Over the years I’ve seen my fair share of recruiters in action. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly and everything in between and am lucky to say that the team I have right now at Pulse Recruitment is the best that I’ve ever worked with. Quality training is crucial to developing a great recruiter and on reflection, in the early days of my business I made a lot of mistakes when it came to training and developing people in the business. The truth is, great recruiters have certain traits that are innate as well as those that can be developed, such as writing job ads. Quality, ongoing training is vital to success.

I say what makes a good “Sales Recruiter” because this is specific to Pulse Recruitment; but these traits really apply to any recruiter whether they are agency or Internal. Here are some of the more intangible traits that separate the good from the great and ones to look out for if you are a job seeker or looking to hire for your team;

Inquisitive – It’s a common belief that being naturally inquisitive is a trait of great sales people but the exact same applies in recruitment. You’ve got to be interested in your client’s business. Not just what they do but how they are different to their competition, what are their strengths and weaknesses and ultimately what type of person will fit in with the team and respond to the company’s management style. Does this role have a short sales cycle or a longer one? Would the candidate need to be more strategic, detail orientated person over a more transactional sales hunter with different skill sets? Being inquisitive means you dig a little deeper and ask more questions which then gives you more information and knowledge towards painting a more rounded picture. The same inquisitive nature means that you will also want to learn more about candidates; from their key drivers to why they left certain roles; like putting a jigsaw together. You might be able to tell what the image is if you complete two thirds of the jigsaw but you only get full clarity once it’s complete. Being inquisitive also means that you gain trust and that is at the heart of any relationship a recruiter has; and the great recruiters work off trust and influence more than anything else.

Dares to challenge – The client isn’t always right! I am working with a small business owner right now to recruit a Business Development Manager. This owner is a highly creative person but freely admits that sales is not his strength and is therefore willing to take direction on everything from the commission structure on offer to their ideal target market. This is an example of where a recruiter can add real value to a business but, in many other circumstances, it is very hard to say to a client “the way you are hiring and doing things is wrong” when the client doesn’t really see an issue. This is where you have to be able to challenge your client and offer a better solution. Maybe the recruitment process is too long or good talent are being missed because there is too much focus on experience over soft skills. The bottom line is that you have to be able to challenge in certain circumstances and great recruiters back their judgement without being too pushy. They identify a weakness or an issue and are able to convey this effectively with the sole purpose of adding value. When it comes to candidates, the same is applied. People can have unrealistic expectations around salary, position and all manner of things and it can be tough to challenge; but it can ultimately be a crucial piece of advice that ends up helping the individual for the rest of their career.

Likes to help people – This one is a bit of a no-brainer. If you like seeing people fail, you’re in the wrong game. A big driver for recruiters is that placing candidates will generally mean fatter pay cheques but at the heart and soul of being a great recruiter is that you genuinely enjoy helping people and seeing them succeed and flourish. This goes for both your clients and candidates. The great recruiters will work hard for a candidate because they believe in that person, not just because of the financial rewards. The reward is the outcome, especially when you see someone succeed in a role in the long term.

Persistent and optimistic – Candidates will accept counter-offers and cancel client interviews at the last minute and clients will reject candidates based on little to no rational reasoning. This is all part and parcel of being an agency recruiter. There are ways to minimalise these risks but ultimately they will always exist. Great recruiters are able to understand set backs are a part of the process, forget about them quickly and move on. Great recruiters may get a few knocks but they look for the positive in each situation and always focus on retaining relationships even if you don’t get an outcome from that individual or that company. The optimist says that ‘just because it didn’t happen this time round doesn’t mean it won’t happen next time’.

Are you are looking to hire for your Sales or Marketing teams or are thinking about a new challenge? Maybe you are just looking for some information and insights. If so, give Pulse a call on (02) 9387 7005 or e-mail [email protected].

Until next time…