[Estimated reading time: 4 minutes]

Recruiters are constantly looking to match the right person with the right skills to the right job. But what does it take to be a recruiter? Here are some traits that make a great one.

See also: Recruitment in Malta

The Ability to Listen

Having the ability to understand and listen to others is one of the most important skills required to be a recruiter. In order to link the right candidate to the right company, you need to be able to listen carefully to the requirements of the clients during meetings, and those of your candidates during interviews. Listening is crucial to pinpoint the underlying needs of the clients with the real motives for candidates looking to change their job.

Drive to Succeed

Having a competitive streak and the drive to succeed will give you the motivation you need to find the best candidate. Recruiters are also required to take initiative when it comes to leading projects and seeing them through, and must be able to focus on how to better themselves in their job. The recruitment industry is a highly competitive one and involves working under pressure to meet strict targets and deadlines, whilst retaining your professionalism.

Good Work Ethic

If you want to work in the recruitment industry, being reliable and having a good work ethic is of utmost importance as both clients and candidates will need to trust you. This means not missing deadlines, keeping promises, being consistent and always being punctual and professional. Good recruiters do not just find great candidates, but they can eventually become trusted advisors to both the client and the candidate.

Communication Skills

As working in recruitment involves working with people for a large amount of time, good communication skills are essential, whether this is face-to-face, over the phone or via email. Great recruiters must be able to communicate with candidates to offer them both good news and bad news, in some cases explaining what went wrong and how they can improve their job search. The ability to communicate criticism in a constructive and considerate manner is a must in this type of role. In a survey by Bullhorn, 1,300 recruiters were asked what makes a successful recruiter. The top five traits mentioned were all related to communication – persistence, ability to listen, tenacity, ability to follow up and communication.

Be Tech-Savvy

Technology has changed a lot about the world of recruitment, and recruiters need to know how to use the right tools to their advantage. “From the resume to the search to the interview, we’re moving toward a digital hiring model,” Bob Myhal, director of digital marketing at CBC says. Candidates now expect an easy application process online, and recruiters must therefore adapt to this.

The Ability to Build Relationships

Recruitment is about connecting with people on a daily basis. Therefore, being approachable and able to build relationships is a must. You need to be able to build and maintain strong relationships with both clients and the candidates and prove to be trustworthy. A recruiter needs to be able to communicate and connect well with people at different levels.

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As a recruiter, you need to be an advocate for candidates when communicating with clients, and persuade them to give the person a chance. This requires confidence in yourself and in the service you are providing. It is only through that confidence and self-belief that you can successfully promote your services.

Ability to Interpret Body Language

Research suggests that body language can provide more information about a person’s motives than verbal communication. Recruiters must be able to analyse body language to detect a person’s eagerness, confidence, honesty and conviction in what they are saying. Being able to interpret body language is a must.

Attention to Detail

One of the main characteristics that can distinguish a good recruiter from a great one is attention to detail. You need to be able to ask the right questions and watch out for any warning signs in what a person says. A simple handshake, hesitation or look can say a lot about a candidate. You must also be attentive to detail when reviewing applications and CVs. Certain gaps or moves in a person's career may need to be addressed in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. You also need to be aware of the world around you and avoid putting forward someone who is a current employee at that sister company.

Time Management Skills

At times, companies need to fill in a vacancy urgently. This is no easy task. You need to be able to set your priorities right, whilst ensuring that the service provided is consistent and professional. To properly manage your time as a recruiter, you need to be selective with your search assignments and screen candidates well, interviewing only those relevant for the role. Therefore, being able to manage your time effectively is crucial when working in this industry.

Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking skills are essential in the role of a recruiter. During interviews and meetings with clients, recruiters must be able to question everything, rather than accept what is being said at face value. You must be able to look at what is below the surface and read between the lines.