An excellent HR recruiter is worth their weight in gold. When you connect an employer with the perfect talent, you single-handedly create new growth opportunities for the company.
On the flip-side, a sub-par recruiter can cost a company thousands of dollars in lost time, squandered resources, and high turnover.
So how do you make sure you’re a strategic superstar and not a liability?
Focus on cultivating these seven non-negotiable traits of successful recruiters.
1- A Great HR Recruiter is Proactive
Outstanding HR recruiters work hard to find talent long before talent is actually needed.
The best recruiters proactively keep tabs on top performers in their industry. They know the strengths, weakness, and unique skill sets of potential candidates. They’ve already identified experts who would be a great culture fit for the company. They even track the career trajectories of industry pros.
And effective HR professionals don’t just keep tabs on who’s out there. They network and build relationships in advance. That way, when a position opens up, they know:
- Who has the right skill set, experience, or potential
- How to make a personal connection with those perfect prospects
- Who would fit in with the team
- Who would view this position as a step up from their current job
If you’re not proactively building a talent pool now, you won’t be ready when it’s time to hire. Because the best candidates are rarely sitting at home scanning the Internet for job postings like yours. They’re passive job seekers—professionals who are currently employed but open to better opportunities.
To truly excel at talent acquisition, you have to be motivated enough to do some aggressive outbound recruiting.
2- Lead with Confidence
On that note, a proactive HR recruiter must also be a confident HR recruiter.
In many cases, you are the first team member a prospective hire meets. You put a human face to the company, whether you intend to or not. If you seem uncertain, timid, or excessively humble, that top contender will doubt the strength and potential of the entire enterprise.
It doesn’t matter how big the company is or how it ranks against the competition. If you want to attract top talent and contribute to business growth, you have to know what makes this team special. You must be able to communicate why the product is exceptional and why this is the job your target candidate has been waiting for.
If you don’t believe it, they won’t either.
3- Empathy and Insight are Key
As a human resources recruiter, you already know people skills are important. Interacting with people accounts for about 90% of your job.
But let’s drill down to what “people skills” actually means in the context of recruiting.
If you hope to get great talent onboard, you need to offer some appealing employee value propositions (EVP). What benefits can you offer to set this company apart?
An EVP can be just about anything, from unlimited vacation time to training opportunities. But how do you know which EVPs to offer your dream hire?
You get to know them long before you need to recruit them. You listen carefully to learn about their lifestyle, priorities, and long-term goals. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine what it would take to make you leave your current job and start over somewhere new.
This kind of personal insight also helps you connect more deeply with the contacts in your talent pool. When you’re good at establishing a rapport, future candidates see you as a friend. They trust you and are more open to a job offer when the time comes to recruit.
4- Exceptional Communication Skills
You must be a crystal clear communicator.
As an HR recruiter, you’re responsible for getting everybody on the same page. You are in charge of communicating job descriptions, company values, culture, and mission to potential hires. Prospective employees turn to you for questions about the CEO’s priorities, and the CEO depends on you for an accurate report on qualified candidates.
You also have the unfortunate job of bearing bad news. Maybe a stellar applicant approached you for a job at the wrong time or required more compensation than the decision-makers can swing.
There are a lot of times when this job forces you to say “no” to someone you’d like to keep on your good side. A good HR recruiter knows how to deliver bad news with grace and salvage the connection.
5- Strong HR Recruiter Is Tech Savvy
You will never hear an HR specialist at an industry-leading company insist that “the old ways are best.” Especially not now, when the competition for talent is higher than ever.
In order to stay competitive, you need cutting-edge technology to ensure a fast hiring process and an excellent candidate experience.
A communication tool like Zoom allows you and management to connect personally with candidates before flying them in for an interview. An applicant tracking system provides a more streamlined process for collecting and evaluating data.
You can also turn to a leading employee screening service like PeopleG2 for everything from AI-based background checks to Executive Screening Due Diligence. PeopleG2 even provides mobile background checks so job-seekers can initiate screening right from their phone. Instead of exhausting talent with never-ending forms, you demonstrate how easy it is to work with your company.
Without technology, the hiring process is much clunkier. And that clunky process gives competitors plenty of time to swoop in and claim your perfect candidate.
6- Understand Marketing
If you’re an HR recruiter, you’re in marketing.
Your job is to sell the company you represent to great candidates. That means you have to know what marketers know, including:
- Your candidates’ pain points
- How they think
- How they talk
- What they value
- What inspires them
- The most effective channels for connecting with them
You also need to know how to identify employee value propositions and frame a job opening as a problem solver or great opportunity. You have to be able to craft emails and job ads that make your target audience think, “Interesting! Tell me more!” And you have to think of company culture as the brand you’re selling.
In short, you need to know how to attract the talent you want.
7- HR Recruiter Should be Target-Driven
At the end of the day, you’ve been hired to help this company reach its goals. Your ability to focus on given objectives and pursue them relentlessly determines your success in this field.
You may be tasked with finding a marketing expert who has unique insight into the minds of twentysomething professionals. Or you could be responsible for identifying a recent grad who comes at a low cost today but is bound to blossom into a design rockstar.
Whatever the company’s goal is, that’s now your goal. And your drive to achieve this objective defines your ability to succeed as an HR recruiter.
Above all, your professional value depends on your willingness to continually cultivate these qualities. Maintain a growth mindset, constantly looking for ways to develop essential skills and become your company’s best asset.
At PeopleG2, we can help you with the tech part. Our employee screening software uses artificial intelligence and mobile technology to move hiring along faster. We also provide Human Capital Due Diligence to help you identify perfect-fit candidates. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you shine as a human resources recruiter, please don’t hesitate to reach out.