Top 10 Signs that you’ve Hired a Great Recruiter


The art of recruiting has taken a drastic turn over the past decade. With the rise of job board popularity both from the recruiter and the applicant perspective, “search” tactics have been stripped away from the equation. Scanning keywords, tracking alerts, and calling people from posted resumes are now the en vogue qualifications when looking to employ new recruiters. Today, in an applicant poor IT economy, additional skills are a prerequisite to land the best candidates. To create and mold the best people for a business, echogravity believes in hiring for smarts and training for skill. IT Staffing and Services firms may want to try this same technique, and in doing so, may end up with great recruiters.

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Regardless of how a recruiter is hired, trained, or molded, there are a few signs that tell you that you’ve landed a great recruiter on your staff, and it’s worth modeling this behavior across the team. Here are a few tell-tale signs:

  1. The recruiter asks detailed and accurate questions about open positions. They do not settle on “java developer” or “Oracle DBA”. They dig in and get to know exactly what the requirement is before picking up the phone. Unless they have a crystal ball, there is no way they can know what is really needed.
  2. The recruiter can easily gain candidate control and rapport. Recruiters that are passive in the relationship and let candidates walk all over them are set up to fail. Recruiters that set the rules of the game up front, and communicate expectations from both ends, are the ones that get it.
  3. The recruiter is not afraid to personally meet with candidates, present the company, and quickly and effectively assess the value of a candidate. These days, many recruiters don’t even meet candidates. Speed to submittal is important, but meeting a candidate provides a personal touch that lasts much longer than one recruiting process. Long term relationships are more easily built when a candidate is met in person; which usually equates to more hires.
  4. The recruiter is not afraid to take it away. If something doesn’t smell right and the deal may go sour based on certain factors, a recruiter that isn’t afraid to pull the deal away for the candidate is playing the position exactly the way it should. It’s common for recruiters to panic and give away the farm in order to make a deal come to fruition. Good recruiters will stop the process and yank the candidate if things aren’t lined up the way they should be.
  5. The recruiter can calmly and effortlessly ask the tough questions. Too many recruiters are afraid to ask the hard questions that get a candidate locked into a particular recruiting process. There is a model that we talk about at echogravity which supports the basic concept of building a foundation for success. This foundation requires asking all of the tough questions up front that solidify the base of the relationship. If these tough questions are all covered in the beginning, the chance of something falling off in the end are less likely. The recruiters that only confirm compensation and then send off a resume typically have more drop-offs and failed candidate commitment.
  6. The recruiter is not afraid to make the evening calls and do what it takes after (or before) hours. Hard workers and dedicated employees are tough to come by in any business. Additionally, putting in time is different than doing whatever it takes. Recruiters that schedule interviews after hours, or are highly motivated to reach candidates no matter when the timing is right, are keepers. Those recruiters that have to work with candidates only between the hours of 9-5 are getting killed by their competition and won’t be receiving the “Recruiter of the Month” award any time soon.
  7. The recruiter understands the concept of a pipeline and can quickly earn referrals through a network. Very few recruiters pipeline candidates these days. Some of the reason for this has to do with the time to market crunch, and the unpredictability of the type of candidates recruiters must find. However, using a highly organized approach, coupled with gathering all types of specific data on candidates, pipelining is easier than it seems. It needs to be part of the everyday recruiting process.
  8. The recruiter sees opportunity in every call, gaining information on new business and passing it to the team in a timely fashion. Most recruiters are single threaded in their discussions with candidates. A few recruiters make feeble attempts at getting additional names from candidates, but it becomes very transparent to the candidate; leading to mistrust. The recruiters that utilize a more integrated discussion can obtain golden nuggets of information in a  more conversational exchange. Plus, candidates that have a higher level of comfort with the recruiter are more likely to divulge mutually beneficial information.
  9. The recruiter is on the phone more than they are on email. Emailing candidates is a norm these days. Calling and talking to them is an opportunity to the candidate on the phone immediately, and to make an impression that is dissimilar than the competition’s. Email is a send and wait game, which injects time into the recruiting process. Email is also a passive way to avoid direct communication with the candidate. In most companies that we’ve worked with, there is a direct correlation between phone time and production. Check your phone records to see if your company has the same results.
  10. The recruiter is highly organized and can tap into a network of people within a few calls. The recruiter that uses a job board for most of their first attempts to source are likely hitting competition right between the eyes. The recruiters that have built a pipeline, utilize an ATS, and know exactly which 10 calls they will make first are likely the best recruiters on the team. Great recruiters have a base of people that are in their circle of trust and are perceived as respectable and equals to the base of candidates that they work with. Most recruiters just make relationships with candidates that are surface at best.

It’s likely that there are less than 10% of the recruiters out there that can fit all 10 of these characteristics. The trend in internet and board searching has changes the skills and talents of the new age digital recruiter. The lost arts of recruiting talent are still very priceless activities that aren’t being trained these days. Most companies use a shadowing process for junior recruiters, and unfortunately, the “senior” recruiter which is the “mentor”, has bad habits that transfer down the blood line. Bad habits breed bad habits.