This is a blog that has been waiting to get out for some time. There are many definitions about what defines greatness in this day and age - specifically about what makes for recruiting greatness - it is a topic that I find interesting. There are many definitions that one could look at, but at its fundamental core there is a differentiating factor - is it number of fills, is it ones grasp of boolean or superb negotiation skills, is it the ability to close difficult candidates, is it the amount of GM or Revenue dollars brought in, is it the amount of money saved for a hiring manager's process, is it being faster to market than the competition, and attracting talent better in an internal environment faster than your competition? What of it? There are MANY factors to consider - but yet if I had to name the most interesting differentiator - that would be the way a staffing professional treats every person they come in contact with - for the network is the ultimate differentiator - all things being equal when a staffing professional treats human beings as trully human - then there is a master differentiation. That is the most powerful tool and differentiator for this can conquer any technology, any database, any investment in skills.....treating people as they should be treated, doing what one boss of mine once said so eloquently - doing the RIGHT thing, is so fundamental that this customer service touch differentiates the most mature recruiter from an average one. Their hiring manager customer service skills are equal to the candidate customer service and equally valued. Treating folks fairly is what will harness word of mouth referrels. Think of your recruiting game as a constant marketing campaign - irregardless of what happens it is vital to use all tools at your disposal to build a network that adds value to others, that cherishes reputation, that harnesses individual adaptation. When a candidate is not a fit for your job yet they have taken the time to reach out and search out your firm - does not that individual deserve some kind of customer service that shows them that they are valued? I mean how much does candidate experience matter? So much so, that forums such as glassdoor.com, indeed.com, and other sites will allow candidates to post their experience and about how they were treated. Do you want some negative blog to appear that scorns your investment in reputation? No. Something like that can kill your recruiting efforts and provide a huge disadvantage.
Another trait that defines recruiting success is perseverance on calls, on searches, on closing candidates - the list here is so clear. Because recruiting is essentially sales can an individual afford not to push every sales tactic that adds value to others? When you are selling a job do you do so enthusiastically - smiling through the phone? Do you slump your shoulders and sound monotone on the phone while leaving a voicemail or are you enthusiastic? Candidates and hiring managers sense a negative recruiting mantra from a far vantage point. Perseverance is all about maintaining a positive clear commitment and goals to reach success.
Goals. How many fills per month, how many dollar revenue value added deals are there, how many closed candidates and time to fill. These are all staffing goals, but having a clearly defined goal is like a ship with a sail - once part of the equation of reevaluating success monthly recruiting success can take off.
Looking for new pools of talent, new professional associations, harnessing tools and constantly changing and blossoming with the times - using social media, using candidate referrels and much much more. That is a defining characteristic. A successful recruiter is one who is proactive seeking the talent BEFORE they need it and networking to success.
Success is a two way road, meeting and compromising with hiring managers, really listening to their needs and delivering as such, that defines recruiting success. Building lasting partnerships is what clearly grows a recruiting reputation, a brand. Being willing to listen to candidate needs and being flexible are key ingredients - a love of and support of people and a passion for helping others reach career success is vital I think.
Finally, a clearly defined financial goal perspective, and a genuine long lasting candidate relationship will always yield fruit. Trust is the core of all these components. If a hiring manager and candidate are more apt to trust you, then you will have more fills than the average recruiter. That is so very important.
In conclusion there is one overarching thing, do the right thing, allow for mistakes but be flexible and success in recruiting will be yours.