As a recruiter, it’s your job to get the best talent through your company’s front door. However, when you’re recruiting the best of the best, you also need to be the best of the best.
Of course, becoming a great recruiter takes skill, practice, and intuition, but there are a number of habits and traits that you can adopt to help you become a better HR professional for your company. Let’s take a look at thirteen of the most significant habits or traits that can help you become a more successful recruiter.
1. Keep it personal
Whether you’re screening applicants or pursuing passive candidates, the connections you make will likely determine whether or not they come in for an interview or accept a position.
Copying and pasting aren’t going to help you attract the best talent for the job you need to fill. So finding your own style in the process is imminent.
You want your correspondence to feel personal and unique, no matter the stage of the interview process. Include their name, touch on the unique conversations you’ve had, or mention details found on their cover letter or resume. If you’re using automated e-mail sequences in the first stages of the recruitment funnel, make sure that they feel authentic.
Make sure the ‘vibe’ you give off, is that of you.
2. Maintain a calendar
Organization is key for any recruiter. When you have phone calls, meetings, interviews, and your own day-to-day tasks, you need to stay on top of things. Maintaining a strict calendar is a must. Be sure to check off a task when you finish one.
Why? Because checking off a task literally gets you high. Checking off a task from a checklist lets the brain release a small amount of dopamine which motivates you to work until you can check off the next item on the list as well.
Also, don’t be afraid to block sections of your calendar for one single task. Sectioning off specific times within your calendar to focus on particular tasks helps you stay productive throughout the day.
Try to align tasks with your biorhythms as well. Do you feel sharp and focused in the mornings? Then start the day with your sourcing activities. Are you the type of person that needs some time to get the cognitive engine running? Start the day with a short meeting or standup.
Experiment with different set-ups to work out what fits your personality best. Test and iterate.
3. Focus on the candidates
We have said it before, but the candidate experience is more important than ever when it comes to recruiting.
While technology makes it easy to connect with talent all over the world, if you’re not properly considering the experience throughout the entire interview process, you may miss out on attracting that top candidate.
Focus on what the candidate needs while you’re screening, interviewing, and making your final decision. Remember, the decision to work with you is just as big for the candidate as it is for your company. Especially in today’s world where a thousand more options are just one click away, it’s crucial to think about and optimize your Candidate Experience.
Create an environment where both of you can thrive.
Tip: Keep in mind that reciprocity is one of the six Principles of Persuasion as identified by Robert Cialdini. Give a little in order to receive a little. This works in many fields and is applicable to recruitment as well. Use your imagination!
4. Perfect your outreach
As a recruiter, it’s your job to get prospects excited about the position. If your initial outreach is boring, stiff, or a little too casual, you’ll find that you’re unable to attract the best talent for the position.
Perfecting your initial outreach message is important for bringing both applicants and passive candidates in for an interview. When you’re able to share the right details, talk to the right pain points, and provide the right insight, you can create a buzz in just one message.
Show the person you reach out to that he wasn’t just part of a list you sent 100 emails to. Personalize the message and your open and response rates will skyrocket.
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5. Adopt a modern approach
Technology is making its way into the recruiting world more and more and gives recruiters that adopt it, a huge competitive advantage. The right use of technology increases your efficiency and effectiveness drastically.
If you’re not adopting a modern approach to finding, screening, and tracking candidates, they’re likely to head off to work for other brands and businesses that do. Instead, you can implement AI apps and tools, streamline your process to help you find the best candidates more efficiently.
6. Learn the ways of the business
Great recruiters know what their company will need before they even need it. In order to know what is needed, you have to be knowledgeable about every business unit in your organization.
Monitor your company’s processes, patterns, and strategic decisions. Talk with every employee to get an idea of where needs and pains lie. Being curious this way helps you work proactively to get the right talent exactly when your team is ready for it.
Staying on top of trends and focusing on the future instead of the present can get your business in front of the right applicants at the perfect time.
7. Track your efforts
Do you already have a Data-Driven mindset?
As a recruiter, you should be tracking your applicants the same way your marketing department tracks their leads.
Keep an eye on how each individual applies for a job. What source do they come from? What information are they provided with, and what stage of the hiring process do they reach? Basic metrics that help you identify exactly which of your channels brings in the top-quality candidates, after which you can decide to double down your budget on this particular channel.
Additionally, the right tracking system allows you to ensure none of your candidates fall through the cracks. By tracking your recruitment efforts, you’ll know exactly who to reach out to and when.
8. Get social
Social media is more than just a marketing tool. It’s also a great way to recruit top talent.
While LinkedIn is a great way to post openings or find potential hires, other platforms, like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, can help you show off what it’s like to work for your company. If done right, these “behind the scenes” views into your business attract applicants and help you really sell your company.
Marriott uses Instagram to show a real-world perspective
of what it’s like to work for the hotel chain.
Encourage your team to take to social media to show the positive sides of working for the business. When applicants jump online to learn more about who they’re interviewing with, they can also get to know a bit about their potential team members.
9. Turn off notifications
Are you constantly distracted by the buzz or ping of a new notification?
Most recruiters are. With candidates constantly emailing, calling, or messaging you about their application status, it can be difficult to get anything done.
To stay productive, turn off your notifications. Create a schedule where you only check your email or voicemail at a specific time each day. This can eliminate your distractions and help you stay focused on one task at a time.
Are you still enticed to check your phone too much for your taste? Turn your screen color settings to grayscale during the day. Try it! I’ll assure you that it’s instantly less fun to check your screen. Here’s how:
For Iphone go to:
Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Color Filters.
To easily switch between gray and color, go to:
Settings > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut > Color Filters – Press the home button three times.
Now you can switch between grayscale and color by pressing the home button three times. Easy!
On Android, the feature is generally accessed via the ‘Accessibility menu’
Trust me, it works
– Image by Lifehacker –
10. Stop screening out
You’re probably sitting there wondering how you can possibly find the right applicant without screening first.
While screening unqualified applicants is an important step in finding the right fit for the job, you shouldn’t be focused on screening applicants out. If you have a list of “nos” you’re looking for when talking to a potential hire, you’re only focusing on the negatives.
Instead of screening out, focus on the unique qualifications and needs of the job. Listen to the benefits each candidate can bring and apply them what your team is looking for in a new hire. In short, focus on the ‘yes’.
And don’t forget, if someone is a little quirky at first, that person might just be a great cultural asset to your team!
11. Get proactive about referrals
Referrals typically come when someone is actively looking for something new.
Although these referrals may be qualified, they aren’t always top talent. In order to connect with more high-level candidates, you want to take the referral business into your own hands.
Get proactive about how you get referrals from your team members. Rather than waiting for someone to come to you, go to them and ask if they know any great salespeople, marketers, or engineers – even if they think that person may not be actively looking for employment.
It’s hard to say no to a free coffee around lunchtime so invite these, not-actively-looking-for-employment-type people for a coffee, stay top of mind after, and the opportunity to reel them in will present itself sooner or later.
12. Use automation tools
Between scheduling, track, and communicating with applicants, recruiters have a lot to do – but you don’t have to do it all manually.
Automation and AI tools can help take some of the work off your hands so you can get more done in less time. Whether you’re using a scheduling tool to allow applicants to make their own appointments or generating reports with AI, including some automation tools in strategic places into your recruitment processes can make your job a lot easier.
For example, A personal favorite of mine is Calendly – which allows applicants to schedule meetings with you, instead of the other way around. It makes your life easier, empowers candidates and makes the whole process of scheduling meetings way more efficient, win-win-win!
However, try not to go overboard by automating everything. You don’t want to lose your personality in the process of streamlining your hiring.
13. Take control of your reputation
Engaged employees care about the companies they work for.
If a company has a bad reputation or too many negative reviews, it can hurt the quality of candidates you see. To connect with the best applicants possible, take control of your company’s reputation.
Managing your company’s online reputation helps
attract the best applicants.
Monitor reviews on sites like Glassdoor or Indeed – even if you’re not using it for job postings. Be aware of the problems or comments your company may face and do what you can to ensure they’re resolved. Go above and beyond to ensure your company has a strong reputation for being a great place to work.
Consider adding an analytics tool to your funnel to measure what candidates think about the process. This way you can work on providing the best experience, get better reviews and more engaged candidates.
Good recruiters can place a perfectly qualified candidate in an open position. Great recruiters know how to connect with top talent to get them excited about becoming a part of the companies vision.
The transition from “good” to “great” comes down to how you approach your candidates, how you manage your time, and what you choose to invest in. With these thirteen habits and traits in mind, you can work harder to become a more successful recruiter for your company.