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I write a lot about the sales profession because that is my background, however for the last seventeen years I have been running a staffing company. The two key roles at a staffing company are sales, and recruiting ... and unless a company is effective at both, it will not be successful.
So let's talk about the recruiter role ...
1. Great recruiters have good sales skills ... because (a) they need to listen to what candidates want in a job, and (b) they need to sell their jobs to interested candidates.
2. Great recruiters have great time management skills. This is a fast paced job, and they are expected to work on multiple orders at any given time. To be effective they will need to prioritise, focus and execute quickly.
3. I mentioned focus ... but the best recruiters can focus right in on their current mandate for the exact amount of time needed ... and then switch to the next job, and to the next job and then back again. You can only chase one rabbit at a time so that focus is critical, otherwise you are all over the map and catch no rabbits!
4. Great recruiters build relationships with their candidates. they find a way to keep in touch, they are interested in people and they make their candidates understand they truly do care.
5. Great recruiters are accountable ... when they are given a mandate, they truly own it. They take responsibility and make sure they do everything they need in order to find the right person for that job.
6. Great recruiters hold their salespeople accountable. They need them to get complete information, to have "fillable orders" and to be willing and able to push their clients to get the information needed to close the right candidate on the job.
7. Great recruiters are not clock watchers ... they know it can be tough to get hold of people during the work day and will make time to reach out when candidates can talk.
8. Great recruiters are life long learners .. they need to understand the types of roles their clients look for. They need to understand what makes those clients good employers, so they can properly represent them.
The recruiting role is fast paced, competitive and challenging ... but it is also extremely rewarding. You can see success quickly, you meet a ton of interesting people, your skills are very portable (across cities and even countries), there is big demand for good recruiters and you can make a good living!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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