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October 13, 2015

What does it take to be a great Recruiter?

I was thinking recently about whether there is one attribute above all others that the very top recruiters I have known over the years share that really sets them apart from the rest. Clearly there are common traits that many share in varying degrees but is there one that is prominent in the very best?

Some top performers I have known simply work harder than the rest, others have a level of market knowledge that sets them apart, while others have personable style that candidates and clients buy into immediately. But when I recall all the top performers I have known over the years, I am struck with how very different they all are. It’s clear that there is no set style that sets the top performer apart.

When I think about it though, there is one attribute that best I have ever worked with share, one that regardless of how else they go about their business they have in abundance…

They are EXCELLENT listeners. They listen, they analyse, they question, they challenge and they seek to understand! (An unashamed Covey reference!)

I’ve seen some recruiters spend their time whilst others are talking thinking about their next line, or perhaps writing the spoken words in note form. But it’s those that genuinely endeavor to understand that consistently stand out time and again.

These individuals will ask those uncomfortable questions, they’re not afraid to demonstrate a lack of understanding, and they’ll challenge along the way. As a result they go on to deliver a great service, build lasting relationships and control an, at times chaotic, process in a way surpasses the majority.

What do you think? Is there anything others would add? What’s your experience?