Northrop Grumman, voted for excellence as a Best Recruiter

Best recruiters


Every recruiter is different. You each have your own methods for charming candidates and clients and making the perfect match.

But, when you look at the best recruiters in the industry, it turns out that they have a number of common denominators. And to do well, it makes sense for everyone in the profession to mirror them.

Take a look at the seven traits the top recruiters share below. Which traits do you need to adapt or improve?

1. They always consider the candidate and client's perspective

Top recruiters see the services they offer through the eyes of the people they serve. And with that in mind, they position themselves to focus on the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) of their candidates and clients.

To do this, they refrain from selling their services until they have asked enough questions to determine the issues or challenges that keep their candidates or clients up at night.

Remember, it's not your job to agree or disagree with your clients or candidates. Listen to them to understand where they’re coming from and then position yourself as the solution.

2. They build lasting relationships

The best recruiters have very strong relationships with their clients, who often become their friends. They are a confidential sounding board and are respected as a workforce/workplace expert. And, they talk to their clients on a consistent basis, even when they are not working on a current business.

People continue to work with individuals they enjoy and trust. When your clients are your friends, they are less likely to stop utilizing your services, even when the job market tightens up.

The most successful recruiters have also realized their candidates would rather talk about anything else than listen to them. They encourage their candidates to talk about themselves and share personal facts, which eventually impacts their career decisions.

There are three questions that clients and candidates want answered:

  1. Do you care about me?
  2. Can I trust you?
  3. Will you do what you promise?

3. They are specialized

One of the greatest advantages of the staffing profession is that you can specialize in a niche. Top recruiters in our profession limit their focus to less than ten job titles. They pipeline top talent in advance with those ten titles, which allows them to present the best candidates faster than their competition. And their LinkedIn Profile, website and social media presence also promotes their area of specialization.

Both clients and candidates want to work with someone they consider an expert. When you specialize, you position yourself as an expert in a specific niche. Clients and candidates will feel you understand their world, which enhances their confidence in your abilities.

4. They prioritize what gives them results

The most successful recruiters also understand the importance of proactively planning 100% of their outgoing calls and finding new business.

They do not waste time working on orders, assignments or contracts that are mission impossible. They also provide resources for the 95% of candidates they attract who they will not place and focus on the 5% they will place.

If time management is your challenge, planning is your solution. If you are currently not a planner, there is a first step you can take to become a planner. Every morning, write down six priorities closest to achieving your goals. Don’t leave work before you have all six priorities completed. Each subsequent month, add ten calls, until you are writing down priorities and 100% of your outgoing calls.

5. They use both old and new technology

Technology has changed the recruiting profession forever. The best recruiters have realized the importance of high tech and they utilize their ATS or CRM and other more recent technology to make them more efficient.

However, they haven’t forgotten the importance of being high touch. That means, they pick up the phone and really talk to clients and candidates. You won’t establish strong rapport based on trust if you only communicate via text or email.

6. They receive and ask for referrals

Over 50% of the clients and candidates who the best recruiters attract are from referrals. They position themselves as the recruiter of choice and attract others based on the results they provide for their current clients and candidates. Plus, they have a structured referral process and consistently request referrals.

If you are not obtaining a high level of referrals, chances are you are not asking for them and need to review your referral process for both clients and candidates.

7. They are always looking for opportunities to learn

It’s no coincidence that top recruiters attend conferences, participate in educational webinars, earn their professional certification credential and continue to learn and grow. They realize the importance of anticipating trends and remaining competitive.

You have proven your desire to improve and learn by reading this blog. The only certainty in our profession is things will change. Whenever possible, identify a mentor or coach, enroll in educational programs, join your professional associations and embrace this change.



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