Recruiting is both a skill and an art when done well. There are layers to the skills required and it can feel like an uphill battle, especially when you get a couple of matches that fall through in a row. But being a great recruiter is about more than knowing how to do the job. You’ve also got to be confident, relentless, circumspect, and you can’t let the bad days get you down.

Networking: Personality and Relationships
Recruiters are responsible for building relationships with their clients, who simply want to hire the best person for each open position. But they also have to be able to build relationships with the candidates that they’d like to place. You’ve got to be able to work with the people on both sides of an equation, and you’ve got to know how a candidate’s personality will mesh with the corporate culture of a client. A match is only good if it lasts, so you can’t simply convince people that they’re a good fit. The fit has to actually be good.

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Fluency with the Tools of the Trade
Building up that network of great clients and excellent candidates will require that you know where to find them. The ways that candidates search for jobs and the short cuts that clients may take are changing all the time. You’ve got to stay on top of all the best options and learn how to use them in a fluent, comfortable, and fast way. Develop a workflow that includes checking social media, online marketing tools, job sites, and resume listing sites. Use modern recruiting technologies like recruiting software that helps you to keep all those contacts organized and at your fingertips.

Balance Confidence with Listening Skills
Recruiting requires confidence. You’ve got to have an eye out for what you think is going to work best for others, which means you can’t waffle about and say things like ‘maybe this’ll work out’. There’s no room for matches that are just okay. Enthusiasm and confidence will help your clients and candidates to feel confident about you.

But there’s a balance to be struck, because with over-confidence come foolish mistakes. Being a good listener is also part of the job. Great recruiters aren’t always looking at their next great match, they’re listening closely to what candidates and clients are actually asking for. Sometimes the client or candidate isn’t able to communicate what it is they want, but if you listen closely you’ll start to understand what would be a great match for them.

Patience, Speed, and Resilience
Why lump patience and speed together? Because a recruiter has to be the first one out of the gate when a great position opens which might be perfect for a candidate. The competition is high and that means you can’t wait around to make that match.

At the same time, you’ve got to be patient as you wait for that perfect match to appear. Putting together a company with a candidate who simply won’t thrive within the corporate culture will not be good for anyone. Even if the candidate is hired, if they don’t last you’re putting your reputation on the line. If you’re impatience, you’re risking your networks, relationships, and the work you’ve done to get where you are.

Finally, a great recruiter must be resilient. Not every placement will work out. Not every candidate will find a job through you, no matter how hard you work. And there will be times when a placement falls through and you feel like you just can’t get back on your feet. Recruiting is a job that has built in ups and downs. When you’re down, remember that you have to go back up eventually. Keep going or you’ll never get there.