The Power of Individuality for Recruiters

Picture of a wolf pack which represents recruiters

Do you know how many recruiters there are in the world? Quite a lot.

Even just in Britain we are talking tens of thousands. And that’s the problem. When you reach out to someone whether a head-hunt target or an active job seeker you are just another recruiter / head-hunter / faceless minion from the recruitment industry.

And candidates don’t like that.

What they want is for you to be a real, credible and genuine person who is interested in them as a real, credible and genuine person.

Now that part about treating them as an individual is something that we talk quite a bit about in recruitment. (Sadly the truth is we talk about it more than we do it but at least we do talk about it.)

What we don’t talk about as much is the power of us recruiters setting aside our generic cloak of ‘being a recruiter’ and instead wearing the cloak of ‘being a very specific, unique recruiter who is also a genuine human being’.

There are a large number of benefits to being more individual:

  • you become more memorable
  • you appear more real - which helps build rapport which in turn leads to trust
  • it creates ground for conversation – and the more they talk the more information and leads you can get from them.

And those are just three benefits, there are lots more.

So here are some specific examples of how you can demonstrate your individuality:

When you approach a candidate

  • Mention how long you have operated in their sector
  • Refer to something in their past, from their CV or LinkedIn profile, and make a personal reference to it e.g. – “I see you worked in Hull – I went to University there. Did you ever go to / see X thing, (I did that once it was amazing).”
  • When describing your client tell the story around how you won the client.
  • Compare this role with other ones like it that you have worked on e.g. – “how this one differs from the usual is …” or “I had a similar role to this in X location and the person who got the job tells me x, y, z good things about it” etc.

When you are approach a client

  • Mention your background prior to recruitment e.g. “I spent ten years in X industry prior to getting into recruitment and what that taught me was …” or “having been in x industry prior to recruitment I think that x is key to successful recruitment / business relations… ”
  • Mention specific roles you’ve worked on and get into the details e.g. “I specialise in x types of roles, to give you an example a recent client was looking for Y. Not the normal type however they had to have a, b and c now you’ll probably know how important it is for someone to have c …”
  • Tell stories about how you find candidates – don’t just say ‘head-hunting’ but go into a story about a particularly interesting networking / head-hunting experience. Especially when you did something unusual / different to get the result.
  • Share your personal views and state them as such – “Personally I like to see x in a candidate. I have that view because …”

On LinkedIn

  • Inject something of your personality into your LinkedIn Profile. Present the person who lurks inside your business clothes … share with the viewer of your profile something of what makes you tick. Consider this question

What’s special about doing business with you?

Whatever the answer consider how you can write it up positively and put it on your profile.

In Summary

The more you can be a real, genuine individual the more other people are going to remember you and the more natural you are going to come over. This is going to go a long way to defusing the natural suspicion that us recruiters are held in as well as creating an environment for the other person, candidate or client, to be more natural, individual and real.

So what about you – how do you express your individuality when you recruit? Feel free to share and comment below.

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart
Development Specialist,

Views: 746

Comment by Matt Charney on August 13, 2014 at 8:09am

Great hearing from you, Stephen. I agree that in a profession where recruiters are a dime a dozen - but good recruiters are few and far between - standing out is everything. My rules of the road are simple: "If you have to choose between being professional and being memorable, be memorable."  That's why I always have a baseball hat - no, wait, that's because I'm going bald. But still, it seems to work.

Comment by Stephen Hart on August 13, 2014 at 8:19am

As someone said to me recently "Indifference is the enemy" ... more hats ... that's what we need! (Coincidently I'm wearing a NY Yankee cap as I type...)

Comment by Stephen Hart on August 20, 2014 at 5:48am

Hi Maisha, yes that first contact can be brief and it's so vital to forming the relationship. I've always found exploring their motivations for job hunting a fast track way to build those initial bridges.

Comment by Stephanie McDonald on August 26, 2014 at 10:02am

I couldn't agree more. I see so many recruiters that seem more like bots than people. I can almost promise that candidates don't forget talking to me, because I let my personality show, make them comfortable and I end up learning so much more about them than someone stiff and offputting. Thanks for the post!

Comment by Stephen Hart on August 27, 2014 at 6:15am

Thanks for the feedback Stephanie and you are right. By being more ourselves we learn so much more from them. 


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