What are the skills a good recruiter or headhunter needs?

What are the skills a good recruiter or headhunter needs? This can be answered in different ways and depending on the sector they focus on, the answer could vary slightly but the big practical skills are the same for all recruiters and headhunters.

In order to become a successful recruiter and be at the point where you can manage and help develop others, you will need to develop a set of skills that not only cover the recruitment process but also strengthen your wider business acumen.

Planning is key

For many junior recruiters it often looks like simply getting on the phone and placing people within companies is what needs to be done but without a good structured and monitored plan, for both candidates and clients, you will find out quickly that your time could have been used more effectively.

The planning and monitoring stage forms the basis of the recruitment process. Together with in-depth market research and analysis you are able to start writing down the sales opportunities, which then allow you to start setting your goals.

As a recruiter it is important to be detailed-minded and focus on time management. This naturally links back to the planning and the monitoring.

Showing initiative will set you apart

The recruitment sector is very much goal-focused and result-driven. It is important to show initiative and always think out-of-the-box. It is a competitive industry so standing out at what you do is important. The reputation of the agency you work for helps to get a foot in the door but the way you manage your work and sell yourself is going to be the decision-making factor.

I spend a lot of time with my team and continuously reiterate what GRM stands for. I want anyone working with GRM to be a brand ambassador.  This year, 2015, we won 3 awards; Silver Medal, Best Recruitment Company of the Year 2015 at the Asia HR Awards; Best New Agency at the Global Recruiter Awards, and 2015 Best Legal Recruitment Team in Hong Kong at the Recruitment International Hong Kong Awards. These awards are testimony to the continued hard work and dedication of the GRM team.

Good communication is top priority

One of the skills I really want to highlight is ‘communication skills’. As a recruiter it is of utmost importance to be a good communicator.

“You will never have a second chance to make a first impression”

Will Rogers

This counts for recruiters too; when you first reach out to a client or candidate; you will not have a second chance to introduce yourself, the firm or the position. Therefore working on your communication and negotiation skills is really important.

Not only on the phone you need to sound professional but in writing as well. Grammar mistakes in emails, letters and contracts when placing top-level executives don’t come across well.

There’s no ‘I’ in team

Lastly, recruitment is teamwork. It is important to collaborate with colleagues to get the best results.

Acquire and implement the above skills and I really believe you will be a more effective and efficient recruiter and headhunter.

Rob Green

Rob is the CEO of GRMSearch and has been with the company since its launch in 2013. He is responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of the group as well as operational oversight of the Hong Kong, Australia, Japan and Johannesburg offices.

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