“Today’s recruiter must be a marketer, sales person, career coach, and psychologist all in one.”— Josh Bersin, Bersin by Deloitte, Principal & Founder
Becoming a star recruiter is no easy job. Recruitment is for those who can wear multiple hats comfortably. It requires being proactive, continuous self-assessment and self-improvement, a great deal of patience and persistence, and above all, a wide range of skills. Do you have what it takes to have a career as a recruiter? How would you rate yourself if having the following skills were crucial to being one?
1. Being a good listener – Much of your performance and credibility as a recruiter lies on how good a listener you are. It is literally your job to listen to people as they speak about themselves and then carry out the process of shortlisting suitable candidates according to any given job description. We admit and agree that at times it may be a test of one’s patience (no guesses on whose patience!), but to be fair, you signed up for it, didn’t you? So you better do justice to it! Jokes apart, being a good listener will help you truly shine at being a recruiter because you will know exactly how to steer the conversation and bring out the best in the prospective candidate according to the job description at hand.
2. Communication skills – In order to assess the communication skills of the prospective candidate, your own communication skills as a recruiter needs to be flawless – irrespective of whether you are communicating with the candidate face to face, on the phone or through email. You not only need to talk well, you need to write well too. Words woo. Words help you get the attention of the best talent. The reputation of the firm you are recruiting for also rests in your hands depending on the image you project of the organization, through how you communicate with your clients and candidates.
3. Sales and Marketing skills – The key to having great marketing skills is having thorough knowledge regarding the services your firm provides. It is only when you are well versed with the operations of your firm will you be able to confidently market the same to the candidates. You may have scores of deserving candidates on your database, however, if the candidates you are looking to hire are not convinced about your services, it is going to be mammoth waste of resources, and eventually would result in loss of clients and hence stagnate your business. You need to be able to negotiate and convince fiercely, yet gracefully, to be able to sell the services your firm has to offer!
4. Networking skills – Recruiting is essentially a social activity. Your networking skills, on social media and off-line, will be one of your key differentiators that will set you above the rest. You also need to be well versed with changing IT trends given the technocratic leap the world has taken in the past few years. This is what will determine your success in many areas including tapping the passive candidates’ pool, getting references for clients and candidates, inputs for market studies, etc. As Stacy Donovan Zapar, Zappos says:
“A modern recruiter is one who is targeted, builds relationships and knows how to not only find candidates but also get them to respond!”
5. Team work – As a recruiter, it is inevitable that once in a while, you may have to function as a part of a team, or even lead a team in order to achieve a set target. During such times, you will have to function under pressure to ensure your own performance is stable and also be responsible for the performance of those working under you or with you. A right mix of ‘firm yet friendly’ approach will have to be employed by you in order to be able to pilot the team efficiently, scope for communication lapses would be minimal. Knowing how to manage ‘people’ is a skill you cannot function without, if you want to be a recruiter!
Bonus Skill: You need to take pride in your job and be extremely positive. Recruitment is one profession where you hear “NO” many more times than you hear “YES”. And having an ability to bounce back from setbacks and get back to work quickly definitely helps! Remember, you are on a very important mission:
“I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day you bet on people, not on strategies.” – Lawrence Bossidy, GE
If you are a recruiter and want to share your professional experiences with us, we would love to hear from you. Do write to us or comment below!