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Being a recruiter, working in a staffing agency or recruitment agency, is not an easy job.  It can be quite rewarding but the path to the reward is rarely easy.  There are several key skill sets that a recruiter has to be good at in order to be successful.  You should have the ability to perform research when trying to identify the candidates that best fit your client’s needs.  You have to have a certain tenacity, like in a sales role, to continue to pick up the phone and call potential candidates.  You have to be able to multi-task, even more so than most other jobs, due to the fact that on any given day you could be trying to fill anywhere from 3-30 different open positions.  But, in my opinion, nothing matters as much as having the ability to establish and develop relationships with your candidates. 

Most employment and contract agencies will train a recruiter on their processes, how to find candidates and even about the technical jobs that you wouldn’t normally know anything about.  These are important pieces to being a recruiter and certainly should not be overlooked.  But the one thing that is hard to train someone on, either you have it or you don’t, is the ability to effectively communicate with people and quickly build trust.  Gaining a candidate’s trust is essential to building relationships, and ultimately being a successful recruiter.  Let’s take a look at a few reasons why: 

Exclusivity – It’s not fair to expect a candidate to only work with one recruiter.  Think about it, if you are searching for your next opportunity, would you only work with one person and just wait around until they tell you about a new opportunity that makes sense?  Probably not.  But if you have a good relationship with your recruiter you just might.  So as a recruiter, it is very important to establish trust quickly with the candidate.  Make them feel that they are most important to you, which they should be, and that you have their best interests at heart.  This will lead to them working with a minimal amount of recruiters, and potentially, with just you and you alone.  This will save you from competing with other recruitment agencies for the same candidates. 

Referrals – When you have the trust of a candidate they are more likely to try and help you with other positions you need to fill.  Finding the right candidate is harder than you might think it is, but getting referrals can be your best source.  They are usually passive candidates that you may not even know exist without the referral and many times are the best candidates.  So when you have a good relationship with your candidate, and they know and feel you have their best interests at heart, they will many times help you locate a candidate for other positions.  And if not a candidate, they may be able to connect with you someone they know that would potentially know the types of candidates you are need.  Or they may just know a friend that is looking for their next step in their career and will point them to you first.  In the recruiting industry, referrals can make your career. 

Repeat – Finally, having a great relationship with a candidate can make you money multiple times by placing them again on down the road.  Maybe you placed them in a contract role that has a definitive end date.  When that date comes around, if you have a great relationship with your candidate, you will likely be the first person they call when it is time for a new opportunity.  Or maybe you placed them in a permanent role and 3 years down the road, the company is bought by someone else and major changes happen that causes them to look eslewhere.  That candidate will likely call you and ask for help in finding a new opportunity.  Regardless of what type of position you help them with, having the ability to further help them, and in the process make money for yourself, can help you continue to be successful for years to come. 

The moral of the story is to treat your candidates with respect, be communicative and do your best to establish a relationship with them.  Recruiters, sometimes unfairly, can have a bad reputation not unlike a used car salesman.  That’s usually because a lot of recruiters are not good at what they do and certainly not good at building a relationship with their candidates.  Make yourself stand out, and who knows, you may even gain a new friend in the process.


About ARC Group©

ARC Group©, the parent company of Recruitment Intelligence™, has been an industry front runner in the last 30 years in the full-time, contract and contract-to-hire staffing and consulting industries.  Awarded to the South Florida, Jacksonville and Minnesota’s Business Journal’s collection of “Top 25 Executive Search & Consulting Firms” we have a national presence, and provide a service throughout the US, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Chicago and Washington.