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The 7 Characteristics of a Great Recruiter

Last month we polled nearly 130,000 HR/OD/Talent Management/Senior Executives about the
top traits of a great job recruiter. We thought it would be extremely valuable to identify these
traits, since 86% of staffing firms feel they are doing a good job recruiting, yet only 60% of job
candidates report having a positive experience during the recruiting process.1
The results are in and the top characteristics are listed below in the order most frequently
cited by respondents:

1. They have great listening skills.


The highest-performing and most effective recruiters harness the power of careful listening,
which far better ensures they: 1. Fully understand the details of the exact job description, 2.
Are acutely aware of the client’s preferences and expectations, and 3. Accurately assess “the
match” between the job position and potential candidates.

2. They ask the right questions before beginning the job search.
The best recruiters do not settle on standard and basic job descriptions. Instead, they dive right
in to the detailed, and exact, job description before beginning to recruit candidates. They are
equally as detailed when interviewing candidates, gaining an in-depth understanding of each
candidate, including experience, values, beliefs, characteristics, and goals.

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3. They have great perseverance.
The most awesome recruiters are incredibly persistent and do what it takes to fill the job with the
right candidate, often before or after the work day begins and ends. They are not hesitant to
schedule interviews after hours to accommodate candidates who are currently employed, as those
are often the very best candidates. These recruiters also tirelessly follow up with candidates,
thereby building long-lasting and more meaningful relationships.

4. They are highly organized.


Job searches are rich with many moving parts and dynamics. The best recruiters employ
exhaustive organization practices to stay ahead of the curve and focused on the right
corresponding priorities. While applicant tracking systems provide some help and support, long-
term recruiting success is achieved through more than just software. Setting clear, specific, and
prioritized objectives requires extremely thorough organization skills.

5. They are awesome networkers and extremely good at relationship building.


Outstanding recruiters easily build rapport and relationships that last a very long time. An
outgrowth of this characteristic is trust, both with the hiring organization and the job candidates.
Great recruiters firmly believe in personal relationships, and as a result, earn the undying trust of
everyone involved. In addition, these amazing recruiters possess strong communication skills
and simply love to network with others. Remember that a candidate who trusts his or her
recruiter are far more likely to divulge mutually beneficial information to help determine when
an accurate “match” exists.

6. They are eager to get on the phone with potential candidates, but more importantly,
they like meeting in person.
While emailing and texting is now the norm, superior recruiters take the time to speak with
candidates directly to better and more accurately assess whether there is the “right fit.”
Furthermore, this personal touch creates more meaningful and long-lasting relationships.

7. They are not afraid to pull out of an agreement if it does not feel right.
This attribute is a great one since it is not uncommon for some recruiters to panic and feel
pressed to make the deal just to get it over with. Great recruiters give much scrutiny to pairing
candidates with open positions, thereby avoiding recruiting for the same position again a few
months down the road.

Hopefully this list has sparked some ideas for better evaluating recruiters. Hiring the right
people for the right seats on the bus is no small feat. Make sure your recruiter is ready for
the task!

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A special thanks to all the people who submitted feedback for this piece! Your ideas will help
thousands of people improve their recruiting processes!

Source: 1. Echogravity Study, January 2018.

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Kevin Sheridan

Kevin Sheridan is an internationally-recognized Keynote Speaker, a New York Times Best


Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of Employee
Engagement. For six years running, he has been honored on Inc. Magazine’s top 100 Leadership
Speakers in the world, as well as Inc.’s top 100 experts on Employee Engagement. He was also
honored to be named to The Employee Engagement Award’s Top 101 Global Influencers on
Employee Engagement of 2017.

Having spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, Kevin has
helped some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive
engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation,
PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long-overdue, industry-changing innovation in the
field of Employee Engagement. His first book, Building a Magnetic Culture, made six of the best
seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He is also the
author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers.

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in
1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational
Behavior. He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies.

Connect with Kevin on social and learn more about him by visiting the website or reaching
out through email: kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com