It’s no secret, recruiting top talent is hard. That’s because recruiting is at the forefront of every successful company. There’s a well known saying that reads, “A team is only as strong as its weakest link”. This remains equally as true in companies as it is in sports, making a recruiters job extremely important.

At it’s core, a recruiter’s job is to connect great candidates with great companies. However, it goes far beyond this. In order to truly connect with a candidate you have to establish a lasting bond based on mutual trust and respect. One of the biggest mistakes a recruiter can make is to forget that a real person is on the other side of the phone. It can be very easy to get wrapped up into the commission aspect of recruiting but its important to remember that you are dealing with a person’s livelihood. Not only do you have someones wellbeing- financially and career-wise- in your hands, you also have the company’s success to worry about. Because of this, you need to know your candidate. 

The question you have to ask yourself is “would I hire them?” If the answer is no then don’t pass them forward. Not every candidate deserves your full attention and its your job, as a recruiter, to make sure you are choosing right. So, have a conversation, be real, provide feedback, be human and make sure you are being more than just a salesperson. 

"Recruiting talent isn’t just a single race. It’s the whole track meet: there’s the competitive mad dash of filling existing positions with the right talent that matches your culture, and the grinding marathon of locating a steady stream of prospects in the pipeline. The frequent earthquakes of lateral job changing and boomerang engagements — endemic to this particular economy and its workforce — keeps things nice and shaky as well. Best tactic: a constant effort, on all fronts, with a human face. Don’t just focus on the numbers, don’t just focus on the resumes. Focus on the relationship. And never be afraid to pick up the phone or shake someone’s hand. This still matters in today’s world of work."

How you go about starting a relationship with candidates and clients alike will determine how successful you will be. Patience is the most important skill to have. It can take weeks, if not months to place a candidate in the right role. While you need to be persistent, you also need to remember that everyone is busy. Everyone has stuff going on in their life so compliment your passion with compassion for the other’s situation. At the end of the day, if you want to make it in this industry you need to understand that your reputation always precedes you. As Maya Angelou, one of my personal favorite poets of all time said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” If you leave every new contact feeling appreciated, understood and important, you will go far.