How to Become a Superstar Recruiter

Networks can be built, systems can be learned, information can be memorized, and anyone can print “Recruiter” on a business card. But superstar recruiters are made of more than facts and LinkedIn profiles. Here are three qualities that set great recruiters apart.


Superstar recruiters can read people. They look beyond basic profiles, resumes, and job descriptions and work to facilitate quality business-candidate matches. Beginning with a company’s job opening, recruiters look at the culture of a company and the heart of the position advertised. Multiple candidates – who may appear identically qualified on paper – can then be understood by a perceptive recruiter to be a fit (or not) for the opening.

Perception is similarly useful when working with passive candidates. Recruiters have to be able to see the potential behind the “passive” label.

Active candidates and companies may both include in resumes or job descriptions, respectively, an extensive list of necessary components for a job or employee. Perceptive recruiters will dig beneath the surface-level paperwork and get at the real priorities driving each party. They will be able to detect when companies are fishing for a unicorn candidate or when candidates are being unrealistically choosy in their search for a dream job.

The perceptive recruiter is also valued for his or her ability to walk gracefully through any sticky business situations or problems that come up during the hiring process. You know a recruiter is a superstar when he or she uses his or her skills at observing and reading people and circumstances to communicate carefully and wisely at all times.


A superstar recruiter does not have a long history of angry, discontent businesses and candidates.  Novice recruiters can fall into the trap of promising more than is possible to deliver, or of letting greed force them into ethically-questionable positions. But not the superstar recruiter. He or she will be honest and upfront with both businesses and candidates about cost, timelines, availability, and reasonable expectations.

Great recruiters honestly care about people.  They are salesmen without being salesmen, knowing how to sell a position to a candidate without mistreating business or candidate for their own gain.  Recruiters are good at their job because they have a genuine interest in people; they are honestly concerned with helping businesses and candidates find one another. Oftentimes you will find a superstar recruiter “recruiting” in everyday, out-of-office life, enjoying the “work” of meeting, remembering, and making connections with people.  


Great recruiters don’t need companies pressuring them to ensure they are giving full effort to locating talent; they will represent a company well, working diligently to sell open positions to qualified candidates. This self-motivation also makes them excellent problem solvers, responding to roadblocks with determination and creativity.
Recruiting is constantly changing, meaning a great recruiter has to be self-motivated enough to stay on top of new trends and technologies in the field. Getting behind in training can quickly render a recruiter useless. Superstar recruiters are disciplined, always ready to put new skills and technology to use for their companies.

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