Good recruiters are superheroes!
An interviewee from the legal profession recently asked me what I thought were the top three attributes it took to make a good recruitment consultant (answer to follow), but the bottom line is that a good recruiter is a Superhero, such is the rare blend of three very different characteristics which go to make a great recruiter. Yes, we may be regarded as a necessary evil, but think on before you take a swipe at your friendly, neighbourhood recruiter, because this, in my opinion, is what it takes to be a good one:
- You need to be intelligent
You need to be bright, without being too academic. I have hired a Cambridge graduate in the past (hello Clare, if you’re reading), but you don’t need an Oxbridge level of intelligence to succeed in recruitment. But you do need to be able to hold your own intellectually with demanding, well educated clients and candidates. You need to make connections quickly. You need to be able to express your ideas articulately. You need to be able to negotiate. You need to be able to assess a person’s suitability for a role. You need to make commercial decisions as to how you spend your time. So, you need to be intelligent.
- You need to be able to cope with routine
I’m being honest here! You need to be comfortable with following processes and adhere to systems. You need to be happy to work with a database and to uphold the integrity of that data. You need to record contact events. So, you need be bright, but also able to cope with process. That’s a rare mix.
- You need to have excellent interpersonal skills
So, you need to be reasonably brainy and able to do the hard yards with data and systems, but you also need to be incredibly personable! It’s perhaps more important to be respected than liked, but being liked by clients and candidates (not to mention one’s colleagues) goes a long way. So you need to be able to strike up rapport, to get people talking, to be empathetic, to converse easily, to counsel. You need to be the type of person who is comfortable in a room full of strangers. Oh and you need a very thick skin whilst also being outgoing.
So, a great recruiter is a rare, rare mix of skills. There are more demanding jobs, there are jobs which require greater intellects, greater skills with data, bigger personalities, but few that require such a subtle blend of all three.
Perhaps you have what it takes – perhaps you have those lawyerly skills of intelligence and being good with process, but feel the Law does not allow you to express your wonderful, outgoing personality. Perhaps you are an outgoing recruiter, whose employer’s unprofessional use of data is holding you back. If so, please let me know if you’d like to have an informal chat about opportunities here at BCL Legal. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me (out of hours is fine) on 07341561962.