5 Qualities of a Good Recruiter you Never Thought were Important

Everyone knows communication and networking skills are important, but what are the other qualities of a good recruiter? How about these 5!


Leen Sawalha

VP Product & Growth

Friday, February 06, 2015


We all know that hiring the best is becoming more important than ever, and I’m sure you have all spent a lot of time, energy, and money trying to get it right. Maybe you succeeded, and maybe you didn’t, but the fact remains that you need to start at the top: with the recruiter!

The basic qualities of a good recruiter are no mystery; it’s clear that a good recruiter needs to have good communication skills, a vast network, and even some IT skills. But what about the less obvious qualities? What is it that makes a recruiter good enough to hire the best? If you’re looking for answers, look no further! Here are 5 qualities of a good recruiter you might never have thought were important.

Quality of a good recruiter #1: Marketing skills

This might seem surprising to some of you, but yes – a good recruiter needs marketing skills! Just like your marketing department markets your products and services, it is the recruiter’s job to market your organization to potential candidates.

How? By making sure the job posting represents the employer’s brand, ensuring the job description is aimed at your targeted candidates, and the interview correctly communicates your company’s mission, values, and culture.

There are many shared characteristics between good marketers and good recruiters, but the most important one is the ability to know and understand their audience. If you want to attract the right people, you need to know who they are and what will naturally drive them.

If you can identify these two things, then you have the basic blocks to becoming the best recruiter you can be!

Quality of a good recruiter #2: Skepticism

Being skeptical is a crucial quality of a good recruiter. In order to be able to attract and hire the best talent out there, you need to have a lot of information at hand; information that you can only get if you have the natural tendency to question everything!

What is the position, what does it require in terms of knowledge and skills, who is the best person to fill this position, are there any other traits and characteristics they need to possess, how can you identify these characteristics, where can you find these candidates, how can you get them to apply?

There are so many questions you need to ask and get answers to in order to be a good recruiter, and it’s not something that everyone is cut out to do. Sure, you can teach someone to question things, but it takes someone who has a natural curiosity and skepticism to able to do it at every step of the process.

Quality of a good recruiter #3: Competitiveness

The majority of people think that Human Resources professionals need to be service-oriented individuals – and they aren’t wrong.

If you’re in human resources, you’re essentially providing services to both the employees and the organization. But if you want to be a good recruiter, you need to have some degree of competitiveness. The intensity of this trait, however, varies depending on the tasks you perform.

If your sole task is recruiting and selecting the top talent, then you’re probably going to be more competitive than someone who handles all the HR functions in an organization.

But why is competitiveness so important? It’s simple – because the market is competitive! The right person, for the right job, for the right organization is probably too rare for our liking, and while you may know that a certain candidate is the perfect fit for you, he/she might not be.

A good recruiter should possess a competitive nature to want to be the best and hire the best, all the time!

Quality of a good recruiter #4: False Extroversion

Before we get into why this quality is important, let’s examine what on earth false extroversion is! We all know that there are introverts and extroverts; introverts are those that are less comfortable initiating contact with strangers and are generally good listeners, while the extroverts are those that thrive in social situations, feel more energized when conversing with strangers, and are better talkers than listeners.

So, what are false extroverts?

You guessed it – it’s introverts disguised as extroverts! It’s important to note, however, that introversion and extroversion can be looked at on a scale, with some individuals having a tendency to be one or the other, and some having stronger tendencies than others.

That being said, a false extrovert has a natural tendency to be introverted (but not extremely so), and has the proper motivating factors to display extroverted characteristics when needed.

How is false extroversion an important quality of a good recruiter?

Good recruiters need to have good listening skills, especially when their target candidates are introverts themselves! They need to have the patience to wait for a person to come out of their shell, as well as be able to pick up important information from their more talkative candidates.

Another important aspect of a good recruiter is their networking skills. It’s just a simple fact, the bigger your network, the more likely you are to find your best candidates through your network.

You can hardly expect a shy mouse to have hundreds of contacts, could you?

Quality of a good recruiter #5: Adaptability

Finally, good recruiters need to be adaptable. They need to be able to understand that different positions require different types of people, and sometimes, they will need to roll with the punches. There is nothing that’s 100% structured in the work of a recruiter, not even the interview!

Good recruiters wouldn’t use the same channels to find a manager and an entry-level clerk, just as he/she wouldn’t use the same job-posting format for a marketer and a financial advisor. They need to be able to feel comfortable shifting from their prescribed list of interview questions to identify strengths and question weaknesses.

What about the fact that jobs, companies, industries, and technologies are constantly changing? With such a diverse function, can a good recruiter afford to be anything but adaptable?

And there you have it, 5 qualities of a good recruiter you (probably!) never thought were important. Sure, they need to have good communication and networking skills, but their marketing skills need to be exceptional as well. Do your organisation’s recruiters have the natural skepticism and curiosity to question and find answers? What about the adaptability to succeed in such a dynamic field? If you don’t know the answers to these questions then you should probably start looking into it!

Do you think there are other important qualities of a good recruiter? Share them in the comments below!

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