What it takes to be a recruitment superstar!


When I first got into recruitment I remember very clearly being told what makes a great recruiter. It was drilled in to me that certain traits would take you from being average to being awesome. These characteristics were the usual sort of things that most people sadly associate with recruiters. Be aggressive, disregard everyone’s interests other than your own and never be off the phone. No wonder people love to hate recruiters!

Thank God things have changed!

Now, I still feel that high levels of phone activity are crucial (I love talking to people) but I believe that the world of recruitment has changed. Below are the traits that a good recruiter must develop to go from being just OK to a recruitment rockstar!



Talk in their language when talking to them. Don’t try and show off by using lots of jargon just because it makes you feel smart. Your ideal candidate might not understand it and you may put that golden candidate off. Talk in plain English, get to the point and understand what they do. If you are advertising a job ask yourself, “would I apply to this?”. At the end of the day simply ask yourself “if I was on the other end of the phone, how would I want to be spoken to?”. You will get much more buy in from candidates if you follow this simple rule.


  1. LISTEN LIKE A PRO (and ask the right questions)

Harvard Business Review says that the single biggest part of a recruiter’s job is to ask the right questions and listen, I agree! It blows my mind how many times I have heard a recruiter simply “steamroll” a candidate on a call. Telling a candidate how great your client is really isn’t going to get you anywhere. Asking them what their ideal job would be will. Stop talking and start listening. Ask the right questions and the candidate will tell you exactly how to place them.



Empathy isn’t about being soft and letting people walk all over you. It is about being human, showing understanding and in return building trust. The thing that sometimes people struggle with is that our “product” is a person and people are complex. Situations change, and we have to respect and understand that. Trust is crucial and helps move your relationship from a simple transaction to a trusted partnership. People work with people they feel understand them and they trust. If you have built empathy and trust, people are more likely to open up to you and you can in turn, better serve your candidate.


What has been your experience of working with a truly great recruiter? Perhaps you are one? Perhaps you have some knowledge that you can share here to help others. Perhaps you have great tips that really work for you… tell us about it.

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