As the Manager, Recruitment Solutions here at Harmony Healthcare and a 14-year veteran of the staffing industry, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with many great recruiters. There are certain traits, processes, and personalities that separate them from their peers.

Although everyone operates differently, here are 4 things I have observed those elite recruiters have in common:

#1: Knack for establishing relationships

Whether you’re sourcing someone who is actively looking for an opportunity or you’re pursuing passive candidates, the relationship you establish with a candidate is key. This relationship starts with the initial call, email, or text. Make it personable and about the consultant.

Top recruiters know it’s crucial to find out what candidates are currently looking for as well as what their future goals are. A simple copy and paste on each email does nothing to build trust; instead, it comes off as lazy and disingenuous. Hone your recruiting skills by reviewing how you structure your emails. Gear them towards each candidate’s skillset to show you took the time to look at her/his background.

Ideally, you want your interactions to feel personal and unique at every stage of the recruiting process. Use your candidates’ names and mention details from past communications. This resonates with candidates, as it helps to show them you’re aren’t just going through the motions. 

#2: Skill to stay organized

A successful recruiter’s day can quickly become hectic. From phone calls to meetings to your own day-to-day tasks, it’s a good idea to flex your time management skills and stay on top of things. This means having a solid plan for how to organize your day. 


Maintain a calendar, plan your next day’s calls and follow-ups, and use a good tracking system for documentation. These tasks can help you stay organized and help you become more efficient in your recruiting efforts. One of the worst feelings as a recruiter is missing out on a placement because you were unorganized. Timing is imperative in the recruiting industry. 

#3: Ability to focus on the candidates

One thing that is not talked about enough in staffing is the candidate experience. Good candidates receive dozens of emails, calls, and texts from multiple recruiters almost on a daily basis. With so many options, they are able to pick and choose which companies they want representing them. What will make you stand out?

Treat each call as if your candidate is interviewing you as well. Show that you value them. Provide advice on as much as you can. This includes talking about industry trends, future changes, tailoring resumes, and interview preparation among other things. Each interaction is essential to solidifying a strong relationship, so make sure you focus on her/his needs and future goals. No one wants to feel like just another number.

#4: Commitment to keeping it honest 

When interacting with candidates, your communication must be clear and compelling. Let them know as much information on open positions as possible. This includes duration, systems used, productivity expectations, and even workplace culture. The last thing you want is someone feeling misled when accepting a position.

job interview feedback

When it comes to feedback, be honest and direct as well – even if the feedback is negative. It may not be what your candidate wants to hear, but she/he will respect you for being truthful. Inevitably, that is likely to compel her/him to work with you going forward. 

Looking ahead 

If you are a recruiter who has faced struggles, look at how you’re planning, tracking, and attacking your day. Think about how you approach each outreach beginning with your initial call. Having a plan can make all the difference in the world. The best recruiters I’ve worked with master the above practices and implement them daily.

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