In the hope of sharing and helping all recruiters on the site lets share what makes a great recruiter. Is it an innate ability to identify talent? Is it an ability to locate talent? To identify the proper fit for a particular role? A massive rolodex? Persistence? Relationship building?


What do you think makes a great recruiter?

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"Nothing sells like stock".  The ability to attract great candidates who will only work with you is certainly one of the things that will differentiate from the pack.

If you fill the job your client or internal hiring manager lists with you, you are a great recruiter.  If you don't you aren't wufashit.  That is all.

1. Thinking outside the box - candidates who might not otherwise get a shot but end up being a perfect fit!

2. Resilience. Falling down 7 times and getting up 8. 

3. A twisted sense of humour. 

All those things you mentioned are important.  What I think is very important is respect and caring.  You are intimately involved in people making tremendous life changes.  These changing can have far-reaching consequences both positive and negative.  This is true on the candidate side for obvious reasons, but it is also true on the hiring manager side.  Making a poor hiring decision can wound a hiring manager longer term and not finding the right people can cripple a project or a department. 

So a great recruiter has respect for this situation and truly cares that both the client and the candidate are sucessfull.   Also a recruiter cares about the time involved, both candidates and clients are very busy people.  I advocate complete transparency from the very beginning to uncover any deal killers or potential problems. 

Hi Elise,

Good comments, your absolutely right on identifying the impacts of poor hiring on the hiring manager and how identifying deal killers ahead of time is key. Cheers.

"What makes a Recruiter Great!!!", you ask?  Well, they are the same things that make a great recruiter.

Experience, smarts (formal, informal & street), skill, tenacity, hunger, creativity, endurance, great timing, resourcefulness, attitude, family, friends, enemies, strangers, grit, daring, accidents, some luck, focus and opportunities to follow-through on ALL can PAY-OFF in converting opportunities into desired results.  Know this all ye who enter here—onto the path of the  professional recruiter...where GREATNESS may reside.

Lots of great answers ... Mine are:  

Establishing major Trust with the Client that means sometimes telling a client you are not going to make a submission if you can't find the right candidate and if that means losing out on a fee so be it.  Establishing trust also allows the Client to value your opinion on making a hiring decision.  To establish Trust also requires you to build a long term relationship.

Tenacity - don't just hang the phone up and agree with the the client if you know they made the wrong decision - get the back up references to prove your case and defend your position on  a great candidate- great for high end roles. This also helps when trying to land a new client.

Ability to sell/close the Candidate why they should not take the other job - why they should take yours why they need to take a lateral - why they should not take a counter.  and, of course, the ability to sell the Client why Johnny can make a difference- Why if you give Johnny some ESL Training he could make manager in 6 months "I am willing to take 5% off the next placement to prove it".  It's even better when you're not even power selling but consultative - If mastered could go along way in establishing longevity in this game...



In this economy, a great recruiter is filling a position mired with enough problems making it "unfillable" from corporate's standpoint.  Finding that "two-headed astronaut" or "Purple Squirrel."

In this economy, a great recruiter is filling a position mired with enough problems making it "unfillable" from corporate's standpoint.  Finding that "two-headed astronaut" or "Purple Squirrel."

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