Career Development

How to Be a Good Recruiter

February 22, 2021

As a recruiter, not only do you need to have the right skills and qualifications to perform your job well, but you also need to take the initiative toward becoming a good recruiter. Knowing what makes a good recruiter and how to become one ensures you find greater success in your career. In this article, we explain what makes a good recruiter, list the steps for how to be a good recruiter and provide you with tips for recruiting successfully.

Related: Guide to the Recruitment Process

What makes a good recruiter?

Not only do good recruiters perform their tasks well, but they also ensure their company continues to attract and retain top talent. While you don't necessarily need to come from a human resources background to become a good recruiter, it helps to have strong sales, marketing, customer service and design skills.

Related: Learn About Being a Recruiter

How to be a good recruiter

While your skills and expertise qualify you for a recruiting position, it takes dedication and effort in order to become a good recruiter. Luckily, you can follow a certain set of steps to help you find success in this role and help your organization, in particular. Use these steps to become a good recruiter:

1. Establish good relationships

As a recruiter, you reject more candidates than you hire. Because of this, it's important to handle the situation gracefully. When you reject candidates, make sure to turn these rejections into relationships.

Send a personalized rejection letter after the interview to help build an actual relationship with the applicant. To personalize a rejection letter, make sure you pay attention to small and positive details from your interactions with the applicant. You can even highlight the candidates' strengths and suggest other jobs that better align with their qualifications. Sending a letter can encourage them to stay in touch in the event of future openings, preferably when their skills have developed to meet the roles you're hiring for.

2. Plan ahead

Instead of waiting to look for candidates once you've announced a job opening, start looking for them ahead of time. Keep in touch with past applicants and build a strong network. Make sure you know what to look for when it comes to finding experienced candidates. In addition, make sure you explore various avenues to search for the right candidates such as social media recruiting. To help you think of new ways to find candidates, consider attending human resources events to help you stay up-to-date with recruitment trends.

3. Get along with hiring managers

As a recruiter, you may have to handle disagreements with hiring managers stemming from conflicts of interest. Make sure you know how to overcome these differences while balancing their demands.

In addition, hiring managers don't always fully understand the hiring process. To be a good recruiter, it's important to use your knowledge and expertise of this area to identify difficult situations that hiring managers may not be able to identify on their own.

It's also important to understand how hiring managers think in order to foster a good working relationship with them. For example, some hiring managers may decide to quickly review resumes and interview on their own, leaving you to solely source qualified candidates. Other hiring managers may opt to choose a few of the best candidates and conduct an in-depth screening interview on their own. Knowing how they operate can help you work together more easily.

4. Have an open mind

Keep an open mind as you review every resume. Even though one candidate may submit an impressive resume and cover letter and present themselves in the best way, it doesn't necessarily mean they're the most qualified for the role or that they're good at what they do. In the same sense, it's important to not reject a candidate solely because of a poorly structured resume.

Instead of making a firsthand judgement, look for proof that their skills match the job requirements. During the interview process, make sure to ask them observational and behavioral questions to better assess their abilities. In addition, consider candidates who think could contribute the most to your company and add value rather than hiring someone with a stereotypical background you tend to look for in a position.

5. Empathize with candidates and hiring managers

As a recruiter, make sure you understand the wants and needs of both the hiring manager and the job candidates. When it comes to job candidates, consider what they find meaningful and what you can offer them as a company.

6. Research the roles you're hiring for

In addition, thoroughly research the role you're looking to fill. Instead of just reading the job description or knowing what the hiring manager wants, consider shadowing a member of the department you're hiring for to get a first-hand look at the role. You can also take an online course to help you better understand what qualities to look out for.

7. Understand your various roles

While recruiters search for talent to add to their organization, their daily duties actually involve much more. Make sure you understand the various roles you play as a recruiter. For example, you need to use various marketing techniques to post enticing job ads, psychology knowledge to help you understand a candidate's reactions and public relations expertise at recruitment events to help you attract prospective candidates and elevate your company's brand.

8. Get feedback

Get feedback from new hires to help you gain a better understanding of their perspective of the recruitment cycle. Doing this allows you to make more appealing job posts and offer letters for future candidates. Remember that it's important to tailor your recruitment process and approach to meet various hiring needs.

9. Look for ways to improve

As with any job, it's important to look for ways to continuously improve as a recruiter. Consider your mistakes or circumstances when you didn't achieve the results you hoped for. Then, determine what went wrong and how to prevent these mistakes from happening again.

In addition, make sure to follow the latest human resource developments. For example, consider the latest recruiting trends, the latest social media recruiting practices and the various human resources technology you can use.

10. Represent your company well

When you work as an ambassador, you act as your company's ambassador. In many cases, you're the first point of contact for candidates. Therefore, you can make or break the candidate's first impression and overall experience with your company. Keep in mind that the way you treat applicants reflects your company and the company culture. When you treat applicants well, they're more likely to have a positive opinion of your company. If you're impolite and cancel an interview last minute, it may lead them to believe that your organization doesn't respect its employees.

11. Use a calendar

From managing phone calls, meetings, interviews to your daily tasks, it's important to stay organized and on top of everything. Use a calendar to manage your duties and check off tasks as you complete them. You can also assign certain time slots to specific tasks to help you stay productive.

12. Be a good communicator

The recruitment process heavily relies on communication. As a recruiter, you need to update candidates on their status in the recruitment process and serve as a point of contact for them with the company they applied to. Make sure you have strong communication skills when it comes to speaking with people via phone, email or in person.

Related: Tips From a Recruiter: How to Stand Out When Changing Careers

Tips for recruiting successfully

As you advance as a recruiter, look for ways to improve the recruitment process and your overall efforts. Looking for ways to improve your methods can help you find greater success in this profession and help your company acquire the right applicants. Use these tips to help you recruit successfully:

  • Use technology to your advantage. Keep up with technological advancements and use them to your advantage as a recruiter. Implement modern approaches to find, screen and track candidates. Using technology can help you work more efficiently and effectively, allowing you to streamline the overall recruitment process.
  • Monitor your company's departments. As a recruiter, it's important to have knowledge of every department in your organization. Monitor your company's patterns and processes and speak with employees to determine their needs. Having this knowledge can help ensure you retain the right talent for your organization when they're needed. Focusing on the future rather than just the present can help your business attract the right applicants when the time is right.
  • Monitor your efforts. Track your applicants and determine how each one applies for a job at your company. For example, maybe they accessed the job application via your company website or through an online job board. Think of the information you provided them with and how far along they made it through the hiring process. Use basic metrics to determine which of your channels attracts the best candidates and modify your recruitment strategy accordingly.
  • Use social media. Use social media to help you recruit top talent in your industry. You can post openings, look for potential hires, share what your company has accomplished or give your audience an idea of what it's like to work at your company. If you do the latter correctly, it can attract a variety of applicants while effectively promoting your company in the process.
  • Be proactive about referrals. Instead of waiting for an employee to refer a candidate to you, ask them directly if they know anyone qualified for the positions you're hiring for. Even if the person they're thinking of isn't actively looking for employment, if they like what they hear about the position or your company, it may entice them to want to know more.
  • Monitor your company's reviews. Be mindful of your company's reputation by monitoring its online reviews. Read through the comments people leave about your company and do your best to resolve any issues. Ultimately, make sure your company has a great reputation in the workforce. When people see your company as a great place to work based on online reviews, they're more likely to want to apply for any open positions. In addition, they're more likely to refer their network, friends or family to your company.


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