What makes a good recruiter?

What makes a good recruiter?

What makes a good recruiter?

Having been in the recruitment industry for over 20 years I often get people asking me if I like what I do, and what makes a good recruiter. This got me thinking about how recruitment has changed over the years and why do I like it so much. The easiest way to answer this was to look at the key things I think are important for me to be both successful and enjoy my job.

Relationship Building

Recruiting is a relationship business. You need the desire and skills to build relationships effectively, and, to some extent, a predisposition to connecting with people. Your success as a recruiter is due, in part, to the people you know and how they feel about you. Job changes require candidates and clients to share important, and sometimes personal, information to make the search and placement process successful, and they will be more open to sharing that information when recruiters have invested time in getting to know them. I am still in contact with candidates that I have placed numerous times during my career due to our ongoing and genuine relationship.

Honesty and Integrity

Recruitment is an industry that sometimes suffers from a perception problem much like sales. Recruiting agencies can sometimes be numbers focused rather than people focused. The problem with this is that successful recruitment is about placing candidates in roles for the long-term so both parties are happy and the key to doing this is by being honest with both parties. You also want your candidates to trust and value your opinion so sending them to interviews for roles they are not really suited too will end up being detrimental to all parties involved.

Listening Skills & Emotional Intelligence

The best recruiters listen twice as much as they speak. Active listening, means genuinely looking into all aspects of recruitment for both parties including culture fit, job skills, work/life balance, generational fit etc the list is endless so having the experience to ask the right questions and listen to the answers is extremely important.


The most successful recruiters know how to be persistent without crossing the line. This applies when talking to both the candidate and the client. Recruitment is more about matching the client and candidate not about trying to sell something that neither party requires. I suppose you could say it’s like a dating agency for clients and candidates; the end goal is a long lasting mutually beneficial positive and engaging relationship.