The secret to a great marriage… and being a great recruiter

On the 10th of September I celebrated three years of marriage to my wife. She is a true inspiration, an amazing businesswoman and tremendous mother to our daughter.

Like anything, marriage takes a lot of work and while I am no love guru I have learned a thing or two about what makes a marriage tick. Funnily enough, the things that make a healthy marriage also forms the base of a great recruiter.


Listening – Like being in a marriage, the key to being a great recruiter is building lasting relationships and understanding the hopes and dreams of the other person. At Noa we are always weary of the “classic” recruiter types who love the sound of their own voice. We love people who ask great questions and listen to the other person. And really listen to what is being said (and not said). Most of us (including me) sometimes listen just so we can get back to the point where we talk. Like in a marriage, a great recruiter will deeply listen to understand the other persons point of view and then act.

OK, so if my wife reads this, she will probably have a bit of a laugh at this section, but I would say I am not that bad.    


Negotiate / Compromise – A relationship is all about teamwork. If you are married, then you are a team. If you are a work colleague, then we are a team. If you are my client or candidate, then we are a team. Great recruiters recognize this and act in a way that is always looking for win-win. Compromise is crucial. As in marriage, you cannot have it 100% your way 100% of the time. That doesn’t mean you have to roll over. Great recruiters come into their own in these situations. They love asking questions to see what they can and can’t get. To see where their client’s “red lines” are. To probe around how flexible a candidate will be with salary expectations. A great relationship is built on teamwork. Great recruiters know this.


Honesty – You can’t have a happy, healthy marriage built on lies and deceit. Same for recruiters, you cannot build a successful career if your default mode is to lie and cheat all of those who cross your path. Most people don’t associate the word “honesty” with recruiters. But if you take the view that everyone you deal with is part of your team then how could you be anything other than honest. Honest with clients, candidates, colleagues. With honesty comes clarity and as the saying goes “to be unclear is to be unkind”. While it is sometimes hard to be honest with your spouse (or candidates/clients) you cannot have a healthy relationship without it.


And don’t forget, the best jobs can be found at: