The 3 Skills Recruiters Need to Master (and the Resources to Help Do That)

February 8, 2016

Every recruiter wants to be great. And every recruiting leader wants their people to be great.The problem is, just wanting it to happen or working harder to hone skills you already have is often not enough.

For a person to truly improve, they need to learn new skills. And, this doesn’t just occur on its own. Instead, employers need to provide resources and trainings for their team to learn new skills, and employees need to actually take development seriously.

The question then becomes, what trainings should companies offer their recruiters; i.e. what are the most important skills for a recruiter to master?

To answer this question, we turned to a 2013 report by Bersin by Deloitte. In the report, the researchers uncovered the three skills that top recruiters do really well, which separates them from their colleagues. Going off that, we found resources that effectively teach those skills, providing a roadmap for any company looking to best develop the skills of its recruiting team.

1. Improve your communication, leadership, listening and conflict management skills, so you continually form strong relationships with your hiring managers.

  • recruiting skills

The most important skill for recruiters to master is the ability to consistently form great relationships with their hiring managers. And that means not acting as an order-taker who does whatever the hiring manager says, but instead as an equal partner and a hiring expert who advises the hiring manager on the best strategy to take.

What are the top skills to learn to make that happen? Well, it comes down to leadership, communication, listening and conflict resolution. Here are courses that teach those skills:

Additionally, here are some good articles to read on the topic:

2. Improve your analytical, InMail, job posting and networking skills to build stronger, more diverse talent pools

  • recruiting skills

The second-most important skill for recruiters to master is the ability to build talent pools. This is pretty basic: The main job of any recruiter is to build talent pools, so obviously the better you can build them, the better you can do your job.

The key here is addressing shortfalls in your existing skillset. For example, many recruiters are good at networking, as that’s often what drew them into recruiting in the first place. However, they might not be good at the analytics necessary to help build a talent pool, so there’s a place for improvement.

For recruiting leaders, it is about providing a diverse set of resources, so if someone is struggling in any one area, you can help them improve. Here are some courses to take and articles to read about building a strong talent pool, depending on where you struggle the most:

The big thing here is knowing how to use the tools at your disposal – everything LinkedIn offers, your ATS, etc – and some industry best practices to build the best talent pools possible.

3. Improve your social media, writing and branding skills to master social media

  • recruiting skills

Great recruiters know how to build out their personal brands, so great candidates start coming to them. The easiest way to do that is mastering social media and becoming well known in the digital world.

For recruiting leaders, here are some great courses to encourage your employees to take, so they can begin to brand themselves:

Additionally here are some articles and eBooks on the topic:

Finally, here are three recruiting leaders who do a great job branding themselves on social media, and are worth following for inspiration:

Tying it all together

Of course, there are other resources out there and there are other skills a recruiter might need to sharpen. But the bigger takeaway here is that if you want to improve and you want your people to improve, you have to set aside time to for professional development, independent from the daily grind.

If you don’t, chances are you and your people are going to do what they are already doing again and again and again. Real improvement instead happens suddenly, when you learn a new way to do something that makes you more effective, and makes you wonder why you didn’t always do it that way.

*Image form Kung Fu Panda

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