Do your Recruiters have these Traits?

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Having spent the last decade and a half in Recruiting and Human Capital Acquisition I have arrived at a few conclusions on the traits that separate the average recruiters vs. the top of the line recruiters…. and my 0.002 cents (BTW follow me on Twitter @m2centsy)

Trait #1-Storytelling:

Good recruiters are extremely good Storytellers. They prepare in advance before they jump on a call and are ready with a story line that will help them seal the deal. I can debate that this trait alone can help in separating the men vs. boys. We all know that most of the searches our competitors and we work on are similar in many forms and fashions. If that is indeed the case then able to convey the story line for the “what and how” of the position becomes very critical. Don’t kid yourself by thinking you are going to sway the decision of a  ”hot programmer” by not being able to articulate the real value proposition behind the position. It’s been demonstrated time and again that you cannot win a candidate by being the highest bidder. You need to find ways to differentiate the position you are recruiting for.

Trait #2-Cyber Sleuthing:

It’s not that all companies are seeking Unicorns or Purple Squirrels. But we all know that they exist.. Do they really? Well, we can argue at length on this but the truth of the matter in the current highly competitive global market points to the fact that a recruiters ability to source, sell and close candidates that are in-demand makes all the difference. With the ubiquitous nature of the social media and the massive amounts of data/information that is at the disposal of each and every one of us, it’s extremely important to hone this skill set. Remember, “When the going gets tough the tough get going”. Always be ready with a multi-dimensional candidate pipeline that comprises of active and passive job seekers. If you cannot monetize on the power and potential of the social media to fill your pipeline you are missing out on a key differentiator. Know how to hunt for and chase the candidates that your are seeking and remember we are all leaving digital footprints on the WWW; it’s your ability to wear that Cyber Sleuths hat to identify where your talent is hanging out and harvesting leads from those sites/portals/forums that will ultimately make a big difference.

Trait #3-Data Mining:

A very critical trait that many recruiters become good at as they mature into the profession happens to be Data Mining. If you ask a recruiter that is just starting in the profession as to how many names they can generate from a single resume the quick answer is one. That number changes considerably as you talk to seasoned recruiters. They develop/hone the data mining skill that can help them to work smarter rather than harder and are consistently able to collect and connect the dots for building the candidate supply chain and eventually candidate acquisition. Reading between the lines, Understanding Patterns, Motivations, Semantics are all sub sets of effective data mining. Remember, we are at the stage of trying to teach computers to think and analyze large data sets to find patterns and analyze/collect information like humans.

Trait #4-Match Making:

The old adage “fitting a square peg in a round hole” is most appropriate in this case. Recruiters that are able to match the right candidates with the right companies will be winners eventually. Why you may ask? Well, for starters good recruiters are all about finding the most capable and competent candidate for a given position. Their job is not to throw spaghetti on the wall and hope to god that something sticks. Ability to intimately understand the key motivations of a candidate and the culture of the company you are trying to recruit for is extremely important. No position is all about the “nice to have” and the “must have skill sets”. It becomes almost imperative to be able to understand the grey area in each of these positions/searches. Again, intuitively able to decipher the hidden nuances and unearth them from the candidates you are recruiting and the clients you are placing them with becomes key.

-Anil Kasibhatla is a Managing Partner at Param Solutions, a boutique Staffing & Recruiting company based out of Ashburn, VA. He can be reached via email:


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