I am not so convinced I am a smart recruiter because 75% of what I know has come from trial and error and 25% from listening to what others do and then make it work for me in the way I do things. Maybe the combined knowledge of messing things up and listening to smart folks makes me a smart recruiter.

Here are five reasons for my success:

- Short memory and avoiding the roller coaster. In football they say the best cornerback’s have a short memory. What they mean is whether you gave up a touchdown, got an interception or usually something in between you have to forget what just happened and think about the next play. The common analogy is riding the roller coaster. It is hard to see this business clearly when your emotions are all over the place. Keeping the highs and lows not so extreme has served me well.

- I ask a lot of questions but the most important part is to listen and take good notes. I do this with almost every conversation I have. I will ask a candidate five different ways what the salary requirements are, same with the client on what is most important to them. A recruiter needs to know what really motivates both parties in order for a placement to benefit both the candidate and client.

- Do right by the client and the candidate. We are asking clients to trust our evaluation of talent and the marketplace and based on our information will invest lots of time, energy, salary, benefits and our fees. We ask candidates to pursue opportunities with our clients that will have an impact on their career paths and financial security for their families. I know if I do right by them my business, financial security and family will be well.

- I use a variety of tools without which my career as a one man band of a search firm likely would have ended years ago. Among them: phone, email, blog, social media, newsletters, RSS feeds, sponsoring events, speaking before groups, referral networks, talent pipelines, SEO and creating interesting and optimized job ads. Not every tool is right for every search but because of the niche and location I am in the previous in some combination always works well.

- #1 reason: Most days I like most people and most days most people like me.

Congratulations to Jason Davis as RecruitingBlogs.com nears 15,000 members and many thanks to Jerome Ternynck and the team at SmartRecruiters for sponsoring this “contest”.

Best Wishes in ’09.

Paul

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