Recruiters: 4 client and candidate personality traits you MUST know about

Ever wondered why some client and candidate relationships are so easy and some are a nightmare?

There are many reasons for this, but as a recruitment consultant, the first thing you need to say to yourself is that old cliché “It’s not you, it’s me!”

For those that have studied NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), then the four personality traits of Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic and (Auditory) Digital will be well known to you. As a training consultant, I share this information with consultants and I think it’s a fantastic tool, when you are able to incorporate it into your day to day working and especially for developing customer relationships.

There are another 4 personality traits of a similar vein, that I remember learning on a training course as a consultant, over twenty years ago! It’s stuck with me and when I use it in my training, a lot of people have what we call the ‘light-bulb’ moment. It suddenly becomes clear as to why some clients and candidates are easy to deal with and some are definitely not.

A knowledge of the following four traits can help you build your relationships –

The Actor

When dealing with an actor they tend to be easy to spot. They like to talk about themselves and their successes. They’re happy to flaunt their achievements and are therefore likely to have certificates, awards, and trophies in full view.

The trick to dealing with the actor is to ask them about themselves… easy huh? They will be happy to share and as long as you mention your success rates and the calibre of other clients or candidates that you work with, they’ll want to join forces.

The Thinker

The thinker is the one that will take their time when making a decision. Very frustrating to a recruitment consultant, but this is the way they do business, so don’t rush them. They will come to their answer in the end. Give them timeframes to work to, but make sure that you’ve also given them enough data and statistical information for them to make their reasoned decision.

The Doer

Again, the doer is easy to spot as they are the total opposite to the thinker, when it comes to making decisions. They are spur of the moment people, very spontaneous and happy to cut through any red tape to get things done. The aim with the doer, is to make sure they have all the facts before they make their decision and ask a lot of “What happens if…?” questions, as they won’t always think through the consequences for themselves. You may need to be the ‘break’ with a doer or their devil’s advocate.

The Friend

Everyone always wants the friend as their customer. Lovely to deal with, happy to answer all of your questions, willing to share about their personal life, but normally more comfortable talking about you instead. Sounds ideal… think again. You end up doing more of the talking, which means you’re not gaining information and the friend is very unlikely to tell you when things are not right or if they’re using another supplier because “they didn’t want to upset you!”

Try to analyse what your own candidates and clients personality traits are, and then adjust your approach to get the most out of the relationship. Remember it’s not them that need to adapt, it’s you!

Angela Cripps

Angela Cripps has worked within the recruitment industry for over 25 years and runs Connemara UK Ltd. Her career started as a recruitment consultant, where she recruited both temporary and permanent staff for Blue Arrow in Catering, Industrial, Healthcare and Commercial sectors. She is now an Executive Coach, Mentor, NED and Trainer for the recruitment industry.

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