Highly effective recruiters are that rare breed combining both the art and science of recruiting. They are relentless in doing everything they can to produce great outcomes for candidates and company. As both an active recruiter and a job search coach, I advise candidates to learn as much as they can about recruiting and what recruiters do. I am honored that this blog is read by both candidates and recruiters, so it is my hope that both groups will learn from The 10 Traits of Highly Effective Recruiters.
❶ Developing a Simple and Transparent Talent Acquisition Process Cycle (TAP-C)
Highly effective recruiters are dedicated to a simple and transparent talent acquisition process cycle (TAP-C) with a set of proactive milestones, deadlines and metrics to expedite finding top talent. Regardless if they are in a corporate or search firm setting, recruiters are responsible for finding talent for lots of open positions. That means the recruiter is processing tons of information, including resumes, phone calls, emails, searching candidate databases, conducting interviews, meeting with hiring managers and many other tasks. So it goes without saying that all recruiters have a process to keep all the balls in the air. However, what sets the Highly Effective Recruiters apart is they are devoted to a simple and transparent Talent Acquisition Process Cycle (TAP-C). The TAP-C leverages the entire talent acquisition engagement and its stakeholders, hiring managers, recruiters and even candidates to a defined set of proactive milestones, deadlines and metrics designed to do one thing: Find the best talent within forecast and within budget.
❷ Committed to Salesmanship
Highly Effective Recruiters proactively understand the needs of their customers by becoming a trusted advisor leading them in the search for great talent. Recruiting is selling. A highly effective recruiter is always selling one or more of the following:
- The recruiting process and candidates to hiring managers
- The virtues of the company and the job to candidates
- The need to stick to the recruiting process for all stakeholders in the face of a glitch
The highly effective recruiters are students of the traits of highly effective sales professionals. A commitment to extraordinary customer care is a key characteristic of the sales process. Highly effective recruiters master the art of customer care by identifying customers early in the recruiting cycle.
❸ Maximize the Technology They Have No Matter How Bad It Is
Highly Effective Recruiters use technology smartly by diligently insuring that information is leveraged to empower the search instead of being dragged down by it. Highly effective recruiters get the most out of technology regardless if their company just invested in a fancy new Applicant Tracking System or are using a 1999 Palm Pilot to keep track of applicants. One way to do this is to build a value added living database of clients and candidates leveraged with social media tactics to ensure high quality and constant two way contact and dialogue..
❹ Thought Leadership
Highly Effective Recruiters use thought leadership to build a personal and professional brand as an authority gaining enhanced influence with hiring managers, candidates and within the talent acquisition community Highly effective recruiters advance the profession by sharing their expertise with the greater talent acquisition and business community. They write blogs, books, and publications. They speak at events before civic groups and students. They start LinkedIn discussion groups, book clubs and websites.
❺ Ask smart questions
Highly Effective Recruiters ask smart questions to gain information to persuade rally people to the cause. . In his new book, “To Sell Is Human,” best-selling author Daniel H. Pink cites studies showing that questions are more powerful than statements. The reason: you engage another person’s heart and mind more strongly. You get him or her thinking about the ideal answer – and then all the steps necessary to get there. By being less dogmatic, you let people on your team build game plans that they believe in, rather than trapping them in a helpless state until you issue your next command.
❻ Smart Networkers
Highly Effective Recruiters understand that a network is more than just a collection of names in a database. Instead, they are committed to a smart networking lifestyle leveraging social media and old-fashion personal connections to build strong, active, and productive networks.
❼ Building Trust Through Authentic Communications
Highly Effective Recruiters are committed to higher standard of communication with everyone in the talent acquisition life cycle. The recruiting profession is plagued by a lack of authentic communication by its members. Hiring mangers distrust recruiters because they over-promise, under deliver, or fail to lead the acquisition of talent due to the absence of a creditable process. Candidates distrust recruiters because of their failure to return phone calls, unrealistic painting of job and the company, along with their inability to set out a clear and reliable path for their recruitment. And, let’s face it, there are some recruiters who flat out lie about an entire range of things, including the question candidates want to know the most… “Why was I not selected?” Highly Effective Recruiters know that there is a better way and the better way is called Trust. Highly Effective Recruiters know that Trust is the lubricant of the talent acquisition engine and authentic communications with everyone in the talent acquisition process cycle (TAP-C) is the refinery that will produce Trust..
In practice, the higher standard of authentic communications is achieved with a set of strategies, tactics, and actions that the Highly Effective Recruiter has dedicated herself and has persuaded all stakeholders in the talent acquisition process cycle (TAP-C) to follow. Many of the strategies, tactics, and actions are the same traits covered and endorsed in this post. Those traits and a few others are listed again as part of the authentic communications package.
- Develop a talent acquisition process cycle (TAP-C) to include candidate communication deadlines.
- Ask smart questions of hiring managers find out what they are really looking for in a candidate.
- Never Lie – Candidates, even internals to the company, can handle the truth. Hiring Managers, even the most difficult ones, can handle the truth. Highly Effective Recruiters establish themselves as a hub for communications by proactively setting up communication loops to obtain information, forecasting and controlling candidate flow, along with anticipating and setting up means to answer the most pressing candidate question: “Why was I not selected?”
❽ Fall in with Love the Metrics
Recruiting can produce a treasure trove of metrics that can be used to measure progress, improve process and deliver results. Used incorrectly, metrics can confuse, confound, and convey the wrong message. Highly Effective Recruiters fall in love with metrics using them selectively to clarify, correct and communicate activities in the talent acquisition process cycle (TAP-C).
How to fall in love with the metrics?
1.Select metrics that have meaning for you and your hiring manager
2.Select metrics that can show the best picture of the talent acquisition process cycle
3.Select metrics that are easy to track and that are clear, correct, and concise
❾ Go to school on the business
The best way to learn about a business is to recruit talent for it. Highly Effective Recruiters become students of the business learning fundamentals, understanding trends.
Recruiters are ambassadors to the business candidate and hiring managers can easily tell when you are faking the knowledge. So dive in, read everything you can, ask to attend staff meetings, network within your company developing resources of knowledge that you can go to. The key to being knowledgeable is not to know everything, but to know where to find the knowledge.
❿ More Networking
Highly Effective Recruiters depend on strong reliable networks as the backbone of their recruiting efforts. Effective networks hinge on building and maintaining great relationships. Additionally, these networks are strategically sized so that the Highly Effective Recruiter can have personal interactions. Size does matter and Highly Effective Recruiters are careful not to fall in the trap that they need large numbers of network contacts. Highly Effective Recruiters proactively reach out to these strategically sized networks with thought leader content via social media and personal touches like birthday phone calls, and recognizing professional achievements.
The Bottom Line – Are You A Highly Effective Recruiter?
As a candidate, you can tell a lot about a company by the way it recruits. If communication with the recruiting staff and hiring managers is spotty, it could be an indication of how the company operates. Recruiters, if you are not following the traits of a Highly Effective Recruiter, I urge you to try some on for size. It will make the entire talent acquisition process cycle (TAP-C) go smoother.
Happy recruiting and happy job hunting!!!