LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner Shares the 4 A’s that Make a Great Recruiter

October 23, 2014

“What’s your dream job?”

If you’re not bringing up this question during interviews, it’s time to start.  According to Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, this is one of the most important questions you can ask a potential hire.

“To find a rock star, you need to understand what it is they want to do so that you can determine if they’re a good fit,” Jeff explained in Tuesday’s fireside chat with Pat Wadors, Head of HR at LinkedIn.

And determining fit, according to him, should be a big priority for recruiters. One way to get really good at that is to embed yourself in the team you are recruiting for in order to understand the culture and needs. “[The best recruiters] don’t just sit with the team, they are of the team,” said Jeff.

Furthermore, “[recruiting] is not a sales process,” Jeff explained. “People become so focused on an outcome that they lose sight of why they’re having those conversations [with candidates] in the first place.” In today’s competitive atmosphere, bringing people onboard as quickly as possible can sometimes cause recruiters to forget what is truly important: the long-term fit with the company or quality of hire.

“You want to make sure that as the candidate continues to grow that you’re going to grow in alignment,” Jeff continued. “You want to make sure the fit is there on both sides. It’s too easy to lose sight of that.” Making sure that a candidate will mesh with the company culture mean that they are more likely to stay with the company for a longer period of time and make a lasting impact. In other words, you won’t have to search for their replacement in just a few months.

Once fit is determined, Jeff went on to discuss the 4 qualities, or “4 A’s,” that he looks for in great HR teams and how they apply to recruiters:

1. Analytical capability

In this day and age, we have access to unprecedented amounts of data. The best hires are able to use this data in order to be as objective as possible.

For recruiters, this doesn’t mean that gut, intuition, and chemistry should be thrown out the window. Instead, data should be used to compliment these qualities. The best recruiters know how to use data not just for data’s sake, but to help them drive specific outcomes.

2. Adaptability

Too often, people do something a certain way simply because that’s the way it’s always been done. But, top professionals challenge themselves to go further than conventional wisdom.

Some recruiting practices have been around for decades and, while it’s important for recruiters to understand and consider benchmarks, the most successful are the ones who challenge themselves to go further. They adapt their strategies to align with business needs and they aren’t afraid to try new things.

3. Agility

Given how rapidly organizations are evolving and the continued acceleration of technology, an ability to move quickly and work cross functionally is essential.

For recruiters, this means working together with recruiting partners and HR in order to manage expectations and make sure that time tables make sense for everyone involved. To work well with stakeholders, the best recruiters should be flexible and constantly question assumptions.

4. Authenticity

Professionals who sincerely convey passion, interest, and purpose are those who stand out from the rest.

In talent acquisition, authenticity is essential for getting the job done. Candidates can sniff out ingenuity from a mile away, so recruiters need to be able to authentically convey why a role is a good fit for them. To get to a ‘yes,’ recruiters have to make candidates feel like they can trust them.

To get more great insights from Jeff Weiner, watch the full recording of this fireside chat: