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The 10 things to do to be a successful recruiter

10 things for recruitersThe recruitment industry is a great place to work.

Every day I get asked a question I’ve not been asked before; having worked with, trained and coached thousands of recruiters and their managers and leaders for over 25 years, completed hundreds of search assignments over the same time scale, written the ‘go-to’ book in the UK for recruiters with Ann Swain (The Professional Recruiter’s Handbook) and generally hung about in recruitment both agency, RPO and client-side you’d think I’d know most things. But no, just as you think you have it all licked along comes a new brow-furrowing enquiry.

However, whilst I love things being different with new challenges I also think much of being successful in recruitment requires us to do the same things, time and again, day in and day out.

So here’s my not-at all-definitive, simple list of what you need to do, and what your teams and businesses need to do, to achieve your recruitment goals.

And you need to make sure you do plenty of it too!

1; Build great candidate relationships.  Because candidates will be more inclined to take your job offer over a competitors (and clients will get great service that way too), refer their friends, come back to you for their next move and have you hire their new team.

2; Work pro-actively and positively. Here’s an example of how this can work – an email I received  from a new recruiter I’ve trained demonstrates it well. I’ve also trained his manager.

a; “This placement (16.5k) was with a brand new client and I even spec’d this candidate into them – very pleased with the results! It’s all down to your training and my managers coaching”.

b; Stay positive too –all too easy in recruitment to be buffeted by good and bad news all day which impacts your mood. Just know that if you keep doing enough work, using the skills you have been trained in, you will be successful in the end.

3; Develop trust with your clients.  Simple – Fill their jobs for them. Deliver what you say, send great candidates which match the brief (if they wanted candidates that didn’t they’d find them themselves for free). Fill their jobs for them. You want them to come to you first with the next assignment right?

4; Use the phone. Ok – so if you are placing creative developers and they only use language via keyboard and have their earphones in all day then maybe you could be excused. Otherwise just ring people.

5; Meet people face to face. We buy more from people we have met, liked and developed a relationship with. Get out there.

6; Add value with market intelligence. You are the only person who has sight of the whole recruitment market and workforce movement. It’s valuable insight. Share it – clients can’t see it without your help.

7; Persist, but charmingly. When I went in-house for the first time, many years ago before anyone else did, I learned that as the quality of service was so poor there was a great market for training recruiters! Sadly I don’t think things have changed much. Every Monday I’d get a raft of cold calls from people I’d never heard of asking if I had any jobs they could work on. I did have of course. But equally I said no. Why would I brief someone who called me out of the blue once and offered me nothing, who built no trust or confidence? Recruiters, be intelligent when courting clients. What could be of value to them? How can you build that trust? And contact them several times if you need to over a period of time to show you are serious about working with their business. Offer to come and meet them. Put yourself out a bit.

8; Do more of what you’re good at.  If you’re good at generating good candidates, do more of that and use them to develop your market. If you’re good at business development, do more of that and use other people’s candidates to fill your jobs. Yes as a 360 recruiter you’ll need to be able to do all of it but make sure you are playing to your strengths.

9; Really love your marketplace. Candidates and clients can tell the difference between people who are genuinely keen on their marketplace (could be AR in IT, Big 4 in accounting, procurement, oil and gas, design etc etc) ,understand it, can offer advice and read around it and its developments rather than just placing candidates in it.

10; Look for commitment from everyone. You may have to earn this but it goes with the pro-active and positive working. It’s as important to know who and what not to work with. If client and candidates won’t give you commitment to work with them, find some who will. If you are genuinely good at your job and find your clients great candidates and your candidates’ great opportunities you’ll have no shortage of people wanting to work with you. There is still a war for real talent on you know. So make sure you get commitment all along the way. It will make everybody happy.

 Next week watch out for 5 things not to do as a recruiter – all from my own recent experiences of trying to find new recruiter suppliers – it’s not a great story.
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We work with everyone involved in the wonderful world of recruitment; agency-side and in-house, with a particular interest in developing performance in all areas but especially for managers and leaders.