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The 7 Qualities All Great Recruiters Need

24 days ago by Rose Hunt

The 7 Qualities All Great Recruiters Need

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​Some people will tell you it’s easy to become a recruiter, and it’s true that you don’t need any specific skills or qualifications to get started. However, anyone who’s been in the profession a while will know that making a success of it is an altogether different matter. While the gift of the gab and the ability to sell is all well and good, having the soft skills to ensure clients and candidates feel heard, respected, and valued is vital. Whether you're an experienced recruiter striving to enhance your performance or simply curious about the profession, in this blog post, we’ll delve into the essential qualities that set exceptional recruiters apart from the rest.

1. Listening skills

According to psychologists, while 96% of us believe ourselves to be excellent listeners, we tend to only retain about half of what other people say. While some people can get away with nodding along in conversation while secretly thinking of what we’re having for dinner, for recruiters, being able to practice active listening is a vital skill. Although you’ll find many will talk a candidate’s ear off in a bid to impress upon them why a role is the perfect opportunity, the very best will first ascertain what’s most important to them, and where they’re at in their career journey. By listening more than they speak, recruiters can learn more about their candidates’ strengths, weaknesses, wants and needs, leading to a better experience both for them and the client.

2. Tenacity

In a competitive job market, finding the right candidate can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. It takes persistence and determination to keep going until you find the right fit. Being tenacious means not giving up, even when faced with setbacks or obstacles. It means being willing to go the extra mile to find the right candidate, and not settling for second-best. This quality is especially important when you consider that 45% of the workforce is passively open to new opportunities – that is, they’re not actively looking for a role, but they’d be interested if the right one came along. The best recruiters know how to selectively reach out to these candidates to gauge their interest, and not become demoralised when they get knocked back.

3. Multi-tasking

Imagine you’ve got a meeting with a hiring manager at 9, a catch-up with a candidate right after, and back-to-back screening calls all afternoon. It’s all in a day’s work for many recruiters, and knowing how to effectively manage their time and balance priorities is an ongoing struggle. From sourcing candidates and scheduling interviews to negotiating job offers and managing communication with candidates and clients, being able to handle multiple projects simultaneously is critical to success in the profession.

4. Confidence

There’s a reason the recruitment industry tends to attract extroverts – it’s not easy speaking with so many people on a daily basis, and doing it all with a smile. Recruiters need to be able to convince clients they’re able to fill a role, reassure candidates they can land them their dream job, and be self-assured enough to back up their decision making if questioned. On top of all that, they need to have the confidence to sometimes make tough decisions, negotiate job offers, and provide feedback to candidates in a constructive and professional manner. Not to mention, confidence can be infectious (in a good way) – by being positive and enthusiastic when speaking with candidates about their career prospects, it might just help them to believe in themselves, too!

5. Attention to detail

It might not be the coolest quality in the world, but top-notch attention to detail is what separates a good recruiter from a great one. One small typo on a CV could put a client off a candidate for good, and having an eagle eye could be crucial in spotting red flags or inconsistencies in applications that might otherwise go unnoticed. Recruiters also need to create job postings and descriptions that accurately reflect the requirements and responsibilities of the position. Any errors or omissions could result in unqualified candidates applying, which can be a waste of time for both the recruiter and the candidate. What’s more, there are small details in job ads that can make a huge difference to potential response rate. For example, paying attention to keywords could have a dramatic impact on SEO, and taking the time to consider gendered language could boost the number of female applicants a job receives.

6. Creativity

How many times have you read that a company is looking for a highly motivated and passionate individual ready to hit the ground running? Jobseekers get tired of reading the same old cliches over and over again, so if a recruiter is able to be a little fun and creative with a job ad, it can really help them stand out from the crowd. Recruiters also need to be creative problem-solvers. When faced with a hiring challenge, such as a shortage of qualified candidates or a difficult-to-fill role, this quality can help them come up with innovative solutions. For example, they might consider alternative recruiting channels or look for transferable skills in candidates from different industries.

7. Empathy

This might be the most important quality of all. Getting a new job is up there with the most stressful life events most people go through, not to mention more unexpected situations like redundancies. Taking the time to understand how candidates are feeling and what their challenges are can make it much easier to form a genuine connection and build a strong relationship. Fostering a strong sense of empathy also means recruiters are less likely to overlook great candidates for minor reasons, like a gap in their CV. Making an effort to understand candidates and their unique situation also allows recruiters to make suggestions better suited to their needs – for example, if a candidate is a new mom, chances are they might be looking for a role that’s remote or close to home. By applying a little empathy and understanding, the best recruiters can put themselves in their candidates’ shoes to find a role that perfectly complements their personal life and priorities.

Looking to level up your recruitment career? You're in the right place! We're looking for recruiters of all levels to come on board and reinforce our already established teams in Birmingham, London and Reading. You can apply online, or get in touch with us at for more info.