What Separates a Good Recruiter From a Great One?

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Posted by: David Garcia April 28, 2022

Whether you are a candidate looking for work or an employer with a vacancy to fill, finding the right recruiter can be tricky.

Recruiters are salespeople at the end of the day, so they will talk the talk. It’s easy to be taken in and hear what you want.

Unfortunately, the recruitment industry has a bit of a reputation for being a holding center when it comes to career development. A good percentage of recruiters are in the business for the short term.

A good recruiter might send email blasts to potential candidates, but a great recruiter takes time to get to know their client and builds genuine relationships with candidates and employers.

So when it comes to recruiters, what separates a good recruiter from a great one? And how can you be sure you have chosen the pick of the bunch?

A Great Recruiter Understands the Principle of Quality Over Quantity

Whether you are an employer or a prospective candidate, one thing a great recruiter won’t do is mass email job vacancies to loads of applicants.

As someone looking for a new job, you don’t want hundreds of interviews—it’s time-consuming and can be challenging to get away from work. It’s better to apply for a couple of really specific vacancies that match your skillset.

As an employer, why take time out from your busy day to interview lots of candidates? Recruitment drives cost money, which only increases your cost per hire. You should be able to trust a great recruiter to sift through the pool and only provide you with the very best for you to assess.

A Great Recruiter Promotes Transparency and Integrity

Unfortunately, most recruiters get paid by commission, so there is always pressure to place a candidate. After all, their income depends on it.

The instability of their income means there can be an almost irresistible temptation to conceal some minor but critical detail about a candidate that might prove crucial to the employer’s decision-making process. It can end up putting the wrong person in the job.

Great recruiters are honest and transparent with the candidates and the employer and can deliver the bad news and the good.

A Great Recruiter Is an Influencer

Most successful recruiters can influence the people around them. This persuasiveness usually comes about because that recruiter is generous with their time and expertise and genuinely wants to help other people.

Their power as an influencer also requires excellent networking skills and the desire to connect with others. Technology can be an integral part of this, but face-to-face engagement trumps it every time. A great recruiter will always come out from behind the screen.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes a Good Recruiter Stand Out?

A good recruiter will stand out if they take the time to get to know you and your specific requirements. 

An exceptional recruiter will also have a wealth of experience and industry knowledge in your particular sector. An in-depth understanding is essential to make the right call on a job or candidate.

What Qualities Should a Recruiter Have?

Great recruiters are experts in the art of active listening—this is not as easy as it sounds. 

Active listening is a technique practiced in professions like social work, nursing, and counseling. It is a great litmus test to assess a recruiter.

A recruiter also should have integrity and prioritize long-term relationships over short-term gain. They will genuinely care about the jobs they are trying to fill and finding the right person for the vacancy.

Empathy is essential, and a desire to listen to the candidate or the employer and understand their requirements are must-have qualities.

A recruiter’s desire to personally improve and develop shows that they can self-reflect and analyze their performance. They may also value tangible and strategic personal development goals.

Finally, good recruiters are genuinely interested in other people and want to help them achieve their career goals.


A great recruiter doesn’t just fill a position for short-term gain—they help match prospective candidates and employers for a rewarding, long-term relationship.

Simplify your recruitment process even more with a dedicated partner to sort those background checks, leaving you with a streamlined and professional recruitment program. 

ScoutLogic can take away the burden of background checks from recruiters and employers and manage all of the audit trail necessary for new employees, allowing recruitment consultants and HR managers to focus on the important bit: finding the right person for the job.

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