The 9 Essential Qualities of Modern Recruiters

March 13, 2015

Since LinkedIn launched in 2003 and started convincing people to post their resumes for the world to see, the role of recruiters has morphed. Before LinkedIn (henceforth referred to as “BL”), recruiters were guardians of introductions. The real value of recruiters was the quality of their network, whose contact information we kept tightly guarded in desk drawers. If you had the info to make the intro, you had the power.

But, now that people publicly post their work history, accomplishments, contact info, interests, etc, we are no longer defined by our networks.

So who are we as recruiters?

At RockIT Recruiting, we decided to do a thought exercise about how we view ourselves and our role as recruiters in 2015. When we asked our team who they are as recruiters, the answers varied: Coach, Fisherman, Chess master, Ambassador, Matchmaker, Glassblower…even LeBron James or Pulp Fiction-era Samuel L. Jackson entered the mix.

Our first lesson learned from seeing 15 unique responses was that recruiters in 2015 have to be versatile. There is no longer one simple element of our job that determines a strong recruiter (as a network did for you BL).

Here are the key traits we agreed today's top recruiters possess:

1. A good listener and clear communicator.

Recruiting starts and ends with listening. We take copious notes and track all interactions in our database because people are unique and so are their needs. If you don’t listen then you can’t deliver, and if you can’t deliver then you offer no value.

2. Creates a sense of urgency so that matches actually get made and no time is wasted.

Hiring managers have their day jobs, and candidates have their jobs too. Our job is hiring, and if we don’t drive the process forward then no one will, resulting in lots of wasted time on processes started but not successfully completed.

3. Have a keen sense of timing, patience and the ability to act quickly when the time is right.

The majority of the time, candidates change jobs when the time is right. It’s our job to track their career and have the right opportunity at that moment.

4. Ability to filter through a laundry-list of requirements and decipher which are truly motivating factors -- aka. the must-haves vs nice-to-haves.

We can think of this as next-level-questioning, which is what we use to get to the heart of the matter. If your client wants a “rockstar” engineer, ask them what exactly that means to them. If your candidates say they will choose their next company based on “the culture,” ask them which elements of the culture are most important to them - what type of environment will they fit in well.

5. Can motivate, support, and whip someone into shape when needed

Hiring is hard, getting a job is hard. We are in a fortunate position to have worked with thousands of job seekers and hundreds of companies, so we have seen what works and what doesn’t. We give interview preparation tips, interview process advice, pep talks when times get stressful and contribute wherever we can to reach the goal.

6. Understanding of available recruiting tools and ability to identify the right bait to lure your catch

There is A LOT of information available online, so we need to know which lake to fish in. We use all the resources at our disposal to understand what each individual will most likely respond to. Then we monitor results and iterate. We do this all of this quickly, with high volume.

7. Creates an optimal process that can be customized for individuals

When recruiting becomes purely a formula, the process turns into a transaction and transactional recruiting can’t attract star-performers. Star-performers are in high-demand, creating a complex recruiting situation that needs to be managed flexibly and creatively.

8. Manages egos and expectations

Companies and candidates both like to believe they are great and deserve the greatest, which is true! But someone has to provide a reality check to keep expectations reasonable, and our vast experience grants us that authority.

9. Pays attention to the details. All of them.

Remember that none of the parties involved have to work with you as a recruiter.  They should want to work with you because you make the process easier, faster, and more successful. This is only true if you take a detail-oriented approach to providing quality service.

At the end of the day, all of these traits boil down to creating a good experience for all parties involved. As recruiters in 2015, we will continue to move further along the spectrum of adding value, based on the experience and service, rather than peddling people or jobs as our “products.”

Join the conversation and tell us who you are as a recruiter by tweeting your thoughts to @HireOnLinkedIn

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