So many different types of people
can be great recruiters. It’s not always
the gregarious person who can talk
to anyone who is most effective.
Many times, it’s the quiet, thoughtful
individual. So, personality type alone is
not the answer.
Here is my take on the eight
components that make a great recruiter:
1. CONNECTIVITY. At its foundation, recruiting is about being able to connect with
others. It’s one of the first things I look for
when interviewing candidates for a recruiter
position. I don’t focus on previous experience.
I feel like the position is easily trainable if you
hire the right person.
I need individuals who are natural connectors of people. They are probably active
on social media. And they may be in-person
connectors as well, being involved with volunteer work, religion, sports teams or clubs.
They can go in and out of social situations with
ease and instantly connect with someone new.
Recruiters are constantly speaking to and
messaging with candidates, most of whom
they have never met. Doing their jobs well
comes down to being able to almost instantly
build a rapport.
There’s also a piece of this segment of DNA
that comes down to sheer likeability. Great
recruiters have something in them that others like. In fact, I’ve met a bunch of recruiters who were technically awesome at their
jobs, but they rubbed most people the wrong
way and they failed. Don’t underestimate the
power of being liked when it comes to winning great talent.
2. THE ABILITY TO SPEAK THE TRUTH.
You may say, “Well, everyone can do that,” and
technically you would be right—but not everyone actually will, so this becomes an important trait. What’s even more valuable is having
the ability to speak the truth in a way in which
people will readily accept it.
In recruiting, we waste so much time playing this communication game with candidates. Dealing with real people who think
they’re the “perfect” ft for your job is hard,
especially when you know otherwise.
Great recruiters limit how much they work
for “free”—that is, the amount of time they’ll
spend with a candidate they’ll never hire.
They speak the truth in a way that is not offensive but that will clearly convey exactly
where candidates stand so they don’t need
This trait is also ultra-valuable when dealing with hiring managers. Our time dealing
with them tends to be one of the larger time
blocks we are challenged with. Bad recruiters will waste time telling hiring managers
what they want to hear, believing this leads
to higher “customer satisfaction.” Great ones
tell it straight in a manner that speeds the
process to a decision.
In an interview situation, I’ll gauge this
skill by asking questions that I know have
only one truthful response—one that is tough
to say in an interview. For example, I’m a big
Michigan State University supporter and fan.
If I am interviewing a candidate who I know
is a University of Michigan fan, I may ask him
or her, “If you were to work here, would you
be willing to wear MSU gear to work since we
do a bunch of activities with MSU?” A real U
of M fan with this characteristic would fgure
out a way to say “no” but still maintain his or
her desirability for the position.