6 Characteristics of a Successful Recruiter

These 6 characteristics of a successful recruiter are must-have traits if you want to excel in the recruiting industry. Whether you are kickstarting your career in recruiting, or you are an experienced recruiting professional, this article will help you sharpen your recruiting superpowers!


What does it mean to be a successful recruiter? 

Research has proven that today's labor market is completely candidate-driven.


Consequently, finding and hiring ideal job candidates, especially those with in-demand skills, has become an extremely hard, expensive and time-consuming endeavor.

As the "War for talent" is getting more and more intense, recruiters are faced with new challenges.

In today’s blog, I will provide answers to following questions:

👉 What does it mean to be a successful recruiter in today’s highly-competitive environment?

👉 Which characteristics and skills can help you tackle down recruiting challenges and help you get ahead of the talent game?

What are the characteristics of a successful recruiter?

First and foremost, you need to have the passion for this job and industry.

Second, you need to have the will to succeed, work hard and keep learning.

Got it? Great! 🙂
We can move on then.  

Finally, you need to have certain winning characteristics.

There are certain personal characteristics that separate the best recruiters from all the rest.

Let's take a look at 6 most significant characteristics of a successful recruiter.

Successful recruiters think proactively

Gone is the time when you could post your job opening on a job board and wait for a great candidate to come to you.
Because only active job seekers visit job boards. 

The war for talent is raging on, so the best job candidates are passive job seekers. These passive job seekers are candidates who aren't actively looking for a new job but would be willing to accept a better offer.

Successful recruiters know that 73% of candidates are passive job seekers who are not actively looking for new job opportunities. 


Successful recruiters know it is up to them to go out there and proactively source and attract candidates.

Successful recruiters are talent sourcing pros, and they use inbound instead of outbound recruiting strategies to attract passive candidates and build their talent pools.

Successful recruiters don’t wait for new positions to open to start recruiting. They constantly build pools with great talent, they engage with talent, and they rarely find themselves in crisis.

Successful recruiters have empathy

Emotionally intelligent and emphatic recruiters are more successful because they are able to put themselves in the shoes of their candidates. And walk a mile.

They want to know their candidate's wants and needs, hopes and fears and to understand what they are looking for from employers.
Why is this important?

First, when you know what really motivates your candidates, you can use that knowledge to attract them. You can turn your company’s employee value proposition (EVP) into a real magnet for attracting candidates.

Second, getting to know your candidates on a deeper level can help you build and maintain relationships not only with current but also past and potential future candidates.  You will excel at candidate relationship management and build better talent pools. 

 Finally, you can encourage candidate engagement and significantly improve the candidate experience.  


Successful recruiters are tech savvy

Successful recruiters know that the time of managing recruiting processes using spreadsheets, documents and post-its is long gone.

Today’s technology offers a great variety of different recruiting software which can automate, streamline and improve different stages of your recruiting process.

There are modern HR tools that offer all-in-one solution for finding, attracting, engaging, nurturing and converting candidates into job applicants.

Successful recruiters have adopted these tools, and this gives them a huge competitive advantage in the war for talent.


Before getting a recruiting tool, you should first identify your recruiting goals and challenges.

This way, you will be able to better understand if you need solutions offered by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) or solutions offered by Recruitment Marketing Software.

Successful recruiters engage others

Successful recruiters aren't solo players. They know they will have better results if they engage and motivate others to help them find and attract the best candidates.

That is why they extensively use social recruiting and employee referrals.

Successful recruiters are well aware of the power that social media networks hold, and they are quick to utilize it. They understand the power of utilizing employee's social media networks to increase the visibility of job openings and to increase company's employer brand awareness. 

Successful recruiters also rely heavily on employee referrals. They know that setting up a structured employee referral program is their best bet for finding and hiring the ideal job candidate and improving the most important hiring metrics such as time and cost per hire, quality of hire and employee retention. 


Successful recruiters have analytical minds

Successful recruiters aren't afraid of numbers.
They are ready to roll up their sleeves and dive deep into data in order improve their recruitment practices.  

They use data from their recruiting software and analyze it to get insights which can help them make better and more informed recruiting decisions.

By tracking and reviewing the most important recruiting metrics, such as time to hire, cost to hire and quality of hire, they get a clear and precise, data-backed evaluation of their recruiting efforts.


Based on insights that they get form data, successful recruiters can adjust their recruiting strategies to improve their ROI.

For example, using data-driven approach, recruiters can find out where the best job candidates are coming from - is it an online job board, your career site, on social networks, referrals etc.

That way, recruiters can save their time and money by investing in the channels that bring them best results.

Successful recruiters are creative

In the “War for talent”, successful recruiters use innovative recruiting strategies to differentiate their company from competitors and attract talent.

Successful recruiters are experts in Recruitment Marketing. They use marketing tactics that help them attract top talent.

The main goal of Recruitment Marketing is to drive talent to apply for the open positions. In other words, it makes talent come to you.


In order to achieve this goal, successful recruiters develop inventive Employer Branding strategies to build a picture of a desirable employer.

Another important method for attracting top talent is Inbound Recruiting. Inbound Recruiting is a method of creating targeted, branded content to attract and engage talent.

This content needs to be informative and useful for talented professionals you want to attract. It can come in different forms, such as company’s career blog, team blogging about interesting projects, employer branding videos, interesting social media posts, employee stories and career advice.

Possibilities are endless for creative recruiters!
If you’re looking for some inspiration and best practice examples, check out these great Employer Branding ideas.

Are you a successful recruiter?

That is it from us. 🙂

Now back to you:

Coming up with a perfect recipe for recruiting is hard, but with these characteristics, you can get very close to it!
Do you agree? If you think we missed out on something, feel free to comment below.

Need more ideas?

⏲️ If you are in a hurry and you have 2 minutes only, jump right into our short, but funny and insightful blog to learn additional tactics for becoming a more successful recruiter. 💪

📚 If you are looking for a great read to add to your reading list, check out our collection of 12 guides for Human Resources (HR) professionals. These guides will help you learn about new and innovative recruiting methods and stay up to date with the best practices in recruiting. 🤓

Also, don't forget to sign-up to get 20 recruiting tips (one a day) directly to your inbox!

Want to become a more successful recruiter?
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