Recruiters are an essential part of the business world. But what skills make an ideal candidate? According to recruiting expert Casey Weickgenannt of Apex—one of the country’s premier staffing and recruiting firms—recruiting is all about people.
Strong Social Skills
Here’s something that all successful recruiters know: Recruiting is a lot like matchmaking.
You have to pair the person with the position in a way that makes both your client and your candidate happy. Otherwise you’re not getting the job done.
This means you’re basically making two sales at the same time. To pull that off, you need equal parts intelligence and social grace. That’s why social butterflies with a knack for making compelling arguments will find themselves uniquely prepared for this role.
Weickgenannt agrees. “The best candidates are well-rounded and have very strong interpersonal skills,” she says.
Multitasking And Quick Thinking
Recruiting is incredibly multifaceted, which means you need to be, too.
“There really is no average day,” Weickgenannt says. “There’s a lot of variety.”
That variety includes anything from meeting with candidates and following up on references to strategizing with your team and extending offers. Sometimes it can even mean helping with on-boarding for the candidates who accept the job.
And all the while, you’ve got more positions to fill. If you’re someone who looks at a mountain of tasks and thinks, “I’ve got time for that and maybe a couple of other things, too,” chances are you would thrive as a recruiter.
“Leadership” is one of those vague terms that seems like it simultaneously applies everywhere and nowhere—usually, that is.
But when it comes to recruiting, you actually need to lead people. It’s like being the president of a club, except your goal is to get everybody in the club the perfect job. That means helping people put forward the best version of themselves and their skill sets—and matching them to positions that you’re tasked with filling. (And then trying do that again and again and again.)
That can be challenging at times. “Our product is people, and people are very unpredictable,” Weickgenannt says.
That’s when the whole leadership thing comes into play. Gifted leaders are inherently more capable of driving people toward a common goal.
Think of it this way. If your candidate or your client can’t get behind your plan, then you’re not effectively doing your job. But if you’re someone people turn to for advice, then you’re probably the kind of person they would trust to get them the right job.
What’s the most rewarding part about recruiting (beyond the satisfaction of helping people better their lives and advance their careers)?
“Compensation,” says Weickgenannt. “It’s a very lucrative career.”
Recruiters are incentivized based on job performance. That means the more successful you are, the more money you can make—and the higher you can climb up the corporate ladder.
If this kind of success lights a fire under you, then you’re sure to be excited by a competitive recruiting career.
If you’ve made it this far and you’re thinking, “Well, I’ve got these other skills, but I’m not a business major,” then you’re in luck.
The range of successful recruiters includes people with a ton of different educational backgrounds. “There’s not one major that we look for,” Weickgenannt says. She adds that some of the more common ones include communications, advertising, marketing, public relations, and psychology.
So, long story short: If you’re an entrepreneurial, charismatic leader, there’s a great chance that you can find your place in recruiting.