Described by management consultants as “the war for talent,” recruiting catches some heat as a high-stress, cutthroat profession. Stats don’t paint the rosiest picture, either: according to the American Staffing Association, for example, staffing employee turnover in 2016 was 352% (which is down slightly from 383% in 2015).
After 12-plus years in the recruiting industry, I have a very different perspective: I still absolutely love what I do, and I strongly believe that you need to work with a recruiter who is passionate about his or her job, too.
I love that my world has been opened up to so many people and companies; they bring an outside perspective I might not otherwise have. On the team I manage in Washington, DC, we take a lot of care in our work. It’s not just about the money. It’s about relationships. We have an extra level of passion and understanding; we truly care about our clients and candidates. After the birth of my baby, the first person I called after family to announce the news was a job candidate.
Sometimes I’ll meet a recruiter who can do the work but doesn’t love it. Their heart isn’t in it, and that has to affect the quality and care they put into their work. My team and I love to make those ‘How’s it going?’ calls. We are constantly learning and developing in our roles. I’m not perfect, but I’m willing to have the tough conversations.
As North America’s premier executive search firm, Lucas Group knows the importance of finding and keeping recruiters who fit with our positive, high-performing culture. Hiring and developing the right people is crucial, so we’ve created a process that focuses on the key attributes we value in our employees. We have identified eight key qualities for recruiters (see below), three of which I believe are essential to thrive in this line of work:
- Coachable – want to learn
- Community – care about others, including one’s team
- Competitive – want to win
Lucas Group specializes in many industries: Accounting, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Legal, Manufacturing, Marketing, Military Transition and Sales. I thoroughly enjoy my role and industry; I love recruiting for human resources. My team supports all other teams, and relationships are at the heart of everything we do.
How can you tell if a recruiter loves their job?
Ask them. It’s not just about tenure. The best recruiters are people who are curious and interested in the relationship piece of the work. Whether you’re on the client or candidate side, I encourage you to work with someone who truly loves what they do.
8 Characteristics of Success
Starbucks wakes us up with fresh-brewed coffee, Procter and Gamble keeps us squeaky clean, and FedEx delivers our packages. Lucas Group is known for a different sort of product: its people.
After examining our internal brand and gathering extensive input from every leader in the company, we have identified eight qualities of paramount importance for our human capital. We seek, nurture and reward these 8 Characteristics of Success (the first three of which I believe are the most essential for any recruiter):
Connector: Enjoys and is skilled at designing, establishing and cultivating reciprocal and beneficial relationships. At Lucas Group, we take pride in our position of ‘catalyst’ and our central role as the bridge between clients and candidates.
Coachable: Genuine willingness to be taught and to act upon that guidance. At Lucas Group, we are prepared to handle missteps while being motivated to learn and do better.
Competitive: Strives to deliver winning performances and is resilient after setback. At Lucas Group, we work to win, rebound when we lose and thrive on healthy competition.
Communicator: Demonstrates effective, clear and consistent oral, written and in-person communication skills. At Lucas Group, we listen, we learn, we write and we speak with purpose and professionalism.
Conscientious: Possesses the “it” factor of efficiency, neatness, organization and being systematic in actions. At Lucas Group, we adhere to an unbending commitment to excellence and are diligent and relentless in our actions.
Confident: Recognized blend of feeling and demonstrating self-assuredness. At Lucas Group, we pick up the phone, fearlessly call, sway others to act and drive desired results with poise and conviction.
Compelling: Generates strong interest, capable of holding attention and proficient at persuading others to act/believe. At Lucas Group, we display optimism, enthusiasm, empathy and an unpretentious self confidence that draws others to us.
Community: Exhibits desire and drive for something bigger than one’s self. At Lucas Group, we share a purpose and we identify ourselves as working individually and together toward a common goal.