The recruitment industry isn’t for the faint hearted – this much we know! But what else is needed to secure a place at the top of the industry? As ever, there’s no cheat sheet, but here are the skills that you can’t do without:
Some Serious Time Management
If you think a job where you have to organise your own schedule is stressful, try a job where you’re paid to organise everyone else’s! Skype interviews, phone calls, catch ups, chats, meetings, formal interviews. Between you and your client, between you and the candidates, between your clients and candidates. That’s right, all of the above – that’s your job. So let’s take a second to emphasise the importance of being organised. The longer a vacancy remains unfilled, the harder it becomes. You have to be the ultimate driving force, with the end goal in sight and the plans to make it happen.
A sales brain will be your key to success in the recruitment industry. You’re effectively spending your day selling jobs to candidates, and candidates to clients – so it’s crucial to have the ability to do this well. To meet your targets you have to be able to push all opportunities, candidates and, of course, yourself.
If you’re not recruiting online, how are you doing it? If your answer is “I have no idea” then you’ve hit the nail on the head. Practically the entire recruitment process will take place from behind a computer, so it’s all about being switched on and staying ahead of the competition. An inside out knowledge of the best recruitment software, LinkedIn, digital and social media platforms, job sites and blogs will increase your profitability no end.
It won’t come as a shock if you’ve been in the recruitment industry for long, but recruiters…well, they get a pretty hard time of it from all angles. The negative reputation of the recruitment industry isn’t something that you necessarily need to organise a petition against: simply doing your job well will be enough. Regardless, it can be tough to take criticism from impatient clients and disappointed candidates on a daily basis. So if you’re the kind of person who’s likely to lose sleep over a hard day, then you could find the recruitment industry a tough one.
Another essential skill is having the ability to build and sustain functional relationships. As we’ve already established, people are wary of recruitment agencies. The best way to counter this? Earn and maintain a good reputation. Screen CVs vigorously and listen to your clients. If you invest in them they’ll invest in you, whether it’s securing future business with them or a well-placed recommendation. As for your candidates – respond to each and every application, even if it’s an automated reply from your recruitment software. Keep them in the loop and you can guarantee it will be appreciated. These relationships are so important. The last thing you want is to find out that a client who you recently lost is expanding, or a candidate who you neglected is a perfect fit for your latest placement!
Not a people person? No problem! Well, unless of course you want to work in recruitment...then it’s a problem. To spend your day chasing people you need good character judgement, patience and a positive outlook. In terms of candidates, you have to put a lot of faith in them given a relatively small amount of information. Generally you will have to get a feel of a candidate in short space of time with only a CV, few phone calls and a brief meeting to base your judgement on.
So although it can be tough, if you can master these skills then you open yourself up to the immense benefits, rewards and job satisfaction that comes with being a top notch recruiter!
Kara is a Digital Marketer based in Glasgow. In her spare time she loves a good gig, ponies and flattering Snapchat filters.