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7 Habits of Highly Successful Recruiters

A recruiter’s job is not an easy one. Between working with both clients and candidates to set expectations, understand their needs and match the right people with the right opportunities, recruiters must be agile, resourceful, patient and – not least of all – able to work well under pressure. It’s a wonder how some recruiters have enough time in the day to meet these challenges and make it home in time to watch “Scandal.”

So how do they do it? They’ve mastered the following seven habits to set themselves up for success.

  1. They wear multiple hats:  “The most successful recruiters are part salesman, career counselor, consultant, advisor, fact finder, archaeologist and ‘shrink,’” says ERE’s Carol Schultz. In other words, they do whatever it takes – and devote whatever time necessary – to understand the wants, needs and concerns of candidates and clients. As a result, they are able to build trust with the clients and candidates with whom they work, and that leads to loyalty and long-term success.
  2. They stay ahead of trends: The number of candidates who search for jobs from their mobile devices is growing by the day, and having a mobile-optimized website (which only about half of staffing firms do) is a must-have in today’s mobile world. Successful recruiters realize that making it easier for candidates to search their opportunities on a mobile device is part of creating a successful candidates experience.
  3. They over-communicate: Results from Inavero’s 2013 Opportunities in Staffing study show that many candidates still have misconceptions about staffing firms. It’s up to recruiters to educate them on the benefits of working with a staffing firm – even if you think you’re being overly cautious, it’s clearly taking a while for the message to sink in to candidates. “Don’t assume your audience is well informed about what it’s like to work with a staffing firm,” says Eric Gregg, founder and CEO of Inavero. When speaking with candidates, he says, make sure you emphasize the benefits of nontraditional employment, such as freedom, flexibility and the opportunity to turn temporary work into a full-time position.
  4. They check in early and often: Among the top complaints clients and candidates have when it comes to staffing firms is their responsiveness – or lack thereof. According to the same study, the most common complaint candidates have about staffing firms is “Too slow responding to calls and emails,” and the second most common complaint was “Not looking out for my best interests.” Meanwhile, 50 percent of all clients say “responsiveness” is what they value most in a staffing company. Successful recruiters make responding to and regularly checking in with clients and candidates a priority.
  5. They don’t apologize for their success: The vast majority of clients surveyed say they assess the quality of a potential staffing firm by its client satisfaction scores. If your firm has a satisfaction rating worth bragging about – do just that. Feature it on your website, social media pages and other marketing materials. Do the same for any other awards and accolades, such as being named to Inavero’s annual Best of Staffing list.
  6. They keep score: “Top staffing agencies are able to stay on top because they consistently measure their [quality control] processes and utilize client and candidate feedback to improve,” says Gregg. As a result, they are able to outpace the competition. Keeping track of your satisfaction scores is crucial to any staffing firm’s success, Gregg says. “They are the number one metric the majority of clients use to determine the quality of a prospective staffing firm.”
  7. They go above and beyond: Successful recruiters stand out because they don’t just make placements – they make magic. “Find places in your process where you can add a positive surprise or do something noteworthy,” Gregg suggests. “Strive to take the breath away from your clients and contractors on occasion. Your business will be better because of it.”

Recruiters, tell us: What habits have you developed that help you find success in working with clients and candidates?

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.


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