These Are the 6 Things I Look for When Hiring Recruiters

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Apr 11, 2017

Many industries are experiencing explosive growth, and that typically means you need incredible gifted recruiters. This is where I come in; my specialty is in hiring recruiters. My focus is all about incrementally building a team of recruiting professionals and leaders who will outperform where we stand today and be prepared to solve hiring problems that we have not even thought of yet. I hire the best and brightest; this requires that I search, pursue, and network each day to unearth talent from all over North America. The hiring bar is high, and in recruiting for recruiters, the bar is at its highest. I daresay that recruiters face the most scrutiny in the vetting process of any organization.

There are some key traits that I see in candidates who set the benchmark for best-in-class talent acquisition:

  1. They understand their business. Recruiting is not a transactional function for them. They understand their hiring managers; they keenly understand how the role that they are filling is imperative to their client’s business function.
  2. They are relationship builders. They build relationships with each part of the organization, and earn trust of their managers and their peers.
  3. They are storytellers. Great recruiters can paint a picture of a role, team, and workplace where people are excited to go through the interview process. They understand that their stories are what influences candidates and changes passive candidates to become engaged in new opportunities.
  4. They are problem solvers. They are problem solvers, and realize that what is most important is the customer. They do not accept the status quo, and they are willing to point out challenges and obstacles when it is an unpopular choice.
  5. They are creative. They are leaders, innovators, and are skilled at building creative and thorough sourcing strategies customized to their targeted role, industry, and local market.
  6. They are top performers. They are performers in their existing role, have strong results that can be quantified, and they continue to grow in their career. They have data and analytics to show their success and continue to strive for improvement. I want to hear about how you measure your success and how do you change the game if results are not where you want them.

The supply of recruiters and leaders in talent acquisition is not limited; it is the demand for the best talent that makes these positions difficult to recruit. Once a potential match is identified, the pursuit begins. The hunter becomes the hunted. The challenge becomes in the approach. Adept talent acquisition professionals have a similar toolbox, strategy, and skill set. When your talent pool is more qualified, more educated, more adept at strategy, and at a more senior level than your own, how do you engage them and create reciprocal interest?

The answer is authenticity. Authenticity is the most essential skill that will allow you to find the best and brightest. When talking to your own kind, you understand that the recruiting process for this type of role is nontraditional. I talk to people, have conversations, (please note that I do not say interviews), with no expectation, no sales pitch, and no desire except to seek to understand. There is no “sell,” no “close,” and there is only an exchange of information. There is a delicate balance that must be maintained; you represent the organization but you also hope that this is an equal match for what the candidate hopes to achieve in their career. My experience has demonstrated that truly qualifying the needs and desires of your candidate will help you to speak with the clarity that compels them to listen and consider a potential change with an open mind.

There may not be a mutual match when you engage with another recruiter. If they have granted some of their busy day to speak with you, graciously thank them for their time; encourage them to contact if you can help with an introduction or to learn more about another opportunity in the future. Leave them with the most positive experience. Perpetuate your personal brand with your thoughtful conversations and actions.

I may be responsible for hiring, but I am not solely a recruiter. I am a matchmaker and a talent acquisition advisor. My role is not transactional; it is an exercise in building personal connections. The intrinsic reward in talent acquisition is not the hire; it is when that person is able to do what they love. The reward comes when your hire is engaged and excited about their opportunity to make a difference in an organization. The penultimate reward is watching them flourish and grow in their career.


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