At a networking event last weekend, I got to talking with a well respected CEO (who will remain nameless). I asked how they achieved their success, what it takes to be a great leader, and questions of that like. To my surprise, he referenced a particular book written by the 14th Dalai Lama. I thought, “Ok, this could be interesting.” A Google Play Store download later, I began reading. Halfway through, I couldn’t help but think that His Holiness was writing about what makes an excellent recruiter.
The following is a paraphrased list from a section titled “The Ideal Person”. I’m not suggesting that recruiters are the ‘ideal’ type of person, but hey, if the enlightenment fits.
They understand people
To be any kind of recruiter, good or bad, working well with people is a must. Great recruiters, however, understand nuanced differences in individuals, and know how to relate to people effectively. They build relationships in all phases of their work, connecting with their contacts on a personal level, and leveraging those connections to build new relationships and grow their network. They know what can be learned from people, clients and candidates alike, and how they should be praised, criticized, advised, and directed.
They identify cause, and they create change
Great recruiters know the key to being successful is preparation. They conduct market research, have their finger on the pulse of the industries for which they recruit and study their clientele so that they know why things are happening in their particular business ecosystems. This consistent persistent due diligence allows them to be aware of the causes of problems, but an excellent recruiter doesn’t stop at the planning stage. If they happen to hit a bump in the road, they take their knowledge and apply the necessary processes to correct them. Great recruiters understand that you need to be prepared for what you see coming, and have the competence to make adjustments for what you can’t.
They know how to achieve results
A standout recruiter doesn’t spin their wheels for nothing. That doesn’t mean they don’t work hard and hit the proverbial grind. Rather, they know how, and when, to apply the right actions, even if that means backing off a task. I think of it as having “the shark nose”. They spend time hunting for what they need, but when they smell that blood in the water, they act with an unrivaled precision and efficiency. Basically, an excellent recruiter has an acute business acumen. They identify what matters most, and know how to use every minute of their work day effectively.
Though the similarities go on, there’s really one big take away. An excellent recruiter, not unlike The Dalai Lama’s ‘Ideal Person’, makes the most of their time. They plan accordingly, adapt when necessary and efficiently strike when the iron is hot. They approach their profession from a comprehensive point of view. They don’t simply source or “headhunt”, and they don’t go blindly into job tasks without preparing for them. They research, analyze and act, and make the most out of every assignment. To be blunt, excellent recruiters are “one with everything”.