The job market is vast, with so many different options that deciding which job is right for you can seem daunting. So, what about recruitment?
You don’t necessarily need a degree in human resources to get into this field; a background in marketing, communications or psychology could be equally useful.
Do you have what it takes to become an HR star? In this article, we’ll take a look at 9 soft skills that will help you break into this area and stand out from the rest.
1. Be a good listener
Successful recruiters need to listen to their candidates. Forget about what interests you; listen to what your candidates want, their dreams and ambitions, and do your best to find them a role that really suits them.
2. Be a diplomatic talker
So listening is important, but so too is the ability to express yourself well. Recruiters will sometimes need to give candidates bad news, so being diplomatic is vital. No one likes to hear negative comments about themselves, so balance these with the strong points which stood out in their application and the areas they can build on. Wherever possible, and without being insensitive or discriminatory, give honest feedback about why the employer rejected their application. Your candidate may not realise what stopped them from securing the job they wanted, but you can push them in the right direction with constructive feedback.
3. Build relationships
As a recruiter, you’ll have a big responsibility for other people’s future and ambitions. Good communication is key to building a positive, trusting relationship with your candidate. They’ll be more likely to come back to you when they need another job or mission in future, or to recommend you to their friends and family thanks to your professionalism.
4. Know how to multitask
Recruiters need to be able to read a candidate’s CV and take notes on it, while talking on the phone and thinking about whether the candidate is suitable for a particular position all at the same time. The ability to think ahead is also vital, to plan out your next questions and keep things moving in the right direction. This can take some practice, but it will serve you well!
5. Be reactive
In recruitment, speed and reactivity are key. Many recruitment agencies work on the "no cure no pay" basis, which means they only receive payment from a company if their candidate is hired. As a result, companies often have multiple agencies working on the same job opening at once, and it’s a fight to present the best candidate and secure the commission. You need to be ready to spring into action as soon as you think you’ve found the perfect candidate!
6. Be patient and fight frustration
Acting fast is crucial, but this isn’t always possible. Your client may be too busy to review your candidates for the moment, or they may change their priorities so a role becomes less urgent to fill. This can be frustrating given the time you spent sourcing the right candidate, but don’t let it get you down – use the time well and move on to another position. Sometimes you’ll need to wait for your candidate to decide or respond, as they may be in talks with various different companies and recruiters at once. This is especially true for the most in-demand candidates, so be patient if you want them to go with you, but also be prepared for disappointment. It’s all about how you bounce back!
7. Be technology savvy
The best recruitment companies are up-to-date with the latest technological tools and strategies in order to be the most efficient. Being able to use technology is therefore hugely important as a recruiter! You’ll be dealing with different kinds of software: customer relationship management tools, platforms for recording video interviews, job sites for posting ads, inbound recruitment… The list is long, and the more comfortable you are with these, the better. Social media is now hugely important too, especially for gathering contacts and widening your network. If you aren’t already, get familiar with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram, and the ways you can reach out to candidates there.
8. Be a team player
Recruitment is no longer a solo thing – teamwork is key for maximum efficiency! Share information with colleagues; they may have found a candidate who would be perfect for a position you need to fill, and this will save you valuable time. Working together gets results.
9. Wrap things up
If you want candidates to come back to you in future, make sure you give them helpful feedback that shows you appreciate their efforts and want them to succeed. Very often, agencies simply don’t reply to unsuccessful candidates. This can sometimes happen by mistake, for example if recruiters are very busy. If you realise that you’ve left a candidate without a response, make sure you get back to them and apologise for the delay. Aim to keep your relationship as positive and constructive as possible.
You might have just graduated and be weighing up the different options available, or have a couple of years of experience in the world of work already. Whatever your situation, recruitment could be just what you’re looking for! You will gain many different soft skills beyond those we’ve already mentioned, all of which will serve you well later on in your career. Why not give it a try?