Recently I’ve been thinking about a seemingly inconsequential piece of advice that I’ve long come to consider the key to being an effective recruiter.
At Recruiting Bandwidth we’re not just working to help our clients grow, but our aim is to raise the bar for the recruiting industry as a whole – so the topic comes up pretty frequently. Our team consistently outperforms industry averages for every metric we track, and after years of refining our model we think we understand how to hire and train really great recruiters.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but there isn’t “one weird trick recruiters don’t want you to know”. Anyone in the industry will tell you there’s no single methodology that guarantees success. I’ve been lucky enough to work with many great recruiters and they’ve all have their own unique approach. Some are tenacious. Others are highly empathetic. A few are great salespeople. And as often the case with the very best at anything – some just plain work hard. But whatever approach taken, one thing they’ve all had in common is the ability to consistently deliver.
At the start of my own recruitment career, one of the most effective recruiters in our company shared some advice he claimed – if you could only follow it – would instantly put you ahead of most recruiters out there. The secret, apparently, was simply to “Do what you say you are going to do, when you said you were going to do it.”
At the time is didn’t seem like important advice. Surely that’s just common sense. There’s no way that can be the difference between success and failure in this, or any, industry. That’s too easy. Isn’t it?
8 years later and I’ve never quite forgotten that quote. He was right, it is that simple; and I was wrong, it isn’t easy.
Every job seeker has felt the frustration of never hearing back after an application – or even worse (and inexcusably!) – after a grueling set of interviews. Ever hiring manager knows the pain of a disorganized interview that leaves a hiring decision impossible, and a bad Glassdoor review likely. While every recruiter has had to watch a perfect match disintegrate over some little detail that got missed in the excitement.
Having been on both sides of the above more times than I’d like to admit, these missteps are all avoidable with an effective recruiter in control of the process. You can call it “attention to detail” or “candidate experience” or even “under promise, over deliver” – but it all boils down to the same thing.
An effective recruiter may have many traits; discipline to resist short cuts, grit to keep going after countless failures, and motivation to strive for the best outcome. They need to be a great communicator, a solid project manager, and an effective facilitator. They can influence the process through having built trust with every party.
Delivering on the expectations you set can be hard. Doing it on time can be really hard. Doing it every time is often impossible. But in my experience, it’s a close to the secret of success – in recruitment or anything else – as you’re going to get.