The 5 Skills Every Recruiter Needs to Master

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Recruiters are the beginning of every great team. They scour talent pools to find organizations the perfect A players according to the company’s needs. Without a stellar team of recruiters, you wouldn’t have the top-level executives, leaders, and employees your organization depends on to succeed.

In today’s world, being a recruiter is one of the hardest jobs out there. There are more open jobs than people to fill them, which has created a fierce war for talent. In such a tight market, companies want the most skilled and driven recruiters on their side. Does your team have what it takes to recruit, hire, and retain A players? Make sure your recruiters have mastered these five skills:

1. Sales and Marketing Chops

In order to understand how to win over talent, today’s recruiters must be well versed in both sales and marketing. With so many organizations competing over so few candidates on the market, recruiters need the right strategies to capture the attention of A players and convince them to consider a given role.

Remember: Candidates have options in this market. If your recruiters don’t present unique offers in a quick, compelling, and clear manner, you’ll lose prospective talent in the blink of an eye. Make sure your recruiters know to emphasize the perks, benefits, and opportunities today’s talent craves. For example, 47 percent of candidates say they’re looking for companies with great work/life balance, according to Glassdoor. You can make that a central component of your pitches to woo more candidates.

2. The Ability to Locate Top Talent

This skill may seem like a no-brainer, but locating top talent is getting harder to do as the talent pool shrinks and companies grow more competitive.

In the past, recruiters could take the traditional route of posting a job and waiting to receive a decent amount of applicants. Today, recruiters who take the traditional route can only scrape the bottom of the talent barrel. The A players companies want and need to succeed aren’t necessarily actively looking for jobs. More often than not, they’re happily employed already. To attract A players, recruiters have to move proactively to find them and pique their interests.

What are your recruiters’ follow-up skills like? You may not have considered this question before, but follow-up is key if you want your company or clients to stand out to prospective employees. If a recruiter builds a candidate up, brings them in for an interview, and then never calls them again, that is going to leave a bad taste in the candidate’s mouth. Follow-up is crucial, whether a candidate gets the job or not. It shows that the company cares. If your team lacks follow-up skills, it can create a bad reputation for your business and push talent away.

3. The Capacity to Turn Passive Candidates Into Active Candidates

Once your recruiters have located top talent, they need to turn those passive candidates into active candidates. That means telling these candidates what they’re missing out on.

Recruiter will want to highlight what their company or client does better and can offer, including the benefits that would be of interest to a particular candidate, cultural perks, and more. Your recruiters will have to be persuasive enough to pull these candidates from a job in which they are comfortable and get them excited about a new opportunity. This is a big leap for many top candidates, and recruiters need to understand how to nurture and persuade passive talent if they are to convince anyone to make the jump.

4. Data Interpretation and Application

Are your recruiters collecting, interpreting, and leveraging data to enhance their strategies? If not, it’s time to make a few changes to how your team runs.

With the right talent management software, recruiting teams can build data-based talent pools to track and find the perfect hires for every position. Recruiters can source passive candidates and reach top talent much more quickly and with much less effort. Plus, recruiters can use the data they collect to analyze the effectiveness of their current strategies and revamp as needed to hit goals, improve results, and deliver a stronger candidate experience.

5. Passion and Drive

Are your recruiters passionate about finding the right candidates for the right roles? Does their enthusiasm rub off on candidates and get them excited about the role, too?

Exceptional recruiting teams possess the motivation and competitive drive to win over even the most hard-to-reach passive candidates. But simply possessing passion and drive is not enough — recruiters must also be able to communicate their passion and drive effectively to prospects. Being personable and relatable increases the recruiter’s — and, by extension, the company’s — appeal to candidates. Passion drives your recruiters to pursue top talent, but communication is what really hooks candidates.

A version of this article originally appeared on the ClearCompany blog.

Sara Pollock is head of the marketing department at ClearCompany.

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