As I’m standing in the hallway outside the Directors office, I hear him say to another senior manager…. “you’ve had her for 18 months, you always get the best people, it’s time to share, we want her to recruit for us next year”.
Then there was the time I was sitting in a Partner’s office and he said, “well I don’t care if she’s been promoted, if this new recruiter isn’t as good then I want her back in our business, we can’t afford to lose her”
Whenever I hear comments like this, my automatic thought is….why do some recruiters/consultants/talent managers… stand out from the crowd and become the ones who are in demand?
To me, the reason is clear.
I know what makes a good recruiter and I know what makes a GREAT recruiter.
The reason that I know, is because I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them in action; and when they’re good, it is a pleasure to watch! Not only have I seen them in action but I’ve been lucky enough to manage a number of them before and I’ve loved having them in my team!
I’ve seen great recruiters when they’ve only had a years experience and I’ve seen them when they’ve had 10 years experience and in my eyes the fundamentals don’t really change.
These are the 5 things that I’ve found to be true when hiring a great recruiter:
There are somethings that can be compromised on and other things that can’t. Great recruiters won’t compromise on quality. The quality of the candidate experience, the quality of the process, the quality of the information that they provide back to their stakeholder group.
What do I mean by this. I believe a great recruiter owns their business line. They take it as being their responsibility and what happens when it comes to recruitment in that business line, is a reflection on their ability to manage the end to end process and everything inbetween. Knowing their target candidate audience and being well networked in those groups and tribes, building strong and trusted relationships with their hiring community and earning a ‘seat at the table’ as well as leading from the front when it comes to the commercials of the recruitment process they own. Some people at times may call them perfectionists, but whilst they may make mistakes they rectify them quickly and honestly. Uncompromising integrity also sets them apart.
2) Focused & Informed
Focused on the task at hand.
What does my business division need?
What do I need to do to achieve this and what is my plan of action and strategy?
Understanding what the success measures are going to be before engaging new and/or different sourcing channels, knowing what their cost per hire is, sourcing mix, ratios and what their hiring plan looks like and how they are tracking against it. There are different levels to which a recruiter may be able to track this information but as most recruiters manage 70-90 hires each per year, knowing this information shouldn’t be out of reach.
Sharing this information with their business group will also allow them to have more in depth conversations around what is working and what isn’t for that particular group.
3) Organised & Hard working
This is a pretty simple one I think. A recruiter doesn’t always have to be working long hours to get things done.
It’s the ones that are organised, know what they need to do and when they need to do it that will deliver the best results. Whilst workloads and time demands go up and down with the market, having a great work ethic is critical.
I always think of a good recruiter as being a squirrel……stay with me here! 🙂 A squirrel builds up their stash of nuts so that they can survive when times get tough!
I remember working with a recruiter that was pretty busy most of the time, but when things got a little less hectic, she wouldn’t kick back, she would look at her list of hard to fill roles for her business group, the roles that would take them a long time to recruit or find the right people, and even if there wasn’t a vacancy at the time, she would continue to talent pool, connect and network with those types of people.
She would also set up coffee meetings for the Directors to meet with potential candidates, so that when the role became available she had 3-4 candidates that she could reach out to and see if either they were interested or knew someone who was. Roles in her business group that used to take up to over 90 days to fills went down to around the 40-45 day mark because she has already done the leg work and stored her nuts up so to speak.
How can I do this better? What other technology, communities, group, online forums, conferences, networks are out there and how do I join?
A curious recruiter can be hard to find. Many are happy just to come to work, do their job and go home with little to no curiosity about what else may be going on outside the 4 sides of their desk – and for some businesses that’s fine.
I found that curious recruiters build stakeholder relationships very quickly, because they make sure that they understand their business group, they know their managers, they share information that they find about new things or competitor insights.
I believe you can teach a recruiter to be curious if they can see the benefits that being curious can have. Sharing information with stakeholders is a big one. Making them feel like you’re on top of what is happening in the market and being their eyes and ears out there will, many times earn you a seat at the table.
5) Personable & professional
Like many things in life, being personable and professional will get you a long way. Being hardworking, curious, focused and uncompromising are great and will ensure you are efficient and on top of everything but be personable makes life more enjoyable. When people love to talk to you, they value your input and the way you engage and interact, then it makes everything above stick a little bit more. You can be the best recruiter in the world but if no one likes you and your unprofessional, the chances of them wanting to work with you again could be slim.