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5 Steps to Becoming a Top Recruiter

5 Steps to Becoming a Top Recruiter

about 6 years ago Empty Jason Thornhill


Do you want to be a top recruiter? Are you looking to climb the career ladder and carve a role for yourself that not only pays well but also gives you job satisfaction and the opportunity to develop your skills further?

Over the years, we’ve worked with some of the recruitment industry’s top performers, those who are at the top of their game and who are highly sought after for their determination, drive and results. We’ve identified some of the key traits that are consistent across all top recruiters, and we’re going to share our thoughts here.

Establish what you want

The very best performers know their personal goals and work out what they need to do to achieve them.

Ask yourself what you want from your recruitment career and how focused you are on getting it. It may concern money alone – perhaps you have a specific earning figure in mind – or it may be more orientated towards job satisfaction. Or it may be a combination of these things.

Now work out how to achieve your goals. If your aim is to make a set amount of money in a year, break that figure down into how many vacancies each month you’d need to fill to generate that income. Then create a plan of action that will help you hit your target. Think about what you need to do on a day-to-day basis, even down to how many calls you need to make each hour.

By setting small, daily targets, they’ll be easier to achieve – and always keep in mind your personal career goal because that gives meaning to all your activities.

Work hard, focus and use your time efficiently

This may sound obvious, but our experience has shown that the top performers in the recruitment industry work extremely hard. Not only do they have a fantastic work ethic, but they also use their time extremely efficiently and focus on the most important aspects of their role.

Inefficient working practices can cost you time and money, so analyse where you could be more efficient, freeing you up to focus on the right activities. Some of the ways to be more efficient and focused are:

  • Ask simple screening questions in your first conversation with a potential candidate or client to establish if they’re right for you. Use structured templates or forms to help you ask the most powerful and effective questions both at the start and also as you go through the recruitment process.
  • Try to close your client for exclusivity or retained work. Sometimes, there is a good reason to work on positions which are not exclusive but generally try to get an exclusive commitment to work on a vacancy.
  • Take better job specifications. This is very important because a poor job spec can lose you hours of your time. There’s a definite art to it, but in essence it’s all about asking the right questions.
  • Master the art of handling a counter offer. Speak to any recruiter and they’ll tell you how frustrating it is when you do all the hard work, only for the candidate to change their mind at the last minute because the employer they’re about to leave has offered them a promotion.
  • Manage your time better by planning every day. At the end of one day, plan for the next, so that you can get working immediately in the morning
  • Learn to see candidates who get in touch as less of a nuisance and more of an ally. Build relationships with them and get information from them.
  • Avoid distractions and manage interruptions. Time can easily get eaten away by disruptions such as personal phone calls or managers who ask to ‘borrow’ you for a few minutes. Politely let them know that you’re busy with a client and suggest an alternative time to get together.

Have a great attitude and winning mentality

Employers and managers love people who:

  • have a great work ethic and focus.
  • never think they know it all. Top performers are always learning. They never think they know it all or that something won’t work for them. They always come away from any training course wondering what element they can implement into their working day. And they don’t just learn new skills, they make sure they master them.
  • have a positive attitude.
  • don’t gossip or complain.
  • find solutions to problems. People who are seen as problem solvers are highly sought after in all industries, including recruitment.
  • take time for self-development. With such huge learning resources offered by Google and YouTube, there’s no excuse not to enrich you knowledge and expand your skills.
  • arrive on time. This demonstrates your motivation for and focus on the job.

Build strong and trusted business relationships

Business is built on relationships, and recruitment is no different. It’s not just about filling one position and moving on to the next client or candidate. Without question, the best recruiters are still the ones who are client-facing, and spend more time than average on the phone or meeting clients and candidates.

Use ‘warm calling’ techniques to find ways into conversations with people that are based on a justifiable and meaningful reason. Don’t sell your services – instead ask clients what the problem is and offer them a solution. Ask questions, establish a need and delve into problems to enable you to offer the best solution that will make your client want to work with you.

Generate referrals, where appropriate, from both clients and candidates. Top performers are highly skilled in this, and do it as a matter of routine.

Seize the opportunity

The best recruiters are opportunistic. They know exactly what they want to achieve from conversations with clients or candidates and they wait for the right moment to seize their opportunity. They ask clever questions which are designed to elicit key details and highlight any opportunities for generating business.