Don’t tell me recruiting is hard. I sold the possibility of death in a time of war – and I was one of the best in my organization. Being a good recruiter doesn’t require Boolean searches or certifications. It requires honesty, tenacity, humility, personality, candor, and communication skills. Tech skills help, but people skills matter.
Well, you can tell me recruiting is hard, but I’ll tell you this: that’s just an excuse. It’s an excuse not try harder; to not spend time doing your job and doing it well.
Of course, having the know-how to identify candidates helps you do your job, but that’s just the beginning. Sure, you know how to search the right keywords on LinkedIn, write a catchy email, and create a Boolean search string, but so can a lot of other people.
What differentiates a superstar recruiter from the average Joe is the ability to adapt to different communication styles, personalities, and candidate experiences. It’s the ability to seamlessly build a relationship founded on empathy, trust, and patience to ensure a candidate is placed in an environment that best suits her.
Why do technical skills consistently trump people skills?
It’s easier to teach and apply technical skills than it is to develop and exercise people skills—this is true for most careers. The effort is minimal in comparison. But when it comes to recruitment, I know I’m not the only one thinking this method is riddled with flaws.
I also know that you know the following to be true:
1. Candidates lie on their profiles all the time.
2. Candidates know how to tell recruiters what they want to hear.
3. AI will soon replace many of the repetitive functions so many recruiters spend their time doing.
4. Recruiters who lack people skills and tenacity get duped time and time again.
Okay, maybe you didn’t know that last one. But think about it: without the ability to truly learn about candidate drivers, how can you possibly know he’s a good fit for a role? If you just check all the boxes without digging deeper, those boxes are meaningless.
I must admit that technical skills are easy to teach—people skills are not. But again: stop making that an excuse!. Humans at their core are resilient and adaptable creatures. To say that we can’t learn and prioritize personal details about our candidates simply because it’s hard as crap.
A new lens
You have friends, right? You understand them. You know their needs and wants. You help them when they need help. You offer guidance when it’s sought, and you’re honest with them–brutally honest at times! You might be thinking, “well, those are personal relationships. They’re different.” Talk about a story based on BS! The relationships you build with candidates should be just as meaningful as your personal ones. The benefits for everyone involved are insurmountable.
Recruitment should never be self-serving. When you set up your next interview, don’t just prepare by reading over a list bland of questions, on a mission to check some lousy boxes. No, recruitment is much bigger.
The recruitment industry is a people-centric industry. If you can’t genuinely connect with people, what kind of recruiter are you? Not the kind I would work with…