18 Ways You Know You Are an Elite Recruiter

Apr 21, 2010
This article is part of a series called Opinion.

We received such an overwhelming positive response from our ERE webinar — “Going from Good to Elite” — that I think we struck a cord!

Even through our economic woes, downsizing, right sizing, decentralizing, centralizing, compartmentalizing . . . there are still recruiters out there who are proud to be in this profession and passionate about doing things “the right way.”

For those who missed it, we discussed the competencies/skills of Elite Recruiters and the journey to go from good to “elite.” We announced the results of our Elite Recruiter Self-Assessment Benchmarking Study in which over 1,000 recruiters have participated!

In conducting research for this webinar, I asked every recruiter who participated the question “What do elite recruiters do that average or good ones don’t?”

Shamelessly stealing from Jeff Foxworthy’s “You know you are a redneck if …” comedy routine, this question quickly evolved into: “You know you are an elite recruiter if …”

The feedback I received was not only inspiring, but also challenged me to reflect on what it truly means to be an elite recruiter, and what I need to do to be one!

Performing at an elite level doing anything is very difficult. Recruiting is no different. Documenting these attributes/competencies/skills, in a fun way, helps keep this passion burning and top of mind. Pick a few that are new to you or ones in which you know you haven’t yet achieved elite status and make it your goal to improve in these two or three areas over the next quarter. Picking even just one will no doubt increase your performance overall.

Outlined are some of my random thoughts on this topic!

You know you are an “elite recruiter” if . . .

  1. You get referrals from candidates you turn down for a position.
  2. Your hiring managers ask you who they “should hire” … and listen to your advice.
  3. Candidates seek your input on preparing for the interview with the hiring manager.
  4. Your candidates seek your council on deciding between competing offers, knowing that you aren’t just trying to fill your own position, but truly want what’s best for them.
  5. You keep track of all the people you have hired, and keep up an ongoing relationship with 90% of them.
  6. You track your performance (quality, efficiency, responsiveness/delivery) on a quarterly basis.
  7. You quantify the ROI of your services to your key stakeholders.
  8. You have clearly written quarterly performance improvement goals.
  9. You spend time each week helping those less fortunate find employment, craft a better resume, prepare for an interview, etc.
  10. You invest at least 15 minutes to an hour developing a written — hour by hour — daily plan of action that you deploy before each day. The most successful recruiters are religious planners.
  11. You stick to a schedule where during certain times of the day you are simply making calls and don’t allow for outside distractions.
  12. You have received gifts from candidates/hiring managers for “changing their life” for the better.
  13. Your hiring managers ask for your assistance in creating the job description, and you’re able to guide them in a consultative way to determine what needs to be accomplished, instead of a list of intangibles.
  14. Your hiring managers ask for your assistance in creating interview guides which will help them discover the candidate’s true capabilities.
  15. Your candidates turn into “centers of influence”: those people who are well-connected and to whom you can always turn for help on difficult searches.
  16. Your outside clients see you as an expert on what’s going on in the marketplace and even in their industry.
  17. You get referrals without even asking.
  18. People who seek your assistance have heard about you from more than one person.

We are looking for more additions to this list. Please post them!

This article is part of a series called Opinion.
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