Nick Boulton: The difference between good and great recruitersPosted almost 5 years ago by Nick Boulton

What does it take to be better than decent at this job? Is there an x-factor that separates the good from the great?

I’ve written about why recruitment, unfortunately, can often be a career stop gap – default for the indecisive or a stepping stone on the way to other things.

Often opportunities for progression within a lot of organisations are limited, again reducing the number of people who choose to do the job well.

But I have found that most of the best recruiters have no intention of working in other industries – ever. Their main motivations are very similar: being respected, being the best, providing a great service, competitiveness, and yes, wanting to make money.

There is definitely no silver bullet, but these are my top traits that you will find in every great recruiter:

  • Discipline
  • Competitiveness
  • Confidence
  • Empathy
  • Planning
  • Professionalism
  • A never give up attitude
  • Relentless pursuit of more
  • And perhaps most importantly, rapport building

The best recruiters build great rapport with everyone: clients, candidates, colleagues—even the office cleaners. They are social chameleons, they listen 80 percent of the time, and can chat about any subject they find themselves presented with; technology, sports, craft beer, Love Island, an interesting article in Home and Garden, what happened during the latest Fintech IPO and a lot more.

The key is to build a relationship before you need to “make it happen”. Give before asking and then give some more.

Great recruiters are focused on getting results and will do everything possible to achieve this. They don’t make excuses, they don’t moan about fees, salaries, job locations and they certainly don’t blame market conditions.

That’s what I push at Client Server. I want our consultants to be thinking about ways they can nurture and grow relationships with clients and candidates.

This is what separates the good from the great—having the ability, perseverance and skill to play the rapport game.

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