10 Character Traits That Define A Successful Recruiter

10 Character Traits That Define A Successful Recruiter

Recruiters are a unique tribe of people. I don’t believe any kid growing up says, “I want to be a fireman, police officer, astronaut, baseball player or recruiter.” It seems one of those jobs you fall into—usually after flaming out of a bunch of other stuff. Recruiting is an easy career to join with  a very low barrier of entry. There are no academic requirements, mandated acreditions, regulatory oversight, licensing requirements or intelligence tests. We welcome everyone. Although the price of admission is free, it takes an awful lot to stay in the business. It’s even harder to make a handsome living year after year. After recruiting for more than 20 years, here are the skills, talents and personality traits needed to survive and thrive as a recruiter.

  1. Successful recruiters are not afraid to fail over and over and over again. They fall, dust themselves off, get back up again, curse, scream, throw things, but keep moving forward. 
  2. They have very thick skin and are not easily offended. If someone cancels an interview at the last minute, accepts a counteroffer, ghosts them, goes around their back and tries to go directly to the company, or are rude or dismissive, they don’t take it to heart or let it bother them. In fact, they laugh it off (after punching a wall and visualizing ways to track the person down and slowly, but painfully torture them).
  3. Recruiters who succeed have a competitive nature, while also acting as a team player.
  4. Having a good sense of humor is a key to keeping your sanity.
  5. The ability to work well with all types of people at every level and not intimidated by titles is essential.
  6. Confident, but not cocky.
  7. The rare ability to smoothly schmooze, but not come across as a “suck up.”
  8. Successful recruiters take their job and responsibilities seriously, but don’t take themselves too seriously
  9. They have the uncanny ability to listen when candidates, hiring managers and human resource professionals talk and empathize with their needs and wants, 
  10. Recruiters who succeed and last the test of time give it their all every day.
  11. Successful recruiters usually have no other skills to fall back on, so they will do everything and anything in their power to make things happen.
  12. Recruiters aren’t usually good at math. That’s why I offered “10 character traits” in the title, but went up to 11. That’s why we’re recruiters and not accountants.

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