32 Habits of Highly Successful Recruiters


Recruiting (from sourcing to hire) can be an arduous process. Whether you use spreadsheets, software, or your calendar, most successful recruiters and talent acquisition professionals have at least one habit that keeps them on track. We reached out to some of the top talent in our industry to find out what habit makes them great at their jobs and got some brilliant responses.

Read on:

“I read people—not resumes!” - Randy S. Strauss, Managing Partner, StraussGroup, Inc.

“The main habit we strive for is continued engagement. From the first time a candidate submits an application through their first day as an Opcitizen, every step of the way we strive to make them feel like a part of our team. An engaged prospect is more valuable than five prospects that will fizzle out within the first 90 days.” - Stace Hauk, Head of People Operations, Opcity, Inc.

“My successful habit is taking the time to really get to know my candidate. I feel that is the most important thing in this business. Your candidate is your business and you can never go wrong in building a great relationship with your candidate.” - Nonye Connor, Recruiter/Owner, Platinum Allied Health Recruiting and Staffing LLC

“I always check our ATS first when sourcing to fill a new job opening and invite qualified job seekers who have already shown a recent interest in the job.” - Anthony Distefano, Recruiter, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

“Treat every candidate how I would want to be treated in a job search.” - Tim Weston, Recruiter, Riverside Healthcare

“Every day, I carve out a minimum of two hours to cold call. Pick up the phone and cold call. Some days meetings and emails etc. tend to take up the day, but I ensure I keep the fresh networking and cold calling a priority. Picking up the phone is the habit to ensure success.” - Julie Hankins, Recruitment Lead, Capgemini Americas

“Empathy for candidates and clients- put yourself in their shoes, understand their desires and the issues they are facing.” - Michael Ginsberg, Healthcare Recruiter/Sourcer, Duke University Health System

“If it takes longer after I have submitted the candidate's profile to the client, I keep them warm/updated. If the candidate isn't selected then I relay feedback via a call (followed up by an email if he/she is unable to answer the call). Furthermore, I try to find a new opportunity for the candidate that matches his/her preference.” - Deepika Mamgain, Business Development/Client Relationship Manager, Axiom Global Technologies

“People skills: Ability to disarm a total stranger, who is defensive upon receiving a call from a recruiter, to connect on more personal level.” - Raj Singh, Vice President, Axiom Global Technologies

“Always give feedback to the candidate.” - Tania Maranon, Senior Recruiter, Ericsson

“If I talk with a candidate that isn't a fit for what we are looking for, I always think about how we might be able to use their talents in a different capacity to grow our business. It's important to keep an honest portrayal of the role and company to be sure a candidate is a culture/personality fit. You can train someone with the right attitude and motivation!” - Celeste Voss, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Bolton & Menk, Inc.

“Look beyond the resume. Candidates don't always use the keywords I'm looking for.” - Jim Wahl, Talent Acquisition Partner, Remington Hotels

“Like an honest sales person, I listen to candidates and find a way to get on their level so they know I am looking out for not just the company's interest but theirs as well. I show them that I can relate to them so they are comfortable in talking to me and not too nervous or intimidated. When they know I care and ask questions to see if they will be a good fit, it helps get to know them better so we both can make the best decision about the position.” - Gloria Young, Recruiter, Cellular Sales

“I transcribe all of my phone screens into my calendar during the time period that I have blocked off for the call. If I ever question what a candidate told me about salary during our first call, I filter my calendar by the candidate's name.” - Teri Barroso, Manager Corporate Recruiting, Interactions Corporation

“I'm very modest. Some people say too modest. I don't tell people that I've got a great role when I don't know if it's something that will appeal to them.” - Recruiting Animal, Recruiter and Host of The Recruiting Animal Show

“Focus on planting seeds; bring value and opportunities that candidates want whether now or two years from now. If you do that, the money will follow.” - Darwin Shurig, President, Shurig Solutions, Inc.

“Following through with my commitments. If I say I'm going to do something, I make it a point to follow through with that, regardless of the circumstances. If I tell a client I'll call them at a certain time with an update, I will, even if I don't have an update or nothing has changed since the last time we spoke. Same goes for my candidates. They know they can count on me.” - Jennifer Warriach, Recruitment Operations Manager, Outsource

“Punctuality and timeliness are the most important aspects when you are working in client-centric environment. Be social but disciplined. Don't chase anyone, chase yourself to reach the top. Be influential and humble. Don't be too optimistic and be diplomatic in your conversation.” - Vivek Dhamecha, IT Technical Recruiter, Collabera

“Personalize every candidate outreach. If you don't have time, wait until you do. Describe what's cool about a job as you would describe a new toy to a kid.” - Peter Mazur, Cloud Sourcer

“Consistency. As difficult as it is for people of our generation, routine is the most important thing in this business. Over and over and over and over the phone calls, the planning and the rejection!” - Pat Capanna, President, Management Recruiters of Madison

“I listen...you learn the most when you are not speaking!” - Christi Amend, Owner/Senior Full Lifecycle Recruiter, Independent Staffing Services, LLC

“Work with clients that respect you and your time. You can’t make a career working with clients who waste your time…” - Rich Rosen, Managing Partner: Executive and Sales Recruiting, Cornerstone Search Associates

“Change things up to keep your recruiting postings fresh.” - Maribeth Roberts, HR Manager, Everman

“Plan your work and work your plan. Each morning I plan what I need to do that day and I then work through each task. Now the plan always has room to add or modify as needed, but having that initial framework helps each day be successful.” - Joshua Morris, VP of Recruiting & Executive Search, Virtuoso Recruiting

“Relationship building!! My habits are not just about our company's hiring needs for today, but building the relationship for the future as well.” - Sheri Rogers, Recruiter, Brighton Collectibles

“Always take the time to find out what's most important to your candidate. Is it title, salary, stock, what they get to work on, flexible hours, remote work (partial or full), commute, work/life balance? That insight is what has helped me close almost 100% of my offers.” - Linda Sizelove, Senior Recruiting Consultant, IQ Talent Partners, LLC

“Discipline in the planning and execution for your entire day, week and month. Set a plan and execute it.” - Mark Hyman, Managing Partner, Verge Management Group

“Understand the technical aspect of the requirement. Focus. Provide a mobile contact number and return every call and message. Have a backup to your backup and never stop recruiting.” - Wayne Howell, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist, Optima Global Solutions

“Planning my day by setting my top six priorities and blocking time on my calendar to get them done.” - Dane Reese, CEO, SourceMatch

“Pick up the phone every day.” - Jim Chadbourne, Managing Partner, Global Executive Solutions Group

“Listen! A successful recruiter asks open ended questions and LISTENS to the response. Too many fall into the bad habit of talking and selling without really understanding what the applicant is looking for. Take time to hear what the applicant is telling you and let them know how your company fits (or in some cases does not fit) their needs.” - Randy Scheel, Director of Sales, Hightower Advertising Agency

“Follow-up and communication. If you say it, do it.” - Phil Valdez, Corporate Recruiter, Abacus Solutions Group

We hope you’re inspired! Have a habit that really works well for you? Share it below in the comments!

Topics: Recruiting Strategies

Updated June 25, 2020