Successful recruiters have several qualities in common: thick skin, persistence, a set of solid plans, and no fear of failure. They must have superior character judgment, skill assessment, and communication skills. At the crux of it all, however, is the one question they must ask themselves about any candidate: Will this person end up making more money for the company than any other candidate? Of course, this is not the only important question, but it influences all other questions.
Recruiters don’t get to make the final hiring decisions, however. All they can do is recommend the candidate to the powers that be. Successful recruiters don’t let it get to them if they are ignored, no matter how much work they put into vetting the right person. The company may just hire someone else for any number of reasons.
Recruiters also have a great responsibility. While processing applicants, communicating with hiring managers, or even just vetting new submissions, they must do so with the utmost security. Data breaches in the process of seeking candidates will spell disaster for the company. People will not apply for vacant jobs if they think their privacy and sensitive data are in danger.
Successful recruiters are also meticulous about the data they collect. They’ll maintain extensive Excel spreadsheets about candidates and their qualities and cross-reference them with other spreadsheets about companies and their needs. They’ll also upload data into an applicant tracking system. Such systems not only allow recruiters to keep track of candidates and employers, but they also allow them to network with other recruiters.
The Other Half of the Job
Half of the job is looking for clients as well as candidates. Because top independent recruiters can demand compensation as high as 30 percent of a candidate’s annual salary, sometimes even the best can price themselves out of the market. Therefore, the most successful recruiters market themselves to companies as much as they do search for qualified candidates.
Recruiting candidates for job openings in major companies can be a lucrative and rewarding job. It is, however, not for the faint of heart. The job requires optimism in the face of failure, blood-and-guts determination, and superb networking chops.