Top 5 Qualities of a High Performing Recruiter

By Megan McQuade On August 10, 2018

You may be a recruiter or hiring manager. It's possible that you're simply curious about this topic... Or maybe, you're looking for some serious inspiration to level up your hiring strategy. Don't worry, we've got you covered! Below, you will find the top 5 qualities of a high performing recruiter - regardless of your industry. 

High Performing Recruiter Cover Photo

Top 5 Qualities of a High Performing Recruiter

Seemless Communication

Untitled design (43)Shocker! Right?! Communication skills are critical in the recruiting function. And by communication skills, we are referring to more than one mode of communication. High performing recruiters work with many different hiring managers and several different candidates at any given time. These individuals are all unique and often very different. Recruiters must communicate with them all. Some prefer text, others prefer email, many like speaking on the phone, and others are face-to-face communicators.

At TruPath, we cater to our hiring managers' needs and communication preferences. However, we do ask that communication is a priority. One of the fastest ways to lose a candidate is poor communication. Additionally, we partner with candidates and cater to their preferences. However, we speak to every candidate on the phone and meet every candidate face-to-face - no exceptions! Technology allows us to do this at anytime, anywhere.

If you are wondering which types of communication are important, we list three below:

  1. Professional - being respectful and curtious; treating others as you want to be treated.
  2. Honest - being direct. Recruiting is not about sugar-coating. That doesn't do anyone any good!
  3. Prompt - responding as soon as possible to avoid leaving someone else hanging. No news is not good news! No news is poor communication.

Constant Relationship Building

Untitled design (44)-1Recruiting is NOT transactional! High performing recruiters build relationships with their hiring managers and candidates. If they don't, how in the world do they know what is important to these individuals? How do they openly and honestly communicate? How do they set each other up for success?

At TruPath, we build relationships with hiring managers/clients by learning about their organization, its values, the struggles, and their specific needs. This is of utmost importance if we are going to help them fill an open role in their organization. Then, we move to the role and the desired traits and skills of candidates.

When speaking to candidates, we get to know them before ever discussing an opportunity. Don't encourage people to tailor themselves to a job posting. Encourage them to dig deep and consider what they really want to do!

Below are three tips for building relationships:

  1. Ask open-ended questions - encourage dialogue. Conversations should NOT be one-sided.
  2. Be genuine - no question is too big, too small or too silly. If you are unsure, ask! People love to explain and talk about themselves, their passions, and their organizations.
  3. Follow-up - follow through on your commitments. Not doing so will quickly derail a new relationship.

Endless Curiosity 

Untitled design (42)Recruiters are in the business of PEOPLE. We can speculate, judge and assume all we want, but we don't actually know until we ask! High performing recruiters ask questions often - about roles, to hiring managers, and especially to get-to-know candidates. Think of a recruiter as a detective trying to solve a mystery. If a recruiter isn't curious, he or she isn't doing the job properly.

You've probably heard someone say, "I learn something new every day!" Can you relate? We challenge you to make that happen - not on accident but on purpose. At TruPath, one of our TruPrinciples is Growth and Learning Mindset. Personal and professional development is essential to any successful career. Fail forward until you succeed. Then, continue to learn and grow. Successful recruiters don't STOP once they have helped so many people or made so much money. They keep going!

If you struggle with curiosity, try these three tactics:

  1. Make a list of open-ended questions - practice these on hiring managers and candidates until they become habit.
  2. Where do you struggle in the business? Is there a particular role or department you don't feel confident recruiting for? Go sit side-by-side with experts and learn more about these areas.
  3. What skills would you like to develop? Would you like a certification, promotion, etc. Make a list and begin working towards these goals and aspirations. This might mean getting a mentor, taking classes or participating in Toast Masters.

Relentless Multi-tasking

Multi task RecruiterRecruiters are jugglers. At any point in time, there are SEVERAL balls in the air. If a recruiter is bored, that's a sign! Not a good one... High performing recruiters approach their days and weeks with a plan.

At TruPath, recruiters have monthly goals. They then create weekly and daily goals. While you don't have to have goals to be a great multi-tasker, goals encourage you to push harder and be more efficient with your time. For example, a recruiter wants to present 3 candidates at the end of the week. He or she should know that means reaching out to X number of people, phone screening X number of candidates, and in-person interviewing X qualified individuals. The pool is larger at the beginning, narrowing as the recruiter moves through the recruiting and hiring process. If a recruiter doesn't have a target (X) goal, candidate submittals may not materialize.

Below are three multi-tasking suggestions:

  1. Use your calendar to schedule/block time. Of course emergencies pop up and take priority, but stick to your scheduled times as closely as possible to ensure tasks are being completed. Activity breeds results. Without the activity, results fall short
  2. Write it down - if it enters your mind, capture it! Often, we intend to do something but get distracted by something else. Create a method of which to follow up - notepad, reminder alerts, task list, etc.
  3. Reflection - give yourself time to reflect on your week. High performing recruiters are always looking for ways to optimize, tweak and adjust. What went well this week? Where did you run in challenges? How might you overcome these opportunties next week?

Feedback Centric

Feedback PicRecruiters deliver more bad news than the average person. Think about it... they are telling individuals they did not get the job much more often then the opposite. There is generally one opening and multiple qualified candidates. And, just because a recruiter feels a candidate is a great fit, doesn't mean the hiring manager will feel the same way.

High performing recruiters lean into feedback. They don't shy away from it or avoid it. Why? Feedback is a key to success. The recruiters at TruPath look forward to feedback from hiring managers. It tells them if they're hitting the mark or need to tweak their search parameters. A first candidate submittal is always somewhat of a test. Feedback is exciting!

In regard to candidates, delivering bad news is never fun. But, it gives the candidate an opportunity to reflect and puts that person back into the recruiter's pool for another position. Furthermore, feedback from recently placed candidates tells recruiters volumes about the company and potential future hiring needs.

Three keys to feedback are listed below:

  1. Ask for it often - ask your leader, hiring managers and candidates for feedback.
  2. Give it often - give others the courtesy of being open and honest.
  3. Be grateful - always thank the person providing you feedback. Reflect on it and implement where you see fit. Not all feedback will be relevant or actionable.

We hope this gives you insight into the minds of high performing recruiters. Are you looking for more recruiting tips and tricks? Download our FREE eBook on this topic below.

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As a trusted recruitment source for more than 15 years, recruiters at TruPath have a customizable process that helps our partners feel comfortable in their search for a candidate.