ManWritingRecruitmentWhat makes a recruiter effective? It’s a good question to ask yourself whether you are a hiring manager or a job seeker. Knowing what to look for is a key step in identifying the right recruiter to work with. Here’s a short list to help you on the search before the search.

1. Real World Experience:

Most highly effective recruiters did not start their careers in search or recruitment. Instead, they worked in other fields for several years before they moved into executive search. The best recruiters have an innate and intimate understanding of the needs of their clients. And they acquired that understanding by working as employees, managers and leaders. Look for a recruiter or search team that has real world business experience in your industry or one related to your industry. Someone who has walked a few miles in your shoes is much more likely to understand your needs.

2. Relationship-Oriented:

Recruiters are hired to find candidates to fill a position. For many recruiters, that’s the sum total of their job description. Highly effective recruiters always look beyond that. They think in terms of a relationship, both with their clients and with job seekers. For clients, that means they invest the extra time and energy to get to know more than just your immediate hiring needs. They develop a deep understanding of your corporate culture and values. And they identify the unique blend of behaviors and attitudes that lead to success within you company. For job seekers, that means the recruiter takes the extra time to understand what your current career goals are and what opportunities you are interested in. While that job seeker may not be right for the recruiter’s current set of opportunities that extra knowledge will provide additional insights into identifying a future opportunity that is.

3. Responsive:

This one is pretty simple but you would be surprised how often it is overlooked. Executive search and recruitment is a people- and service-oriented business. Follow through is critical in keeping clients and job seekers informed and up to date on developments. Recruiters can get very busy. Highly effective recruiters never let that get in the way of communication and they will use all the available tools at their disposal—in-person, office phone, mobile phone, email, text—to ensure that all parties are in the know. Whether you are a hiring manager or a job seeker, if you are currently working with a recruiter who is not responsive, your best bet may be to find someone who is.

4. Resourceful:

Highly effective recruiters are tenacious and resourceful. They are constantly mining their professional networks to identify opportunities and maintain relationships with hiring managers and potential candidates. Your average recruiter responds to existing needs. The best recruiters take a more proactive stance and use all of their tools at their disposal make new connections and identify new opportunities. Social media represents a significant opportunity to create and build new professional networks and effective recruiters know this and use it to their advantage. Networking events, personal contacts, conferences and professional associations all represent additional networking opportunities. Ask a potential recruiter what he or she does to sustain and build their professional network. A high level of activity in this area is a good indication that the recruiter will have the ability to connect you with the right opportunity.

There are more aspects to highly effective executive search and recruitment, but the key attributes outlined above represent the Must Haves. Don’t settle for anything less!