Recruitment has historically had a difficult reputation. When many people think of the staffing industry, a ‘laddish’, male-dominated, competitive and aggressive culture can quickly spring to mind. Although decades past did reward this kind of environment, the average recruitment consultant in 2021 is far from the outdated image – and has much to offer candidates, clients and the industry as a whole.

What do these qualities look like – and how can you know whether you’ve got the personality, aptitude and skill set needed to succeed as a recruiter? Generate’s contractor management specialists reveal three things that staffing specialists can incorporate into their development plans to fast-track their career success and make higher volumes of placements.

What Makes the Best Recruiters: 3 Skills You Need to Become a Great Recruiter

1. Communication

As a sales-related job involving hours on the phone and interviewing candidates every day, much of a consultant’s role involves telling candidates about job requirements and pitching different candidate profiles to client businesses. However, unsuccessful recruiters are usually those who make the mistake of also forgetting to listen.

Successful placements are built on strong, transparent and mutually beneficial relationships between recruiters, clients and candidates. True communication means getting to know your candidate inside and out, and tapping into your clients’ way of working to create a brief that will closely match applicants with business needs.

The best recruiters are able to understand:

Getting inside the minds of your clients and candidates, and practising continuous, honest communication with both, will reduce your attrition rate and find the best candidates for the role from the very beginning of the process.

2. Creativity

Great recruitment is more than just filling a vacant role: it’s about providing the right solution, in the right place, at the right time. This means not only finding a candidate whose career background matches a job advert, but figuring out whether the recruitment project is actually the best move for the client organisation in the first place.

Creativity isn’t just reserved for departments like marketing and design, artistic individuals or visual thinkers. The best recruiters have creative skills to enable them to think outside the box when problem-solving. Successful consultants tap into their client business’ way of working, company strategy and ambitions to:

3. Organisation

The stereotype of a recruiter is allergic to admin, putting in long hours but neglecting paperwork, and leaving the details to Operations and Compliance departments rather than checking to make sure everything has gone through correctly. Whilst failure to effectively manage any project or task is guaranteed to cause problems, this is especially true for a recruiter post-Covid.

New research reveals that over half of all new hires are not working out for employers in 2021. Employer circumstances can alter, individuals can have a change of heart, and sometimes the best laid plans don’t come to fruition – but the overwhelming reason behind this low hire retention rate is a mismatch between the candidate and client, that wasn’t spotted in the recruitment process.

Organised recruiters are attuned to both the big picture and small details. They can not only pick up on seemingly small differences in mindsets between employer and applicant, but will address these with all parties straight away, to prevent misunderstandings about daily responsibilities, flexible working arrangements or career progression. Organisation is vital to:

Organisation also pays off the higher in your career you climb, as your candidate network continues to grow. For your contractors, keep a calendar notifying you weeks before their assignment will end, to get ahead of your competitors and line contractors up for their next role whilst they’re still available. With your permanent network, make sure to check in with those promising candidates who reached the final stages of the recruitment process. Particularly in today’s climate, many new jobs won’t work out, and fantastic candidates won’t be on the market for long, so grab them before they start jobhunting.

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Interested in becoming an Associate Director or getting your next promotion? Discover 3 Ways to Quickly Advance on Your Recruitment Career Path.