It doesn't matter if I am a hiring manager or a candidate on the market or an event attendee (career fairs, open house, speed interviewing or whatever), it is pretty apparent that most of the folks that are recruiting for companies today do not have the skills, knowledge, or experience to meet the minimum expectations of the job.
It is quite disappointing to see the skill level and caliber of many recruiters that reside in Corporate America today. Some have been promoted into their positions from the administrative support arena, some have been demoted from line management and others are fresh out of school.
These kinds of hiring decisions do not bode well for the company as these "hires" make for poor employer representatives.
Over the years, as a manager of recruiters, I have learned what works, what doesn't and why. The operative word here is "Learn." Yes, a good manager is always a student of human behavior!
My recruiters have always viewed me as a "generous coach" where I have developed and supported them in their own career pursuits. This camaraderie between us, has provided me the opportunity to provide an honest appraisal of their shortcomings as well as their strengths in order to improve their performance and excel at their job.
Following are some key characteristics a recruiter needs to have to soar. Naturally, we can add dozens of more traits to this list, but this is a fast jump start.
1.) A Hawker.
Everyone in the industry likes to use the term of art, "Hunter Mentality." Sure, that gets the point across. However a Hawker, is the person who hunts, as well. On the street, a Hawker could be a person who is selling newspapers. The traits are the same. In recruitment we want someone who is going to get jazzed about "the fish that got away!"A good recruiter, will prepare and wade through a lot of information, leads, contacts, cold calls, social media, and any other network they can leverage to put themselves in the position to identify and attract their next hire.
2.) A Visionary:
Your vision is more than a slick buzzword. It should be part of the way you do things and how you deliver results. The cliché that I hate to use his "big picture thinking." I see it more as, "a person who could think outside of the box." Or, in Washington DC, a person who can think outside of the "Beltway." Visionaries are right brained people. They are strategic and creative people. A good recruiter with vision is always focused on the "active/passive job seeker." The recruiter is always forward thinking. They can spot a DH (designated hitter) from a distance. And, they know that rock star will sit somewhere in their organization. Even, if there isn't a viable position open today. That recruiter will collaborate with hiring managers and together they will find a home for that prospect. Or, more importantly, the recruiter executes exceptional follow-up skills and stays on top of that candidate over the course of his/her career.
3.) A Relationship Builder:
Everything we do is about building relationships. Outside of the workplace, we do it every day. We need to build relationships with our mailman, our dry cleaners clerk, our physicians and so on. It's the same thing in recruitment. recruiters need to build relationships with all of their candidates. Even the candidates they are unlikely to hire. Personally, the one part of my job I enjoy the most, is delivering bad news. I can only go up from there. The candidate is blown away that I'm coming to the table with constructive information that they can use to pursue their next opportunity. They're very grateful for the relationship we have built and for my sendoff. Ironically, some of my best hires came from referrals of candidates, I rejected. I have also terminated a few employees, who sent me thank you notes for doing it with dignity and making them see that they simply were not a good fit for the position. It's all about relationships. A strong relationship between a recruiter in the candidate makes for a very positive experience for both sides. The candidate will sing your praises along with the company and posture you both for extraordinary growth and and great press. On the hiring manager side, a good working relationship will prove that you have your "client's" (yes, the hiring manager is your client) back. They will know that you were going out of your way to provide "SLOS." (Shocking Levels of Service!)