What makes a good recruiter? 

I was interviewing a graduate at the time who was asking me what makes a good recruiter and what the industry can offer.

Since leaving the military in 2004, recruitment has become my second career. 

It has not only given me a fulfilling and rewarding career but financial stability, amazing friendships, international travel, variety, challenges, learning, tears, and laughter.

Believe it or not, I never planned on a career in recruitment, but it found me – and it’s been good to me.

What does it take to be a good recruiter? 

Most recruitment companies can give associates and consultants the training, skills, and experience that they need to become proficient and even good recruiters but, like most roles, it’s very behaviourally driven.

Over the years I’ve seen the same character traits and behaviours in top performers…

Full-on commitment

Recruitment needs people to be “all in”. We are a service industry and their commitment to the client, to deliver the very best candidates that help their clients’ businesses succeed is important. And it’s very true in our industry “you get out what you put in”

Unwavering tenacity

Let’s be honest, our industry can be challenging. At the end of the day, we are dealing with “products” that have emotions, feelings, and minds of their own. Not to mention we are involved in them making some of the most important decisions of their lives. And they won’t always want to join our clients’ companies or accept their job offers. Some may even decide to pull out of starting a new role on a Sunday when they are about to start on Monday!

Coupled with the challenges of pitching and selling your services to your prospective clients daily it can feel pretty brutal, so you have to be tenacious.

Complete integrity

On one hand, you are dealing with people’s careers, aspirations, livelihoods, their ability to pay their mortgages and bills.

And on the other, you are helping companies to become more successful. You are contributing to the business performance and if you get it wrong, over-commit or introduce people to companies that are under par, the consequences can be far-reaching so you must be honest.    

You’ll build a far better reputation, and quite frankly stand out against your competition if everything you say happens to be true.

Take responsibility

There is always a lot going on in recruitment processes, with moving parts on both sides and things don’t always go to plan. It’s not always your fault but it’s your responsibility to fix things, to make things happen and get the result needed.

Love to learn

We have an incredible industry that moves at an unbelievable pace. The development in technology, employment laws, talent acquisition, social media and hiring trends means you must like learning.

Not to mention the fact that you need to keep abreast of developments with our clients’ businesses, the economy, social demographics, and a myriad of social, micro and macro-economic developments.

Influences on success

Culture is one of the biggest factors that influences the success of people joining the industry, and the recruitment industry doesn’t always have the best reputation when it comes to culture.

Often perceived as “cutthroat”, aggressive and unempathetic and filled with sharks who will sell their grandmothers to make a fee. In some cases that is true.

Culture is mainly driven from the top-down and when the owners, founders or leaders set out with the sole purpose to make money that type of culture can be the result.

At Heads Resourcing Group our mission is to deliver recruitment as a professional service and our purpose transcends financial goals.

We are building a group of businesses that help our clients to become more successful, where we are more than just a recruitment company, offering our clients a suite of solutions that contributes to that success. It’s mentally stimulating, purposeful and very rewarding.

Structure of success

Finding the right structure will help consultants to flourish. In my experience, there are a lot of recruitment businesses that have hierarchical and authoritarian management structures built to control employees. Where you are told that you wouldn’t survive in other businesses outside the might and protection the company affords you.

The reality is there is a whole world of opportunity out there in organisations that value and reward people’s capabilities, where they promote collaboration and freedom of choice and encourage new thinking and entrepreneurialism.

We’ve found over the years that it takes a real blend of people with a variety of skills and experience to build a successful, high performing team. And we reward that with flexible working and autonomy. We encourage our colleagues to develop their career paths in a plethora of ways rather than having a cookie-cutter pathway that everyone is expected to follow, creating a bunch of “accidental managers”.

If you are thinking about a career in recruitment or want to explore what opportunities the Heads Resourcing Group has for experienced consultants, please fill out the form below and Craig will be in touch.

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About the author

Craig Elvin works with growing and ambitious businesses to attract, assess and nurture the best talent for critical leadership and senior managerial positions.

His successes have helped organisations attract game-changing leaders, reduce attrition, increase leadership capability and ultimately financially prosper.


07469 076614

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