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The Four Traits Of Naturally Skilled Recruiters

Recruiting either comes naturally to you, or it doesn’t. However, even those who aren’t recruiting professionals will find themselves in situations where they need to be good recruiters, interviewers and, yes, sourcers. At my agency, I like to source and hire millennials. Every single one of my employees has started as an intern in college or fresh out of college. As recruiters, we know recruiting is competitive, and sourcing millennials can be tough, so there are a few traits recruiters must embody to attract the right candidates:

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They Have Empathy

If you cannot put yourself in both your hiring managers’ and candidates’ shoes, you will lose at recruiting. Employment specialist Amy McDonald said in an article, “You have to get to know your candidate and client beyond what is on their resume in order to understand what motivates them.” While it can be easy for agency recruiters and third party recruiters to get caught up in a big payday, or a corporate recruiter to want to simply get someone into the role, that’s not a great way to approach a new requirement. Instead, take the time to meet your hiring manager to clarify her expectations for the new hire and what would really round out the team.

On the candidate side, understand what a big ask a new position is. When you are recruiting for a role, you are asking someone to leave the place they’re used to, to move from a family of colleagues and a salary and benefits they’ve come to understand and accept. That’s a lot of change, and not everyone is crazy about change. Your candidates also have to guess at what their new boss and team will look like, try to weigh the options from their current role to this new role you’re offering them. (And don’t kid yourself that your offering isn’t being compared to other offers.) Empathy goes a long way in understanding why people walk away from seemingly perfect offers and why hiring managers drag their feet even though you checked off every box in the requirement document.

They Like People

Shocking, I know. But if you genuinely don’t like most people, you won’t be a very good recruiter. Relationships are, and always have been, part recruiting. In order to build relationships with people, you have to enjoy talking to them, remember things that are important to them (like their skill set or their birthday), and allow them to vent and share in equal measure.

If a candidate tells you a secret, keep it. If a hiring manager tells you she doesn’t want entry-level hires because they don’t work well on her team, remember it. If you make a promise to anyone, make sure you keep that promise. Building goodwill, trust and a genuine love of people is what got many recruiters through the recession and it’s still good practice now that we’re out of it. Having a positive candidate experience is crucial, as 15% of candidates experiencing this say they will put more effort into a job, as opposed to those candidates who had a negative experience.

Read the rest of this article on Forbes.