Talent Acquisition

Want a Job in Recruiting? 6 Must-Have Skills

Very few kids dream of one day being on the phone all day pitching jobs to strangers. Yet a great many people have tried their hand at recruitment at some stage in their careers. Most people accidentally stumbled upon recruitment and were tempted by the gold and glory.

The good news is that it’s relatively easy to be given a chance in recruitment, firms experience a significant churn of recruitment hopefuls every year and most rookies do not make it beyond the first year. This is one of the reasons recruiters sometimes have a less than great reputation, a lot of juniors fighting for the same business will inevitably lead to dodgy tactics.

Don’t let this scare you off though, if you have decent sales skills and willing to put the hard work in you could be handsomely remunerated. As for salary, the rule is that working for a small company means a low basic salary, high commission, and no benefits to write home about. The reverse ratios, high basic salary and low commission, apply for large companies and the benefits tend to be generous. The lower basic salary means the smaller firms tend to be more aggressive in taking gambles on juniors; the risk is only as high as the basic is low.

6 skills required to make it in recruitment:

1. Salesy nature

Can you sell sand in the Sahara? There are no fewer than three sales cycles in one recruitment process: getting the vacancy from the client, getting the interest from the candidate, and finally bringing them together and making a placement. Presenting opportunities and candidates in the best light is critical to success; placements do not happen alone, and sales skills are essential to success.

2. Matchmaker

Have you ever set up blind dates for friends? To be successful at recruitment, you have to be a good matchmaker. You have to be solution-oriented and understand your marketplace. You should be able to spot opportunities for placements before the client, candidate, and competitors realize them.

3. Communication skills

Can you talk the hind legs off a donkey? You have to have great communication skills and speak with conviction when selling your services to clients and jobs to candidates. To be the tenth recruiter calling a client in one week is not a fantastic gig. It requires you to stand out so that they take the time to hear you out. Your ability to create relationships with everyone in the market is crucial, just like in any service sales job.

4. Positivity

Are you a constant happy camper? A positive attitude is required to get you through those dark days when neither client nor candidate seem to be biting your hooks. Do not be afraid of rejection; you will notice that for every Yes, you will get five No’s. This is a numbers game, and the payoffs will come through sheer hard work.

5. IT literate

Do you know how to use the format painter? A good recruiter is always tech-savvy. The world of recruitment is run on computer software; the Interwebs is the main source of information. The successful recruiter has to be comfortable with candidate tracking systems, job boards, online networking platforms, and other technology. Clients have sophisticated search and portal systems nowadays; candidates are all over LinkedIn, so it’s about being one step ahead.

6. A bit bonkers

Chasing people who don’t want to speak with you day out and day in does require some degree of madness, no matter how positive you stay. There might be lots of cash to be made in recruitment, but be under no illusions that it’s easy money, as my old boss used to say. You will be fine if you know it’s a ‘special’ job and accept it for what it is.

Do you think you have what it takes?

Next time you speak to a recruiter, ask them about their job and see if they have any vacancies. Even if recruitment is not your calling, a spell in this weird and wonderful world can do your career a world of good as it is so multifaceted and challenging. Additionally, the ability to use recruiting software can also help your case. Have a go and see what you think. In case you don’t like it, you can always use your new recruiting skills to land yourself a new job or start a blog about it like some folks do…

What skills would you like to add?

Related: How To Spot a Good Recruiter From a Bad Recruiter

By Jörgen Sundberg

Founder of Undercover Recruiter & CEO of Link Humans, home of The Employer Brand Index.