I just finished reading an article by Tim Sackett about great recruiters. He is a regular contributor to Fistful of Talent and a blog called The Tim Sackett Project. Tim lists 8 things that he believes makes a top recruiter.
His list looks like this:
• The ability to speak the truth
• Ability to close
• Consultative skills
• Being a futurist
His list is a super point of view for a hiring manager to consider if your job is hiring the best recruiters!
I am interested in flipping the point of view to that of a candidate in search of a great recruiter, rather than a hiring manager taking on recruiters. What makes a recruiter a great recruiter for the candidate interested in a change of employer or someone being pursued by a new employer?
Here is my Great Eight:
1. Engaged and Responsive
No quality candidate has time for a highlighter, a recruiter that is here today and gone tomorrow. The best recruiters take the time to invest in a relationship because they know you are a desirable and unique talent. Top recruiters call you back, jot you an update every now and then and have the ability to make you a part of their week or month with regularity. When you need them, they are available.
You need a recruiter who knows lots of employers in your space. You need a recruiter who knows other great recruiters. The “lone wolf” is not going to have the connections to help you achieve the best opportunities with the best employers and hiring managers.
3. Empathic Partner in Search
A great recruiter is in tune with what you want and need. They function not a salesperson but rather a business partner in search of a win-win outcome.
4. Company Culture Aware
Knowledge of a company is not enough. Great recruiters know the culture of the companies where you are interviewing. They know if you will fit or have the ability to adjust to the culture.
5. Reflect Reality
Candidates can get unrealistic. They want too much salary, they are overly-stressed about vacation time or other benefits that are nice to have but insignificant in the scheme of things. A great recruiter knows how to be direct and tell you where to draw your battle lines, so that you win the job that is right for you, with an employer that will make you happy and with a reporting relationship that can stand the test of time.
6. Respect your Time
The best recruiters know that your time matters. They plan and organize to connect with you effectively and respect that, even during a job search, you need to do other things to keep your life moving forward.
7. Have Great Memories or Take Good Notes
Nothing worse than repeating yourself. A great recruiter remembers what motivates you, what your no go issues are, and is connected to what it is that matters to you. You tell them, they clarify, you move on and they remember.
Top recruiters understand the other influences and partners in your life. They make sure the kids have the right schools, sports programs and hobbies in the community they are asking you to consider. They understand what your partner does and they know the employment situation for your partner is part of the deal. They include those that matter in your life as they present options.
Recruitment is not an easy profession. There are great recruiters out there. I have met many that are members of our network. Spend the time to find one that is right for you!