Recruiters - Here's how to stand out from the competition by Alastair Shaw

The traits and approach that make a recruiter stand out from their peers and more importantly the competition.

Over my 13 years of working as a recruiter in both the Life Sciences and IT industries I’ve had many people ask me what makes a ‘Top Biller’; having seen many top billers in action I’m going to try and give you a bit of a cheat to the top.

Some of these things will come naturally, others you’ll need to work hard at.

If you take just one thing away from reading this blog it’s to know that no-one is born a Top Biller, every single one has worked hard, focused on areas of weakness and continues to learn off everyone. 

So what should be in your Top Biller Tool-kit…

  • Bouncebackability – Positivity is a massive factor; the ability to face no’s and keep on going with faith the next response could be a YES. Every single top biller has got as many no’s as you have, it’s how you react to the no’s that will determine how great you are in this job.
  • ATD (Attention to Detail) – No recruiter ever made it to the top from just being great at sales, they are also great at the detail; from knowing the latest market info on your top target clients to recognizing the current hot skill-set. This also goes for database detail, the most effective recruiters have lists and candidates at their finger-tips because their data is spot-on.
  • Do what you say you will – I cannot stress this enough, that when you say are going to do something for a candidate or a client DO IT. The second you don’t send that follow-up, job description or resumes over you lose ‘professional credit’, and that’s something you can’t get back when it comes to influencing that individual!
  • The Benefit of the Benefitthis is one of the first things I teach every new recruiter, if you want someone to do something they have to understand the benefit to THEM. Be obvious with this, the best recruiters are, because without it you will struggle to create urgency or fear of loss. 
  • Continual Learning - No top biller is sat there thinking they are the finished article, every single one continues to take things from everyone around them. No matter if it’s a rookie, peer or manager; if it’s an effective approach a top biller wants to know it.
  • Repeat, Repeat, Repeat – ok so here’s a secret, sure every day as a recruiter is different BUT those who are best are able to repeat a process thoroughly every single time, often daily. No short-cuts, no leaving early, no box left unticked. Absolute trust in the process and repeating it with every new candidate, job and client.
  • Controlling YOUR fear of loss – Have you ever thought about this? What’s your fear of loss doing through a placement process? Often recruiters can be so worried about losing a candidate that they fail to push and ask the right probing questions to actually close effectively! The way to conquer this with confidence; confidence in knowing you’ve followed process, found their need and pre-closed at EVERY stage. As a result for top billers the offer close is the easiest step.
  • Action, creates reaction, creates opportunity – so my final tip isn’t a surprising one but is probably the most important – ‘action, creates reaction, creates opportunity’. In a nutshell this means if you pick up the phone it gives you the chance to sell, influence, direct or take a step forwards in that relationship. You are creating a reaction from which opportunity comes. You simply cannot get this from an email or LinkedIn exchange.

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