5 Key Skills Every Recruiter Needs
One may think today’s recruiting processes are more streamlined and simplified, and connecting with potential candidates is quick and easy.
But that’s not entirely true.
Yes, technological advancements have helped clean up processes and removed some of the challenges we faced before high-speed internet. And our “always on” connectivity has increased the demand for instant gratification. But let’s not forget the human abilities needed to manage our recruiting activities.
Take a look at five key skills recruiters need to be successful.
This is probably the most obvious, but it’s more than just sending connection requests on LinkedIn and copy/pasting canned messages. I like to say this is more like chess than checkers due to the level of thought and strategy required.
Sourcing candidates can be a tedious process and us recruiters must be intentional with who we reach out to and why. Then we must be sure we position the opportunity to draw interest from the right candidates.
It’s quite magical to passively source a candidate from your network and see them through the entire recruitment process. Whether a hire is made or not, staying connected and keeping each person in your digital rolodex is a benefit to both you and the candidate for any future opportunities that could arise.
Which leads to my next point.
2. Meaningful relationships
The connections you make can easily transform into solid relationships. After many conversations with potential candidates and understanding more about their background and what they’re looking for, naturally, professional friendships develop.
Candidates have a great level of trust in you — they are sharing their personal stories with you, after all! — and rely on your knowledge of the opportunity, company, etc. As you stay connected with individuals throughout their career changes, they seek you out as the expert and are confident in your ability to support them again.
If you’re a recruiting agency like us here at Hanna Shea, you also must maintain relationships with your clients. Again, you’re the expert recruiter taking the load off of the client, so they trust you to understand their needs as a company, which then translates to what kind of talent they are looking for to fill their open seat.
3. Communication is key
A strong relationship is very much based on the level of communication you have with your candidates (and clients) — just like any other relationship you may have in your life.
When you think about communicating, you may tend to think of speaking and providing information or insight to others. But the most significant aspect of communication is listening. If you first ask the right questions to your candidates, you’re bound to receive the most valuable responses. Then having the ability to ask probing questions means you’re listening to what they have to say and are looking to understand more.
The word “transparency” is used quite often in our business world today, and for good reason. Candidates prefer to hear honest results or feedback without the gray area or fluff. It’s important to clearly state your intention and provide facts, objective reasoning, or next steps.
With the amount of tasks we have our on plates, and knowing just how eager people can be when waiting to hear back, timely communication should be a daily priority. Candidates want answers as soon as possible (let’s be honest, everyone wants everything in real-time!), so giving updates — or maybe even sending a quick note stating that you’re still waiting on updates — are appreciated and gives them a temporary peace of mind.
4. Time management
Timely communication leads to managing your tasks properly. I often like to block out time on my calendar specific to sending updates to both candidates and clients, which includes responding to emails, LinkedIn messages, following up on interview feedback, etc.
Organization is necessary when juggling multiple candidates and appointments — especially since you’re a lifeline to their future career! When planning your day, create and stick to a routine, write a to-do list, and keep your calendar up on your computer screen so you’re prepared for the next appointment and know when you can knock out more items from your list.
A real time-saver is Calendly — a scheduling platform that removes the tiresome game of email/phone tag just to set up a meeting. Using these types of programs can alleviate some of the cumbersome tasks to allow you to maximize your time more effectively.
5. Professionalism and respect
Like with any business, maintaining a degree of professionalism is essential. We all know to keep conversations clean and politically correct, but beyond that is being respectful of people’s time and needs. We don’t want to consume candidates’ time since many of them are actively searching many opportunities at once or are still working full-time elsewhere.
But on top of the professionalism, be sure to layer in some personality. Go beyond the typical “how’s the weather?” line and give a little detail of where you traveled to over the weekend or which concert you’re planning to see tomorrow night. This goes a long way and helps the candidate feel more at ease during this process.
These five skills come together as a unit to show your candidates that you’re reliable, knowledgeable and genuinely interested in their success.
Take a look at what you’re currently doing and think about how you can apply these skills to improve and maximize the potential for yourself and for your candidates.