10 Qualities of a Great Recruiter

By Ta'Rikah Jones

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HR recruiters focus primarily on filling an organization’s job openings. Through research, interviews, networking and planning, recruiters work to find the right person for the job. An interpersonal profession at its core, recruiting frequently requires working directly with job applicants and hiring managers to assess a company’s goals and employment strategy.

While many employers hold a bachelor’s degree as the minimum education requirement for recruiters, others prefer master’s degrees – such as the Master of Science in Human Resource Development – and several years of experience.

Success in this vital and competitive career often depends on the presence of key skills and personality traits. Though it is certainly possible to work as a recruiter without all of these qualities, this list highlights important areas of interest for those who want to excel in this field.

10 Qualities of a Great Recruiter

Here's what you'll need to succeed:

  1. Confidence: Recruiters need to show that they can perform their jobs well, both for their organization and for the jobseekers who may use their services. With confidence, recruiters will begin to develop the reputation that they can be trusted to deliver results.
  2. Marketing skills: A great recruiter knows how to sell his or her services. As with the previous point, this concerns both clients and a recruiter’s employer. While a recruiter obviously has to market him- or herself enough to find and keep a job, it is also important to be able to sell compelling candidates to an organization’s hiring team.
  3. Target-driven: Recruiting is a competitive field, and great recruiters need to be focused on achieving results. Often, this translates to focusing specifically on the number of people hired in a given period of time – a practice encouraged by offering financial incentives to recruiters who reach their hiring goals.
  4. Relationship-building skills: Recruiters are often the first point of contact for jobseekers. As such, it is highly important for recruiters to have strong interpersonal skills. A recruiter needs to have the interest and energy to interact with people all day long, while showcasing their organization as approachable and interested in its prospective employees. Over time, the relationships forged with new employees can greatly improve a recruiter’s own career prospects, as word of a recruiter’s performance reaches higher levels of management.
  5. Communication skills: Similar to the previous point, a recruiter needs to exude professionalism at all times. A recruiter must ensure that all conversation, whether in person, on the phone, or over email, is clear, mature and professional.
  6. Multitasking: It is rarely the case that a recruiter deals with one candidate at a time. Rather, given the wealth of applicants for any one position, a recruiter will likely be in touch with many prospective employees and management simultaneously. Great recruiters can handle this correspondence load without becoming overwhelmed.
  7. Time management skills: When an organization advertises an opening, it usually will wish to fill this position as quickly as possible. Recruiters need to be able to prioritize their efforts to ensure that this goal is met. From scheduling interviews to conducting internet searches, a great recruiter knows when to move from task to task in order to deliver results.
  8. Speed: As with managing time effectively, great recruiters know that they must act quickly whenever an opening is advertised. Organizations today move fast, and any hesitation or uncertainty in the recruiting process is likely to lead to a position being filled elsewhere.
  9. IT and social media skills: Many jobseekers now use social media to conduct their job searches, and rightfully so. Social media networks have become excellent ways to hear about new openings and advertise skills. Great recruiters are able to stay current with social media practices and reach out to candidates using these networks.
  10. Leadership skills: While recruiting can often seem like a competitive, individualistic field, at the end of the day it is a team of recruiters that often delivers results to larger companies. Great recruiters know how and when to work with others and manage collective tasks in order to find the best candidate for the job.

Recruiting, and indeed human resources in general, is about people. In each quality noted on this list, the key point is that recruiters must be active, outgoing, friendly and engaging. Given the degree of energy a great recruiter must bring to his or her work, it is certainly the case that this is not the job for everyone. For those who feel they possess and enjoy utilizing these qualities, however, recruiting is an excellent way to provide a crucial service to companies and find satisfaction in helping future employees reach their goals. 


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