills they are looking for. If the recruiter is not confident in their candidate, how can a hiring manager be confident in them?

Marketing Skills
Being a great recruiter will take you far once you have the job, but if you don’t have marketing skills, it will be hard to secure a recruiting opportunity in the first place. As recruiter you must be able to not only market your business, but to market yourself. The bottom line is that people connect with and buy from other people, so if you can establish a connection with a potential client, it will be a lot easier to secure them as an actual client. Marketing yourself and your services means showing them why you will benefit their business, and why it is a risk to not work with you. If you can make people understand that not working with you is a far bigger risk that having you recruit for them, you’ll secure the job every time.

Relationship Building Skills
The base of recruiting is building relationships. You need to build relationships with candidates, clients, and other recruiters to establish your network and credibility. If you can’t successfully build relationships, how can you expect to secure and then close a deal? Again, this is where it is important to understand that people want to work with other people who they can trust and rely on, so in order to be a great recruiter, you must be able to portray these characteristics to those you work with. Listen to what they want and what they need so you can establish yourself as the solution to their problem.

Communication is the basis for everything in this world, and is ultimately one of the factors that will make or break you as a recruiter. There will be times when candidates don’t show up or clients need to fill a position with a tight deadline, and the only way to ensure that you are doing everything that needs to be done is through communication. Communication needs to be established with your team, your employees, your clients, and with your candidates so that people expect only the highest level of communication from you and from your team. And it never hurts to be kind and smile!


James Phillips


Invero Group

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