Month: April 2014

8 Skills Recruiters Should Have

Here’s a popular post that I found while doing some research on recruiting just for MY knowledge because you never know what the future holds. I thought I’d share these tips with you all and maybe it can help you out with your future recruiting. This can even be a little bit of a “reminder” for those of you who are successful recruiters. Who knows…but it’s worth a read because any little bit helps. 🙂

  1. Strong sales skills — if you haven’t figured it out by now, recruiting is sales. If you disagree, you are in the wrong business. Not only do recruiters need to sell their clients (internal or external), but they need to sell candidates on opportunities and be able to articulate why company X is an employer of choice and why a particular opportunity is not just a great opportunity, but how it is the opportunity of a lifetime.
  2. Ability to cultivate and build relationships — anyone can pull a name out of a database and place a call. It’s another thing to actually cultivate and build relationships with the candidates we recruit. Perhaps knowing a little about what makes them tick, what their hobbies are, engaging in a conversation rather than just following a script, etc. Social media, smart phones, and other communication platforms have built bridges straight into our personal lives. By creating a more open, friendly, and communicative relationship with candidates, the candidate experience will increase, making the recruiter and company stand out professionally and as an employer of choice.
  3. Hunter’s mentality — there are so many ways to source for talent these days. There is an abundance of sites, networks, tools, and platforms all built in some fashion to make a recruiter’s life easier. But it is how each recruiter uses these tools that will make the difference. It all starts with the mentality of the individual. Recruiters are big-game hunters, and having the mindset to hunt and be relentless until the hunt is done is a priceless skill set. If a recruiter is going to sit at a desk, log in to Monster and keyword search all day — that is not the hunter mentality you want. You want someone who will use cold calling, social media, Boolean searches, networks, etc. in order to find the strongest and most-qualified individuals.
  4. Big-picture thinking — simply focusing on single searches each day is great, but having the ability to see how candidates can fit into an organization, the potential value they can bring, or even knowing where a superstar candidate could fit in, even if there is no immediate position available, is invaluable. Moreover, keeping an eye on future tools, technology, and best practices and knowing what is coming down the pipeline will keep your company well versed and competitive in a tough talent market.
  5. Strong follow-up skills — probably the #1 topic that irks me the most about recruiters – follow-up skills. How hard is it to return a call or an email — I will tell you that it is not hard at all nor does it take a severe amount of time to update a candidate, hiring manager, co-worker, etc. on events. I have heard all the horror stories of a recruiter (agency or corporate alike) calling someone frantically, building them up and setting them up to interview, only to never reach back out to the candidate again. All that does is breed negativity and it is not part of the relationship-building process what so ever.
  6. Listening — anyone else ever had the recruiter-talk-your-ear-off presentation about how great they are, the database they have access to, successful placements, etc.? Recruiters need to listen first and talk second. Recruiters must possess the uncanny ability to listen and take a proper job order. Too many recruiters run their traps to no end. It’s annoying.
  7. Consultative in nature — recruiting is a science and there are methods and processes. The majority of hiring managers need to be consulted on these procedures and processes in order to build long-term success and proper process flow. Good recruiters have the ability to advise and push back on their clients if need be. A good recruiter will act as a trusted advisor for their clients, and in return, clients will respect and act on given advice.
  8. Personable and approachable — how many times do candidates call or meet a recruiter at a career fair and they are nervous on the other line or on the other side of the table. I love taking an approach opposite that which a majority of other recruiters take. I answer my phone calls and return emails. People will call me and are surprised that I even answered my phone. They are even more surprised that I am in a good mood, ask them how they are doing, thank them for their call, and take one minute of my time to let them introduce themselves and follow up with me. My mother always told me that I could catch more bees with honey than I can with vinegar.

There will be people reading this that say they don’t have the time to return calls or emails, that they can’t talk to everyone at a career fair, that their clients are too tough to work with — and to me they are all excuses. No one is perfect. I have probably missed an email or call in my time; however, we can all make a better effort to be better recruiters.

The next time you are reviewing your analytics and you see a high time-to-fill number or whatever data is important to you — put the brakes on and see if what you really need to do is recalibrate your recruiting team and get the right people on board first.



Here are some helpful interview questions to review before your interview. Create a unique response for each one. Always being prepared before an interview is most important.

1. Tell me about your greatest accomplishment on the job.

2.Tell me about a difficult situation you encountered at work and how you overcame it.

3. Give me three adjectives you would use to describe yourself and examples of you work style to support them.

4. Give me three adjectives you would use to describe your weaknesses/areas for improvement and the reasons why you feel you need to work on these.

5. If I was to ask a co-worker about you, how would they describe you on-the-job?

6. Tell me about a time where you were required wot work with a difficult person (i.e. client, coworker, manager, etc.). How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome?
7. If you were given a task to complete in an unrealistic time frame, what would you do?

8. If someone came to you with an enthusiastic, yet unrealistic request, how would you handle it?

9. Why are you looking to leave your current position?

10. What do you wan to get out of your next job?

11. Tell me about the best manager you ever had? Now tell me about the worst?

12. What are the three most valuable things you’ve learned while working in your current position?

13. What was the biggest mistake you’ve made on a job? How did you handle the failure?

14. What do you feel makes you successful in your current role? Give an example to support your success?

15. What do you think makes a company good to work for? What do you like about your current company? What could be better?

16. Do you prefer working alone or in teams? Give examples of how you have worked successfully both alone and in a team? what do you attribute your success to?

17. What are your own business philosophies – What do you feel must be present in a successful business?

18. What skills are you looking to develop in your next job? Why?

You should always have questions to ask-rewrite the questions in your own words…this way you can ask them in your interviews.

You want to Connect – Learn – Ask and Close

1. How did you join the company?

2. What has this company taught you?

3. What makes the department I’d work in successful?

4. I’ve done my research on the company, but I’d love to hear you describe the corporate culture here in your own words.

5. What makes this a great place to work? And since no company is perfect, what could be improved upon?

6. What traits do you feel a person needs in order to be successful at this company?

7. Can you give me an example of a recent hire that has been successful?

8. What are the three greatest strengths of this company? What are the three greatest strengths of the department I’d be working in?

9. If I could change add/change anything about myself and my experience to make me a better fit for the position and the company, what would it be?

10. What are the next steps in the hiring process?

When closing regardless of your style and how you choose to close the interview, there are some key points to keep in mind:

1. Leave your interviewer with the right picture of you. think of at least five skills or traits you want remembered after the interview.

2. Ask if there is anything else you can provide, such as references, background information or work samples.

3. State your interest in the position. Don’t be overly anxious, but act interested. Remember to mention the added value you can bring to the job.

4. Ask about the next step in the process. It’s important for you to know the next step so you can follow-up. Ask for the decision date.

5. Find out how to contact them. If you don’t hear back, you will need to know who to contact and whether they will accept calls to check the status.

Determine which closing is best for you and the situation at hand. 🙂