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Winning Traits in Successful Recruiters and Sourcers, from a 12-Year Veteran

Agency recruiters & sourcers are the Swiss Army Knives of the people industry. They help move people, find them their next career challenge, and keep businesses running by providing them with the best talent.

Tushar Tejuja, Managing Director of recruitment agency HackerTrail, has been in the business for 12 years and mentored his fair share of successful recruiters. He shares 5 top traits always seen in the winners:

1. Winners are proactive with engaging their stakeholders

They go well beyond the ad-hoc conversations and actually plan their weekly diaries. Meeting hiring managers, TA, HR, candidates, each with a different context and sometimes all in one day takes discipline.

Recruiting and hiring is, after all, a people business, and those that make the effort to build meaningful relationships (or simply just more face time) will stay top of mind when a prospective deal pops up. 📆

Winners are proactive with engaging their stakeholders

Example: A proactive recruiter might regularly check in with hiring managers to understand their upcoming staffing needs, even before job openings are officially posted. They might also engage with passive candidates, building relationships over time, so that when the right opportunity arises, the candidate is already interested and engaged.

2. Winners take the time to understand macro and micro market movements

This is particularly important in the industries they serve. All it takes is 20 minutes of daily disciplined reading to keep up to date, but you’ll be surprised how many don’t take the time to do this. As professionals, keeping abreast of the latest trends and developments means you can make informed decisions. 📰

Example: A recruiter in the tech industry would not only understand global tech trends (macro level) but would also know which programming languages are gaining traction, which ones are losing popularity, and what specific skills are in high demand (micro level). This allows them to source candidates with the right skills and advise candidates on skill development.

Winners take the time to understand macro and micro market movements

3. Winners don’t take deals for granted

Every deal, big or small, is worked with a degree of precision. At every step of the way, be prepared for things to derail. Sometimes it’s out of your control, but whatever is within your purview, winners take charge and ensure every stakeholder is motivated to work towards the common goal.

Deals that don’t work out are politely closed off, not abandoned. Personal networks are important, and you’d be surprised at how many times a seemingly dead contact resurfaced years later to do business. 💹

Example: Even after a candidate accepts an offer, a winning recruiter continues to provide support, answering questions, and addressing any concerns the candidate might have. This reduces the likelihood of the candidate entertaining counteroffers from other companies.

4. Winners know their weekly, monthly and quarterly targets like the back of their hand

Successful recruiters and sourcers understand that it’s all a numbers game for their roles. Hitting the minimum target isn’t acceptable to the winners — they calculate and recalculate their potential revenue and are very data driven. 🎯

Example: If a recruiter has a monthly target of filling 10 positions, they know exactly how many positions they need to fill by the end of each week to stay on track. If they notice they’re behind, they can increase their outreach efforts or refine their candidate selection criteria.

5. Winners take the time to celebrate wins but also reflect clearly on lost deals

It’s easy to get lost in the daily grind and not take stock of achievements and wins. No one can rule the industry, so be proud of executive and high-profile hires, especially when competition with tight.

Winners take the time to celebrate wins but also reflect clearly on lost deals

When you’re on a good run, it can be a good opportunity to snag an industry award. The legit ones elevate your company (and personal) brand and it’s something that you can take with you where you go. 💡

Example: After losing out on a candidate to a competitor, a recruiter might reflect on the factors that led to the loss. Did the candidate cite a specific reason for declining the offer? Was there a misalignment between the candidate’s expectations and what the company could offer? These insights can lead to adjustments in the recruiting approach.

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