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5 GREAT Elements the Ideal Recruiter Must Have

Here at Great Recruiters, we understand the importance of the elements that make up a GREAT recruiter—Genuine, Responsive, Experienced, Advisor, and Transparent. This is why we have taken that into our branding and we have made it our mission to help recruiters build a better reputation by personifying these elements. These GREAT elements help shape the candidate experience recruiters provide and their ability to help candidates achieve short- and long-term career goals. To learn more about the GREAT elements of the ideal recruiter, let us take a look at each of them. 

The First Element: Genuine 

As a recruiter, you have the opportunity to make job search simpler and less stressful for candidates—but only if you genuinely care about them. When a candidate can tell that you care about them as a human rather than just as a resume—when they know you are truly invested in their professional success—they’ll feel more at ease about the job search because they’ll know that you’re looking for a position that truly fits their needs. 

Your authentic interest in job seekers is particularly relevant—it speaks to how the genuine intentions of a recruiter can impact the candidate experience.  

Deliver a great candidate experience by digging deeper.

The candidate experience begins the instant a job seeker interacts with a recruiter: reading a review about the recruiter’s performance, reaching out via email, or receiving a phone call in response to a resume submission. Once the initial touch-point is made, the recruiter must earn the candidate’s trust by building a relationship. 

Recruiters who demonstrate the genuine element of a GREAT recruiter invest time and energy into getting to know candidates beyond bullet points on a resume. This provides recruiters valuable insight into how to help candidates achieve career goals while staying within the parameters of what is important to them on a personal level.  

A proven tactic some recruiters use is to ask open-ended questions about job responsibilities that they really enjoyed, or even to weave questions about personal goals into the conversation. This is an easy way to learn interesting facts about your candidates and find out what you have in common with them. Establishing rapport based on things you mutually enjoy helps build the authentic interest you need to have in your candidates.  

Dedication to quality increases your credibility. 

Recruiters who represent the genuine element of a GREAT recruiter do not overpromise or set unrealistic expectations. They value their candidates’ trust and appreciate the responsibility that comes with placing them in a job. It’s not just about matching skills to a set of requirements—it’s about providing long-term value. 

Recruiters who earn a reputation for being genuine will gain credibility in the industry and markets they serve, thereby enjoying an increase in positive feedback, brand visibility, and new business opportunities.  

The Second Element: Responsiveness 

As a recruiter, you have the good fortune of not being on the job hunt. This also means that you have a critical responsibility to get back to your candidates as soon as you learn new information about their job search. It’s up to you to make sure they know the details as they happen—after all, it’s their career.  

Responsiveness is an essential trait that candidates look for in a recruiter. They want someone who will deliver timely feedback about potential opportunities, even if there’s no new information. 

With Great Recruiters, candidates now have a platform where they can rate recruiters based on their performance. Responsiveness, as one of the five elements that define a Great Recruiter, is a crucial part of the feedback candidates leave. Being responsive and earning a positive review allows you to set yourself apart from the negative recruiting industry reputation and establish a positive professional brand as someone who cares about job seekers. 

Create a better candidate experience. 

Being responsive is an essential part of providing a positive candidate experience. Whether you have good news, bad news, or no news at all, your candidates should be able to rely on you to keep them updated regularly on the job search and answer their questions in a timely manner.  

Maybe you set up a weekly phone call with a candidate to rehash all the details you’ve shared with them since the last call. Many recruiters even give out their personal phone numbers so candidates can ask questions whenever they need to. Managing your time well and making yourself accessible is essential to providing a positive candidate experience. 

The recruiter needs to remember that they are the candidate’s lifeline to new opportunities. They are the connection, the mediator that is supposed to make the job hunt easier. Those recruiters who remember the integral role they play in a candidate’s career always keep candidates informed. This establishes trust and credibility. A positive candidate experience and trust in the recruiter go hand-in-hand. 

“Every candidate is different, and being responsive mean different things to different people,” says Adam C., a veteran of the recruiting industry with more than 2 decades of experience. “It’s crucial to respond to candidates in a timely manner, even if there’s no new information, to build genuine relationships and develop trust. If you commit to following up, do it.” 

Boost your credibility. 

When you are genuinely invested in your candidate, it’s not hard to be responsive. You want to keep them up-to-date on every detail and you’re dedicated to answering all their questions as accurately and quickly as possible. Establish a communication frequency—let them choose how often and how regularly they want you to send updates. 

While you’re discussing how often you’ll contact them when there’s nothing new to report, ask them how they want to be reached. Communicating with your candidates on a medium and frequency of their choosing will make them more comfortable in what is already a stressful situation. 

It’s this kind of attitude that inspires trust in your candidates. They can see that they’re a priority, and they believe that you have their best interests at heart. They’ll remember your name when they rate you on Great Recruiters and when they’re back on the job market. 

Generate new business opportunities.  

When you earn candidates’ trust and provide them with a smooth candidate experience, they remember you. You are the person they will go to when they look for another job, and you’re the person to whom they’ll send referrals. 

Even if you can’t immediately place a candidate in a new position, maintaining open and timely communication keeps them engaged in your pipeline until you find them the right position down the road.   

Responsiveness earns candidates’ trust. 

Own your responsibility to be responsive. It requires a lot of effort—maybe you have to take calls or answer emails outside of working hours, or even meet up with candidates to prep them for interviews. But only by putting in the extra time and energy can you reap the reward of a positive review on Great Recruiters to show current and future candidates that you’ll provide the responsiveness they need to feel confident in their job search with you.  

The Third Element: Experience 

Your experience in the industry is essential to candidates’ success. When candidates work with a recruiter, they expect the recruiter to understand where they are coming from. They will have a difficult time entrusting their career to someone who doesn’t know their industry well.   

To serve your candidates’ needs and establish your credibility in the recruiting industry, you need to build up your experience in and knowledge of the field where you recruit. Some of this will come with time—building contacts and learning the minutiae of the industry doesn’t happen overnight. But following industry leaders, trends, and requirements will help you understand your candidates’ marketability and make better placements.  

Know the market to deliver a better candidate experience.  

One of the best ways to ensure that you’re delivering an excellent candidate experience is by knowing the industry in which you recruit. Candidates want to work with a recruiter who understands the trends, challenges, and terminology of their industry. 

A recruiter who is truly dedicated to helping job seekers knows the details of their industry—from recent growth trends to new markets to the most marketable skills and certifications. They stay up-to-date with the market—it only makes sense that those who supply the industry with talent know what makes a qualified candidate.  

Subscribing to email newsletters, following industry leaders on social media, and reading articles from industry publications are easy ways to keep up with trends and changes in the market. You can even ask hiring managers why they want specific skill sets. If you’re new to a specific market, or new to the recruiting industry in general, find a recruiting veteran and ask them what sources they think are best. When in doubt, finding a mentor in your market is a surefire way to gain experience.  

Your experience will build your credibility and help candidates meet professional goals.

Candidates are much more likely to trust a recruiter who knows where the industry has been and where it is now—and who can envision the trends that may come. When you understand the value of your candidate’s degree and experience in their industry, it gives you better insight into a position where the candidate will succeed.  

The more you understand the market where you recruit, the better you’ll be able to tell how marketable a candidate’s current skills and experience are. Even better, as you pay attention to trends and keep up with industry leaders, you’ll be able to tell how marketable these same skills will be in the future.  

Eventually, you’ll have enough experience to make recommendations to candidates based on their long-term goals and the direction of the market—what kind of degrees, certifications, software, and skills will put them on the right track to meet their professional aspirations.   

The ability to understand where a candidate fits best in the industry leads to a higher success rate in placing quality candidates—which in turn makes you a more reputable recruiter.  

The Fourth Element: Advisor 

Fulfilling the role of advisor is a big responsibility that goes beyond advising candidates to send a thank you note after an interview. Instead, as an advisor you must trust your experience, understanding of market trends and patterns, and intuition to help candidates make career decisions. 

According to a recent candidate experience study, 73% of job seekers find the job search to be one of the most stressful things they experience in life. As an advisor, you are there to guide them through this challenging time and give them peace of mind.  

Provide the support that your candidate needs. 

Gaining insight into your candidates’ short- and long-term career goals will ensure you provide relevant advice for achieving those goals. From suggesting job opportunities and suggesting questions to ask during the interview, to advising them on the best way to follow up and helping to negotiate an offer, your role as advisor will support candidates throughout the entire job search process. 

As their trusted advisor, candidates will depend on you to look beyond their emotions, good or bad, about a job opportunity to consider whether it meets their long-term career goals. That could even mean advising against a seemingly perfect offer based on trends and patterns in the industry. The advice you provide will be specific to each job seeker based on the genuine interest you’ve invested in their candidate experience.  

Improve your reputation by being genuine. 

Great recruiters don’t just match candidates with a job opening. Earning a reputation as a trusted advisor means you have also earned your candidate’s respect. It builds your credibility as a recruiter who is genuinely invested in applying their experience, intuition, time, and energy to help candidates succeed. 

By maintaining relationships beyond the job placement, you can continue to serve as the trusted advisor so that candidates will reach out to you when they need advice about switching jobs or writing a resignation letter. They may even want your help again when they begin a new job search. 

The advisory role of a recruiter is so essential to the candidate experience because the recruiter knows both the market and the candidate they are working with. It is your responsibility to use these to the candidate’s greatest advantage and make a stressful experience as easy as possible.   

The Fifth Element: Transparent 

Transparency will help you earn the trust of your candidates, build credibility in the industry, and differentiate yourself from other recruiters and job matchers.  

Job seekers represent a wide range of scenarios—from unemployed and desperate for a job to those who are gainfully employed and passively open to new opportunities. Either way, the more transparent you are in your process and communications, the more successful you will be in helping candidates achieve their goals—throughout their career. 

Be emotionally involved, yet realistically accountable for the expectations you set. 

Professional recruiters must be emotionally responsible when working with candidates—especially active job seekers who are vulnerable and desperate for a new job. You should absolutely sympathize with candidates and offer genuine support, but don’t let your emotions result in unreasonable expectations.  

Instead, provide a transparent process and walk them through each step. Help encourage them by setting goals throughout the job search: work with them to revise their resume, discuss job search and explain your process for helping them find a job that will meet their goals. Implementing strategies for increasing transparency throughout the job search will help candidates develop a sense of security.  

Also, consider how being transparent ties in with another element of GREAT recruiters: responsiveness. Candidates depend on you to be their lifeline to a community they cannot access. It is imperative that you are responsive—with good news, bad news, or no news.  

Overpromising leads to underdelivering. 

Don’t over-promise what you cannot control. Trust your experience in the industry—it’s not reasonable to suggest to a candidate that you can place them in a new role the same week they become unemployed. You must hold yourself accountable for the expectations you set and always remember you are candidates’ trusted Advisor.  

This also means that when clients have feedback, you need to pass it on to your candidates. Let them know when hiring managers have positive comments, and tactfully deliver less-than-stellar feedback so job seekers understand where they need to improve without feeling offended. As uncomfortable as it can be to tell your candidate something negative, they won’t benefit if you sugarcoat everything.  

Earn candidates’ trust and more referrals.  

Like any human relationship, trust is crucial to the recruiter-candidate connection. When you integrate transparency into your interactions with job seekers, they understand that they can trust you, which helps you find the best placement for them.  

One of the most critical aspects of the Great Recruiters platform is that it promotes transparency. It is designed to return a high degree of control to the job seeker to enable them to understand exactly where they are in the recruiting process and to know what is being done on their behalf.  

This accountability strengthens the relationship between recruiter and candidate to help you deliver long-term value to job seekers through a positive candidate experience and a successful job placement.

Be the Ideal Recruiter with Great Recruiters

Apart from knowing the GREAT elements an ideal recruiter must have, it’s also important that you get to put them into practice as you help candidates on their job search. To help you become a GREAT recruiter, you can boost and manage your recruiter brand and candidates’ experience with Great Recruiters. Our experience and reputation management platform can help you optimize your opportunities for growth and improvement as a recruiter.

Achieve your goals of becoming the GREAT recruiter you want to be with Great Recruiters. To learn more, request a demo today.

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