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Do you possess all the skills in this list? Agency Recruiting is a multi-talent craft!
One of the reasons why a Career in Recruitment is so enthralling for so many of us is that it requires a good recruiter to develop and use a variety of skills and talents in order to be succesful in the long-term. I did a quick brainstorm of some or the areas that I think are necessary for recruiters across the range of sectors. Do you have any items that you think should be on the list? Please comment below and I will include in the article.
“A super Bowl-winning quarterback doesn’t just know how to throw a ball. He has had to master mental toughness, nutrition, self-discipline, team leadership, strength and conditioning, contract negotiations, brand building, and so on. Someone who reaches high performance in any career must have competence in many of the areas that touch that career” – Brendon Burchard
So, what are some of the skills that are required of a modern Agency Recruiter?
Sourcing Talent and Headhunting
Apart from the obvious “picking up the phone and calling someone directly” recruiters need to network extensively within their space, get referrals and utilise database search skills. LinkedIn Recruiter is a fantastic tool which now offers to do a lot of the work automatically but knowing how to compile an effective boolean string is still a crucial technical skill.
Building Relationships and New Business Development
Every Gun Recruiter whom I have met and who were in high demand with Agencies knew how to build new business. Full stop. They are often inventive and think outside the box in getting their foot through the door with a new client. Importantly, they are not afraid of the telephone and have the self-discipline in putting in the high call numbers that are often required.
Effective Negotiation Skills
Agency Recruiters are, in effect, brokers. We bring two parties to an Agreement and that regularly requires effective negotiation skills being put to good use. From negotiating your fees and terms with a new client, to talking base salaries with candidates, to negotiating your own remuneration (or you just let me do the hard work for you 😉)
Industry standard book on negotiation is called ‘Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In’ which popularises the ‘Win-Win’ negotiation methodology. An alternative (and my preferred read) is ‘Start with NO…The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don’t Want You to Know‘ by Jim Camp.
Reading People and Situations
All good recruiters that I know are sharp situation readers. They have a well-developed nonverbal intelligence. They do not waste their time with wrong candidates and can quickly pick up on people’s real feelings and buying signals. Reading people and situations is required internally within your business but especially when interviewing Candidates and meeting Clients face-to-face.
Staple read on the topic of body language is ‘What Every Body Is Saying‘ by Joe Navarro.
Knowledge of Information Technology
It is no secret that for the last number of decades our civilisation has been moving through stages of a Digital/Technological Revolution. Innovation in technology applications, artificial intelligence and big data are increasingly relevant to the work place – regardless of what industry you recruit in! Being aware of technology trends within your sector is crucial if you want to remain credible with your Clients and Candidates and can also lead to discovering a new recruitment niche for yourself.
Social Media and Digital Branding
Good recruiters market themselves effectively on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. A strong digital brand helps to remain relevant with both your Candidates and Clients.
There is a great free course available on edX if you’re interested in becoming an expert.
Organisational Behaviour & Leadership
Understanding how teams function and individuals interact is a big part of choosing the right person for a particular job and understanding your Client’s pain points. Behavioural economics studies the effects of psychological, cognitive, emotional, cultural and social factors on the economic decisions of individuals and institutions and how those decisions vary from those implied by classical economic theory. Behavioural economics teaches us that humans are innately irrational in their decision making – as many recruiters can readily attest to!
‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ is a pivotal read on the topic by professor Daniel Kahneman who also won a Nobel Prize for his work on the psychology of decision making.
By no means a complete list, above are just some ideas. Being a successful professional in todays competitive marketplace means always learning and always evolving. Please comment below with anything you would add to the list!
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