The 22 Qualities of a Good Recruiter and Top Search Consultant

If you’re a recruiter or search consultant, then you probably want to be a good recruiter or search consultant. After all, the better you are, the more you’ll bill. At least, that’s the general rule. Luck does play a certain role.

So what are the qualities of a good recruiter or search consultant? What are those attributes that typically lead to more placements and greater billings?

To help answer these questions, we’re going to call upon renowned industry trainer and coach Bob Marshall of TBMG International. This year, Bob is celebrating his 39th year in the recruiting business. When you can last that long in the search profession, it’s considered the epitome of success.

Essential recruitment consultant qualities

According to Marshall, there are five essential qualities of good recruiters that you must possess to have a successful career in executive search. This is especially the case if you we want to be the top executive recruiters in our chosen industry or field. They are as follows:

  1. Intelligence—Not Mensa membership, but we must be smart.
  2. Creativity—Because each phone call, no matter how it starts, may go in a different direction; we must be flexible enough and creative enough, to flow with the call.  We must be noted for our flexibility.
  3. Corporate maturity—This is not a function of age, but of maturity at the corporate level.  Having the ability to call the CEO of a client company and not being intimidated if we’re asked to make that call.
  4. Tenacity—This is important in any endeavor.  If you want to put a “star” by one of the most important traits, star this one!  The ability “to hang in there” is critical.  This is important in any profession, but especially in ours.
  5. Balanced “X” factors—Any changes in your life, even good ones, produce stress.  Stress is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension.  This tension itself is stressful, often leading to illness or depression.  So we must have this element under control.

Preferred qualities of a good recruiter

After these “have to possess” recruitment qualities, Marshall likes to see the following 11 qualities of a good recruiter:

  1. Successful failures—People who were successful, but their past employers failed them.
  2. Positive hostility—This is the ability to be confrontational, but in a positive way.  Don’t be a “professional visitor” where everyone loves you, but nobody buys from you—but don’t be purely hostile, either, since rapport building is so important to our success.
  3. Good sense of humor—This is the ability to not take ourselves too seriously and to be self-effacing.  Humor can go a long way in getting us back on the phone.  Our job is supposed to be fun.  If we carry that humor out with us to our marketplace, it will come back to us.
  4. Empathy—This is the ability to understand both sides, from their points of view.
  5. Ego-driven—We must have a big ego.  It’s amazing to me how a group of big billers all fit in the same room at the same time with their giant-sized egos.
  6. Need to convince others to do what we want them to do—This is the ability to want to convince others of the right way to do our business; not to buy off on the first objection when we hear it.
  7. Ability to listen and give positive feedback—This is key; we are not in a profession made up of “silver-tongued devils.”  Listen between the lines, and don’t answer questions too quickly.  The other side will give us the information we need as long as we listen and give positive feedback. You can enter notes into your recruiting software and recruiting CRM to give better feedback to both candidates and clients.
  8. Decisiveness—We can’t be wishy-washy in our profession.
  9. Intuition—Usually our first sense about something, whether it relates to our candidate or to our client company, is true.  Go with our intuition.  Things don’t go sour unless they smelled a little along the way.
  10. A tight need for organization and planning—It’s not that we love it, but over time, we become expert at it.
  11. Leadership—Someone who wants to lead, even if it is just on our own desk—our own manufacturing plant.  This trait encompasses many of the preceding ones.

Qualities of recruiters who earn more

According to Marshall, legendary recruitment trainer Lou Scott used to say that the biggest billers had these following six traits:

  1. Ignore conventional wisdom; they are never satisfied with the norm and they “play outside the box.”
  2. Have written recruiting goals for measurement; if they are not written down, they are wishes, not goals.
  3. Visualize completion of their goals; have a clear visual picture of their goals.
  4. Learn to deal with their anxieties regarding their performance.  Everyone has anxieties.  Big billing is not the absence of anxiety, but the controlling of anxiety.  Courage is not the absence of fear, but positively dealing with that fear.  You need fear in order to have courage.
  5. Avoid comfort zones; take calculated risks.
  6. Live in the present.  Be where you are at.  When you are at work, be there.  When you are at home, be there.  But don’t be at home when you are at work, and don’t be at work when you are at home.

How many of these 22 qualities of a good recruiter do YOU possess?

Top Echelon’s Recruiter Training Library

Top Echelon offers a free training webinar every month as part of its special Recruiter Coaching Series. We conduct this webinar on the second Tuesday of the month. Incidentally, Bob Marshall has presented more webinars for the Top Echelon Recruiter Coaching Series than any other industry trainer. In addition, Bob’s sessions have been among the most highly rated by attendees in the Series.

When these webinars are over, we post the recorded versions in our extensive Recruiter Training Library. You can access all of these webinar videos, including Bob’s 16 videos, by clicking here. For more information about Bob Marshall and the coaching services that he provides, visit his website.

Visit the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Library today and subscribe to our Recruiter Coaching Series email list!

And whether you’re figuring out how to start a recruitment agency, or you’re a seasoned veteran looking for a few go-to tools to streamline these processes and get more business, Top Echelon’s recruiting network is a great place to start. Share job orders and candidates from our massive database. If you need help keeping all of your applicants organized, try out our recruiting software.

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