The job of a recruiter is like Aladdin trying to find the magic lamp. While the premise of the story is about the boy who found the magic lamp and got his wishes granted, there is something very peculiar about the story.
If you remember the story correctly, to find the magic lamp, one has to enter the Cave of Wonders. However, as the line in the story goes, “Only one may enter here. One whose worth lies far within. The diamond in the rough.”
Leaving the story afar, this line should resonate with recruiters.
Recruitment is all about sifting through hundreds of resumes every day to find the right skill and culture fit – ‘the one’ that fits into the organization.
Recruiters are constantly engaged in talent acquisition. Here are some ways in which recruiters contribute to the organization:
#1 They act as brand ambassadors for potential candidates
The first interaction of prospective candidates is usually through recruitment. Experiences that candidates have during recruitment often become important factors in their decision to join the company.
#2 They help build the company’s brand image and culture
Not only through their demeanor but also by hiring the right talent, recruiters help build culture and therefore, the reputation of the organization.
#3 They contribute to the bottom line and top line of an organization
Recruiters bring in a productive workforce by hiring skilled talent and impacting business success, and profits. By retaining a reliable employee base, they prevent unnecessary turnover and rehiring costs maintaining an acceptable bottom line.
#4 They share the work pressure and ensure the smooth functioning of Operations
Business Operations rely a lot on the stability of their workforce. Recruitment anticipates vacancies and fills positions in time to ensure ‘Business as Usual’. Operations often lean a lot (and don’t realize they do) on recruitment to bring in talent that will help them get back on their feet. Recruitment offers an empathetic ear to Operations while they deal with their hiring stressors.
#5 They help the organization in being agile
When companies want to grow, expand or diversify, they rely on recruitment to meet their business goals. These hiring requirements are often fast-paced and recruiters help management get the staff that will support operations.
To be effective as a recruiter, you need to possess some recruiting skills and disposition. As it is, a people-centric role needs numerous skills. Recruitment needs countless ones to be a good professional and a good judge of people. If you are able to assimilate the skills as a part of your temperament, you can do a great job as a recruiter, and that too, quite effortlessly.
Skills & Attributes needed to become a recruiter
#1 Communication skills
This includes command over language, fluency, usage of a good choice of words (if not for vocabulary), active listening, and control over your tone of voice. Assertiveness, also an extended aspect of communication, is an extremely significant skill for a recruiter. You will also need this skill to share constructive feedback with qualified candidates or potential employees.
#2 Attention to detail
This is useful in evaluating a candidate’s profile and verifying data provided by them. Noticing finer details will help you separate the ‘wheat from the chaff’. Through experience, many recruiters learn to read body language cues in a candidate’s expectations.
#3 Time management
If there is a challenge that you may face in recruitment, it is time management. Sudden job requisitions, bulk hiring, schedule changes, administrative work, and extended time in interviewing are regular features. Being able to multitask, plan and prioritize work and striking a balance between being assertive and accommodating is necessary.
A valuable recruitment skill related to time management is also stress management. Working under strict timelines and not being able to find the right talent can put a lot of pressure on the recruitment team. You can manage stress by improving your techniques and placement processes or through negotiating realistic timelines and the criteria for active as well as passive candidates from the available pool.
#4 Interpersonal skills
Being able to strike conversations easily and putting others at ease so that they can open up is necessary for interviewing, networking, relationship-building, and even marketing (for brand building). Interpersonal skills are also a premise for teamwork and collaboration.
#5 Data-driven mentality
Gone are the days of “I think this candidate will do a good job”; today’s era of recruitment is data-driven. A data-driven approach eliminates unconscious bias and helps you be more objective and fairer in making hiring decisions.
#6 Critical thinking
The ability to use available data to analyze candidates’ profiles and make decisions is a skill you will need to select the right talent. This is also useful for you to look at the big picture and figure out where a candidate will fit into the organization and how their skills can contribute to the company’s success.
#7 Negotiating skills
This skill may be used not only to negotiate offers with candidates but also with third-party sourcing agencies and sometimes also the management (mostly around budgets and deadlines)! It also helps you manage the candidate’s or employee’s expectations.
Now let us understand some attributes that will add value to a recruiter’s persona:
#8 Emotional intelligence
A blanket term that covers good self–confidence (including positive body language), empathy, and understanding others’ perspectives. Although developing your self-awareness may take some deep diving into your mind, it will help you understand people more deeply (to gauge their personality). Discernment is also a subtle skill that is closely related to developing good self-confidence.
A curious person has openness and a strong aptitude to learn new things (including technology). As far as understanding people go, knowledge is infinite. Only by being curious, will you be able to discover attributes of a person and learn to use tools and techniques to assess them.
This is possibly the most desirable attribute for employers, next to integrity. A reliable recruiter, who believes in the brand, is able to advocate the company to potential candidates.
People, who deal with people, need this attribute for sure. If you don’t have enough of it, you will need the experience to teach you over time. Evaluating and understanding others is a journey that cannot be rushed. You will find yourself with more clarity if you develop this attribute.
So, you need all these attributes and skills. If you have chosen a profession as a recruiter, you may have most of these in different proportions. It is just a matter of experience and introspection for you to polish them to become a successful recruiter.
7 tips to become a successful recruiter
It is said that the strength of the effort is the measure of the result. If you want to be good at recruitment, you must try the following:
#1 Believe in your brand
Unless you believe in your brand, it is difficult for you to represent your organization in the market. No amount of marketing tools and techniques can replace your “belonging” to your company. Again, this is only possible if you took up the job as a recruiter after enough consideration and clarity.
If you have not thought this through yet, here are some questions that can help you believe in your brand:
- What are the things you like about your company?
- What is your opinion about your company’s products and services?
- Which values of the company do you connect with?
- Does your company support a cause you believe in?
- Which of the best practices in your company do you appreciate?
- What aspects of the company kept you going so far?
#2 Know yourself to know others
Human behavior is complex and it takes a lifetime to understand it. Thankfully, the scope of your understanding of a person is defined. However, it is important for you to know the psychology of a person looking for a job. Knowing their state of mind, their motivators, and their personality, apart from objectively evaluating their skills for the role, will give you an edge in making good hiring decisions.
Empathy – the ability to understand and connect with others’ feelings is important to make the candidate comfortable enough during interview conversations. You can develop empathy only if you have enough self-awareness.
#3 Be open-minded
This term is self-explanatory but what is it that you need to be open-minded about? As a recruiter, you will come across all sorts of people of different age groups, generations, and demographics. If you have preconceived notions about any particular group of people, you are likely to lose talent as well as reputation.
Being open-minded helps you be unbiased in a conversation, set clear expectations, and have level-headed negotiations. This attribute also helps you learn more – whether it is skills or people or even yourself.
#4 Keep learning
Human Resources have evolved over time. It has many new terms, tools, technology, and techniques that have changed the texture of recruitment into talent acquisition and management. To keep up with new hiring trends, you must keep learning and developing.
As a recruiter, you need to learn/know about:
- Your organization (vision, goals, values, products, and services)
- Job roles (skills, knowledge, and expectations)
- Interviewing techniques
- Technology in recruitment
- Labour laws and rules of employment
- Human psychology and people skills
#5 Collaborate and cooperate
Recruitment has a larger outcome – to achieve the organizational goal. Therefore, recruiters cannot operate independently. You need to collaborate with operations managers to understand the hiring needs of the organization and the expectations for requisitioned roles. Since your hires eventually work with these managers, it is prudent for you to work in alignment with them. They are also the ones who can educate you about the technical aspects of the job role.
You also need to cooperate with them (and so do they) to achieve the target of filling open positions in a given time span.
#6 Plan for success
Goal setting cannot be undermined. If you know clearly what you are looking for, it will be easy for you to use techniques to get the desired outcome. Whether the goal is about filling vacancies, the quality of hires, or improving the efficiency of your recruiting process, you need to be clear about the outcome and then plan toward it.
Going with the flow while recruiting will not only cost you time and effort but also money for your organization.
#7 Use technology for efficiency
If you are an old-school recruiter, you are missing out on the wonders of technology and the benefits it can offer. Technology can help you save time, effort, and costs in the following ways:
- Usage of social media and other internet platforms to attract talent communities,
- Automated screening of resumes,
- Applicant tracking in every stage of recruitment,
- Pre-employment assessment
- Video interviewing
- Reference checks
- Online documentation and form-filling
- Employee onboarding
- New hire task allotment, tracking, and assessment
Getting comfortable with technology can make your entire hiring process efficient but it definitely cannot beat human experience, instinct, and wisdom. But being open-minded towards technology can help you work better.
It may seem to you that a lot is expected out of a recruiter and that is true. However, the outcome of developing skills will add value to you, the candidate, and the organization.
Recruiters are entrusted with the responsibility of laying the building blocks of the organization’s workforce and its culture. Right from creating Job Descriptions, assessing hiring needs, sourcing, interviewing, and onboarding to building talent pipelines, recruiters play a huge role in the organization’s success.
As unsung heroes, they continue relentlessly to find talent and help them get opportunities where they can develop and shine as diamonds!