One day you decide, I think it might be neat to be a headhunter (aka: executive recruiter, not tribal person who lops off heads, though that might be neat too.) You need to ask yourself, Do I really know what that entails? Below I’ll detail what it takes, and you can determine if you have it.
As a recruiter, you’ll encounter a lot of obstacles, as well as people’s predisposition to make like Nancy Reagan and just say “No.” You mustn’t let this bother you. Headhunting is a great profession. You help people (both companies and candidates), influence decision makers, and solve problems. It’s easy, but it’s hard to do.
You must plug away, make calls, talk to people and network, network, network. it has become increasingly hard to “find” people with the right skill sets and correct level of seriousness. As I was told over three decades ago, “You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince.”
To be successful, you need too be able to put yourself in the candidates shoes and treat them as you’d want to be treated. It’s important to understand the difference between empathy and sympathy. Empathy means you can understand where they are coming from, sympathy means you just feel sorry for them.
In recruiting, you cannot be afraid to confront people, either candidates or employers. You need to be able to hold people accountable for commitments made and not be afraid of letting them know it.
5) Focus and Intensity
Shear determination is paramount for a recruiter. It’s very hard to stay focused when making call after call and getting the dreaded “I don’t know anyone” over and over again. You know the finish line, and you can’t let the obstacles deter you.
A headhunter must be creative in sourcing calls and making them. This is a problem solving business that requires you to be ablt to think outside the box. Many times the candidates may not be in the obvious places.
7) Listening Skills
Successful recruiters must be excellent listeners. Talking is good, but problem solving can only be accomplished through listening.
This is a sales position. We have put many deals together over the years with clients that on the surface did not want to interview our candidates based on their resume. We would point out why they could do the job and the benefits of intervening It is a great feeling when you place a candidate that a company missed interviewing.
Not the End
There are countless other skill sets that help determine if you have what it takes to be a successful executive recruiter in Pittsburgh or elsewhere. But if you can bring these eight skills to the dance, you’ll have a better than average chance for success. To be successful, you need to have fun, pick up the phone, and as we said in the good ol’ days, smile and dial!