Success Is Found In the Success of Others

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Nov 9, 2011
This article is part of a series called Tips & Tricks.

Positive relationships are key to achieving goals

What’s the secret to a recruiter’s success? Is it the ability to produce high metrics? In an industry where metrics are often how we are viewed for our ability to produce, there’s still much more to it. The answer is found within a simple statement.

Success is found in the success of others.

What exactly does that mean? It means that the best recruiters know that achieving their goals comes from helping others achieve success. At the core of recruiting is the ability to develop relationships. The details within those relationships are what differentiate the average recruiter from the A+ players in our industry.

Regardless of whether you are a recruiter working for an RPO, a search firm, or part of an internal recruiting department, the goal is still the same – to generate positive relationships with hiring managers and candidates. The hiring managers seek out the expertise to locate and draw the attention of the top talent in their industry. The candidates, on the other hand, are seeking out a recruiter that takes the time to understand what their career ambitions are and to assist them in making a match with a company that can provide the opportunity to fulfill those goals.

Taking the relationship principle into account, it’s clear that in order to obtain success, you must first make others successful. The hiring manager you helped to fill a position with A+ talent is able to develop a thriving business unit and earns the respect of his colleagues — a direct result of your contribution. The candidate you took the time to understand and place within the right company becomes the future hiring manager, ultimately looking to you to help build the best team. It is a cyclical chain of events.

Now let’s take a look at the details within those relationships. Knowledge, trust, and integrity are at the core of every successful relationship:

  • Knowledge: in your relationships with hiring managers and candidates, you must have a level of knowledge about what your clients do. If you can’t speak intellectually about the industry and job requirements,, you’re not fully capable of delivering the best service. There are varying opinions about the level of knowledge you need to have. Most recruiters with the core relationship-building skills educate themselves via Google, trade magazines, and associations. If you are not an expert in the subject matter area, the worst thing you can do is pretend that you know everything. Ask questions. It will go far in building a trusting relationship with your hiring managers and candidates. This leads me to the next quality of a successful relationship.
  • Trust: recruiters talk to hundreds of people each week. What differentiates one from the next? Is it that the recruiter persistently called them back ten times before having a live conversation? Maybe, but it takes much more than that. We all have the intrinsic need to trust those with whom we build a relationship. No one wants to invest time with someone whom they can’t trust. If two people do not trust one another, eventually the relationship becomes mutually unbeneficial. Therefore, successful recruiters build strong relationships one step at a time by showing that they can be trusted to do what they say they will. We’ve all heard the saying, “A man is only as good as his word.” Keep it, and you will build a relationship of trust. And if you are proven to be untrustworthy, the relationship will be unsuccessful.
  • Integrity: recruiters who succeed understand that one relationship will multiply to ten relationships over time, but this only happens if the recruiter has integrity. When is the last time you referred someone in your network to someone who lacks integrity? You don’t. We only refer people to those who have high integrity because it reflects back on us personally. While trust and integrity essentially go hand in hand, trust is what you obtain in order to have a reputation of integrity.

Recruiters are in the business of building relationships that result in successful people and companies. If it weren’t for the success of others, where would our industry be? Zig Ziglar said it best, “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”

image source: Thomas Cunningham

This article is part of a series called Tips & Tricks.
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