Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Hard Stuff and the Soft Stuff

Fetch came up with this “List of Qualities that make Successful Recruiters” as part of our internal hiring process. I wanted to share a slightly modified version of it, since I’m often asked how someone can assess a good recruiter (whether you are a client or a candidate). There are nuances depending on which side of the hiring equation you are on, but the basics apply regardless. Be on the lookout for these qualities. Most of them are soft in nature (The Soft Stuff), but there are also three solid tangible barometers (The Hard Stuff) you can use.

The Hard Stuff:

  1. Most good recruiters have at least a few decent recommendations on LinkedIn. They speak volumes. The lack of any speaks volumes too.
  2. Given market conditions (huge demand/tiny supply), if a recruiter is cold calling you to get business, run for the hills. Granted, there are exceptions – there may be a gem that is just working at a Dialing-For-Dollars agency where they are obligated to make cold calls, or it may just be someone junior that has yet to build up a network and reputation that will yield referrals. But most good agencies are driven 100% by referrals.
  3. Ask your network for recommendations. Both candidates and clients should have 2-3 solid recruiters on tap. If any of them try to tell you that they need your exclusivity (unless it’s for a retained search), kindly decline. No single agency can cover every bit of the LA map, and if they say they can, they are clearly not putting your best interests at heart.

The Soft Stuff:           

  • Focus on doing the right thing, not making the most money
  • Ability to anticipate and answer questions before they are asked
  • Ultra organized, able to juggle a jillion things concurrently, and excellent attention to detail
  • Excellent follow through and inclination to stay in touch with people long term
  • Anxiety that stems from having more than 1 screen of unanswered emails in our inbox at the end of the day
  • Rock solid ethics, professionalism and good manners
  • Persuasive without being pushy or aggressive
  • Hard worker
  • Natural curiosity about what makes a person tick or what makes a company function
  • Ability to not take things personally. This is never about us, and the people who think it is fail in this business
  • Ability to let things roll off you and move on
  • Technical knowledge, and/or aptitude and/or confidence to admit you are clueless about something and ask for an explanation
  • Resourceful
  • Creative thinker and problem solver with a great sixth sense
  • Good at all kinds of communication – written, verbal, listening, digging – listen for the answer, not the answer you want to hear
  • Know when to cut bait

Happy Hiring!