How Can I Improve My Recruiting Skills?

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Posted by: David Garcia

Topics: Recruitment

Whether you are a professional recruiter or a hiring manager who does their own recruiting, there are tons of skills you can learn to up your game. 

Typically, everyone comes into recruiting jobs with the same basic skills: what programs to use, how to format interviews, and how to maintain a talent pool.

But being a recruiter means staying on top of trends, innovations, and industry ebbs and flows. It means staying connected to the pulse of your industry and being able to ride whatever wave comes your way. 

There are specific skills that make a recruiter super successful. Here are some of the key ones to know.

What Makes a Recruiter Successful?

Recruiters have to be lots of things for lots of people.

They have to be matchmakers who find the perfect complement in a person to the culture and values of a company. 

They must be keen observers and analyzers who can find the needle in a giant haystack of resumes and cover letters.

They also have to be human resource mavens who can draft interview templates, conduct on-site interviews, and put together candidate packages for hiring managers.

For all these reasons, recruiters have to be multitalented multitaskers. The job requires you to be able to run a marathon and run sprints. Sometimes, the need for talent will be great, requiring lots of research, pre-interviews, and coordination. At other times, the workload will be much lighter.

What Skills Are Needed for Recruitment?

Everybody could work on their interviewing skills. If you’re an applicant, you know the job you're working now won't be your last, and you'll need to complete one, two, or even many more interviews for your next position. That makes friendliness and clarity excellent skills to have as an interview subject.

But recruiters need to have mastered the interview on both sides of the equation. They need to know how to interview expertly to retain a higher number of winning candidates rather than casting the net wide and dragging in some unqualified applicants.

In addition to interviewing skills, recruiters need to have:

  • Listening Skills: Research has shown that active listening promotes positive feelings within yourself, encourages a peaceful community around you, and is a critical component in building trust. Recruiters must have finely tuned active listening skills to ferret out the best candidates without wasting too much time.
  • Organizational Skills: As a recruiter, you're going to be talking to new people every single day, sometimes working with multiple clients, and maintaining a database of lots of potential candidates. All of that necessitates the creation of well-oiled organizational and workflow systems.
  • People Skills: Recruiting is all about people. You need to have inherent ease with people, and you need to be able to read them. You're going to be talking to people all day; you must be able to enjoy that. An extroverted personality may help, though research has shown that introverted personality types can make highly effective recruiters.

How to Improve Your Recruiting Process

There are active steps you can take immediately to improve your recruiting skills. The top three ways to become a better recruiter are:

Work on Your Communication

Recruiting is all about communication: emails, phone calls, and endless meetings. You literally talk for a living. 

Even if you're naturally chatty or you've been extroverted your whole life, you may not be a great communicator. Great communicators are made, not born.

You can improve your communication skills by taking a communications course offered by a nearby community college or by challenging yourself to communicate in more direct ways than you've ever been comfortable doing. 

Research shows that effective communication is the most vital component in the overall health of a boss/employees relationship. Take control of your recruiting process by improving your communication skills.

Develop—and Update—a Talent Database

Following up with talent that's on the current roster is easy. Keeping track of names from weeks, months, and years ago is harder. Not to mention keeping a log of prior candidates' titles, career stages, how much they'd like to make, and more—it takes a lot of work!

Developing a system to track and communicate with applicants is imperative. The next time you're in a jam and need to hire someone right away, having that information organized and right at your fingertips will be highly beneficial.

Learn to Recognize Active Talent

There's a difference between passive talent and active talent. Passive talent simply sits on the job market for weeks until companies get desperate enough to interview them. 

You want active talent: go-getters who won't make excuses or complain when things are hard. These are people who will always rise to the occasion without ever being called on explicitly.

Job postings regularly get hundreds, if not thousands, of responses within days of posting. When you improve your recruiting skills in these three ways, you'll slash through those stacks of applications and find the best shortlist of candidates to pass on. 

Retain Top Talent

If you want to attract instantly desirable candidates, you have to work on your recruiting skills. 

ScoutLogic can help you through the most crucial stage in the recruiting process: running background checks. Simply finding talent that looks good on paper isn't enough. You have to vet the claims candidates make in their resume and cover letter, which requires professional-level assistance. 

Call ScoutLogic today to learn what kinds of background checks you can have completed on your next batch of candidates.

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