The top traits of every successful recruiter

In the highly competitive recruitment industry, what are the top traits of successful consultants and recruitment leaders? And can these qualities inherent or can they be learned?

Recruitment coach and influencer Ross Clennett shares his insights on SEEK Talent Talks.

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The top quality of successful recruiters

The number one trait that successful recruiters must have is achievement drive, says Clennett.

“It’s undisputed,” he says.

“Either you fill the job or you don’t. There’s no halfway point. If you fill the job you receive the whole fee, and if you don’t fill the job you get nothing.”

Successful recruiters must get a thrill out the job, Clennett says. “It’s got to hurt to not fill the job, and it’s got to be thrilling to fill the job.”

Naturally, no one is immune to failure, but successful recruiters take failure as an incentive to win the next time, says Clennett, who likens the experience to achieving success on the sports field.

“When I joined the recruitment sector 29 years ago I was surprised and delighted to discover that that thrill I had on the cricket field could be replicated when I was working: that I would win hopefully far more often than I would lose, but the losses would give me the motivation to come back tomorrow and do better.

“If you don’t have achievement drive, you can’t have it trained into you.

“You can’t teach or coach a turkey to fly. You’ve either got that or you haven’t.”

The key traits of successful recruitment leaders

According to Clennett, the most important quality for successful recruitment leaders is optimism.

“People are either optimistic or they’re not, and in my view, I’ve never seen a pessimist succeed in agency recruitment.

“It’s easy to get disheartened or disappointed in recruitment because you’re not going to win every time.”

As well, the most effective leader is the person who is grounded in the reality of assessing what’s going on with the client, the job, the candidate, and the team, Clennett says.

And they remain optimistic about filling roles and getting past hurdles, he adds. “That mindset is very important, and again optimism is not something you can train into someone.”

The challenges of finding top recruitment talent

“It’s as challenging now to attract people into the industry as it’s ever been.”

On the positive side, the recruitment sector is doing very well financially thanks to the strength of the economy, Clennett says.

“That creates a good platform that means good salaries can be paid, and big bonuses and commissions can be offered. Firms are growing, which means there are career opportunities.

“But the talent that we aspire to attract is also the talent that other industries aspire to attract.”

The challenge for the recruitment industry is selling itself to top talent even though many of the players in the industry are not household names.

It’s the “big prominent sexy brands” that attract talent, says Clennett. “We don’t have too many of those in the recruitment industry.

“We don’t receive the prominence in the media that the Facebooks, Googles, and Ubers of this world attract.”

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