The 4 Most Valuable Skills in Recruiting

​As you probably know first-hand, searching for work is incredibly stressful. Not only do you need to find a ...

​As you probably know first-hand, searching for work is incredibly stressful. Not only do you need to find a position and an organization that aligns with your interests, ambitions, and personality—but then, you need to convince the company that you’re the right choice.

But working with a recruiter can make all the difference. These professionals help their employers zero in the best talent, so everyone can come out ahead.

Wondering what skills you need to succeed as a recruiter? Good question. Let’s jump in.

1. Ability to Form Connections
To be a good recruiter, you must be capable of forming authentic relationships. After all, your candidates won’t trust you if there’s no connection—and if you don’t have their trust, the chances you can work with them will plunge dramatically.

Relationship building is also important because you never know who will be looking for a job one, two, five, even 15 years down the line. If you stay in contact with your candidates, you’ll be the first person they look to when they decide it’s time for a new role.

2. Great Sales Skills
Recruiting and selling have a lot in common: the vast majority of your day is spent talking to people about benefits.

If you’re looking for job candidates, those benefits are tied to your company (in other words, here’s why working here is so great). If, on the other hand, you’re selling something, the benefits pertain to your product.

Like salespeople, recruiters must be good at selling. Try describing your organization to a friend (without revealing which organization it is) and asking whether they’d work there. If they say they would, that’s a good sign you’ve depicted the company in a positive light. But if they say “maybe,” or “probably not,” then you’ll need to rethink your presentation.

3. Leadership Qualities
Even though recruiting can feel like a relatively independent position, being a leader is hugely important. Your job isn’t simply to fill chairs with people—your job also requires you to develop brand-new recruiting strategies.

In other words, the people above you will be looking for your advice and insights into the hiring realm. If you’re not comfortable saying, “I think we should stop doing X since it rarely results in a higher acceptance rate,” this position might not be for you.

4. Resiliency
Facing rejection is always uncomfortable. In recruiting, however, you hear “no” quite a bit, so having an innate sense of determination and optimism can make all the difference.

Resiliency also enables you to focus on the highs (like when you place a candidate in a perfect position) without dwelling overly long on the lows.

To gauge your own resilience, think of a time in the past five years when you experienced a huge disappointment. How long did it take you to bounce back? Did you immediately come up with plans B and C, or were you too busy bemoaning your bad luck?

If you were able to move on fairly quickly, that’s a good sign you’re resilient.