10 Habits of Highly Successful Recruiters

successful recruiters

Like most things in life, recruiting is what you make of it. You can give it your all and hope great things happen, or you can go halfway and end up frustrated. The goal is to find a balance between these extremes where your efforts correspond with success.

The most successful recruiters find a way to reduce friction with candidates, hiring managers, executives and even technology so the whole process glides from start to finish. Here are 10 ways they make that happen: 

#1: Be a candidate advocate 

While you’re paid to act on behalf of an organization, you can choose to advocate for both sides of that exchange. The best recruiters are those who become candidate advocates, building relationships by instilling trust and honesty. This makes candidates feel better about your organization and improves satisfaction. 

#2: Do first what you dread most 

We all have tasks we hate: the ones we put off until the end of the day, week, month or year. But part of being successful is avoiding procrastination. Whether this means doing menial data entry to free up the rest of your day or making a tough call to an uncooperative hiring manager, tackle the job head-on. 

#3: Always be prospecting 

When it comes to finding new talent, successful recruiters keep the lights on. Even when you’re closing requisitions left and right, there’s still that unforeseen need to consider. Take time to chat with people — those you know and those you don’t — and ask probing questions to see if there’s the possibility of a future fit. 

#4: Get your referral on 

Likewise, referrals are a recruiter’s best friend in terms of leads, and you should look for candidates everywhere. Without coming across as forced or unnatural, keep an ear open when chatting with candidates and employees to see who they might know. Remember, life is a series of networks, and all you need is a warm intro or two. 

#5: Keep on collaborating 

Simply put, the best recruiters have strong relationships with hiring managers — relationships where the recruiter feels comfortable asking the other party to prioritize, explain or slow down. Every hiring manager is different, and it’s up to the recruiter to understand their wants and desires, evolving with them all the while. 

#6: Don’t stop demoing 

Technology is a revolving door of new solutions and systems, all promising to revolutionize and transform recruiting as you know it. Even if you’re 100 percent satisfied with your tech stack, it pays to keep on top of the market. You don’t have to dedicate a lot of time to this; simply schedule a 30-minute demo or two a week to learn what’s out there and how it might enhance your process. 

#7: Review data, but go with your gut 

Speaking of technology, use it wisely. Successful recruiters know to look at the data but trust their gut. Sometimes things don’t line up, and it’s for a good reason. Figure out what that is before making your decision, with data there to support — not supplant — your instincts. 

#8: Be honest and actionable 

The best recruiters recognize that candidates deserve feedback. Full stop. And no, clichés like “we went in another direction” don’t count. Give candidates a takeaway; tell them what happened and why someone else was selected, but put the onus on the process rather than on them personally. Let them know that the requirements changed or that another candidate met them more closely. 

#9: Find (multiple) mentors 

Everyone needs someone to talk to. It’s a tough game, and wise recruiters know it helps to have a sounding board. Your mentor should be someone who knows the staffing space; gets what you’re going through; and is ready, willing and able to discuss your problems as they arise. Frankly, in today’s hiring landscape, it doesn’t hurt to have a few people on speed dial. 

#10: Share what you know, and ask the same 

In addition to their mentors, successful recruiters tend to build out extensive networks of like-minded individuals. These are people in similar positions to you at other organizations, local or otherwise. They’re the ones with whom you want to share resources and ask questions, and to take advice from (when offered). Hopefully, they will do the same in return. 

Different recruiters measure success differently. However, by following these 10 tips, you can find a way to thrive day in and day out — without sacrificing your skills.

William Tincup is the President of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. Find him online Twitter, FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Indeed.

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