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    What are the attributes of a Great Recruiter?

    So what are the main qualities you need to have to be a great recruiter? My take on what qualities and attributes a great recruiter should have are:

    A good listener and clear communicator. Recruiting starts and ends with listening.

    We take copious notes and track all interactions in our database because people are unique and so are their needs. If you don’t listen then you can’t deliver, and if you can’t deliver then you offer no value.

    Creates a sense of urgency so that matches actually get made and no time is wasted.

    Hiring managers have their day jobs, and candidates have their jobs too. Our job is hiring, and if we don’t drive the process forward then no one will, resulting in lots of wasted time on processes started but not successfully completed.

    Have a keen sense of timing, patience and the ability to act quickly when the time is right.

    The majority of the time, candidates change jobs when the time is right. It’s our job to track their career and have the right opportunity at that moment.

    Ability to filter through a long list of requirements and decipher which are truly motivating factors (the must-haves vs nice-to-haves).

    We can think of this as next-level-questioning, which is what we use to get to the heart of the matter. If your client wants a “rockstar” engineer, ask them what exactly that means to them. If your candidates say they will choose their next company based on “the culture,” ask them which elements of the culture are most important to them - what type of environment will they fit in well.

    Can motivate, support, and whip someone into shape when needed.

    Hiring is hard, getting a job is hard. We are in a fortunate position to have worked with thousands of job seekers and hundreds of companies, so we have seen what works and what doesn’t. We give interview preparation tips, interview process advice, pep talks when times get stressful and contribute wherever we can to reach the goal.

    Understanding of recruiting tools and the ability to identify the right bait to lure your catch.

    There is a LOT of information available online, so we need to know which lake to fish in. We use all the resources at our disposal to understand what each individual will most likely respond to. Then we monitor results and act. We need to do all of this quickly, with high volume.

    Creates a process that can be customized for individuals.

    When recruiting becomes purely a process, the process turns into a transaction and transactional recruiting can’t attract star-performers. Guess what? Star-performers are in high-demand, creating a complex recruiting situation that needs to be managed flexibly and creatively.

    Manages expectations and occasionally egos.

    Companies and candidates both like to believe they are great and deserve the greatest, which is true! But sometimes, someone has to provide a reality check to keep expectations reasonable, and our vast experience grants us the authority to do that.

    Pays attention to the details.

    All of them! Remember that none of the parties involved have to work with you as a recruiter. They should want to work with you because you make the process easier, faster, and more successful. This is only true if you take a detail-oriented approach to providing a quality service.


    A recruiter’s character is all about integrity. Are your actions aligned with your promises? Do you operate in a fair way? When you stumble, do you admit to your mistakes, hold yourself accountable and dust yourself down and come back and work harder and smarter? You’re not selling cars, you’re selling dreams to other human beings and changing lives (see a previous blog on this) …. That is why your character is so important.


    Do you have skin as thick as that of a rhinoceros or do you run for a sob in the toilets the moment something goes wrong or somebody has a go at you? Being resilience (and able to deal with the word no) and being persistent (studies show it takes an average of 8 call attempts to reach a prospect) are essential.


    Is your behaviour and are your actions transparent? Do people know who you are, what you represent and what you believe in, and where your allegiances fall? You don’t have to be a social worker but your purpose and agenda should be crystal clear.


    Skills, knowledge and ability are essential, you should be able to not only perform your job duties and live up to the commitments you’ve made to both your employer and clients but also outperform your competition. But what is ingrained into ability? There’s your professional reputation — the thing that makes people say, yes, you get the job done and you get it done well..

    So many Recruiters brag about their skills and their results. They can fill a role in weird markets like ‘Gobbledygook’ or ‘Balderdash’ in record time; however, they’re arseholes, and nobody likes to work with them. You know the type, right? They bounce from recruiting job to recruiting job and wonder why the hell everybody else gets it wrong when they’re so smart and always right, right?

    So many attributes are needed and it turns out that being a great recruiter requires you to be a decent human being. Skills don’t matter if nobody likes you. If you want to improve your performance as a Recruiter, try working on yourself. Remember that exceptional performance is built on a foundation of trust and character.

    If you’re a dickhead, you don’t get to work. Not at my company, Our policy for hiring and retaining recruiters is “No Dickheads, No Passengers.” It should be the same at any business, really. Try being someone of character and substance. Then work on your recruiting skills. I promise your recruiting career will take off if you work on yourself, first, and strive to do right by your clients and colleagues.

    Try reading Steven Covey’s speed of trust model, it’s the perfect model for being a decent human being who is helpful, considerate, and good at his or her job.