Recruiter working to master new skills

Recruiting 101: The Fundamental Skills Every Recruiter Must Master

No two days are the same in a recruiter’s life, and a typical work week might involve giving a presentation, researching online, reviewing applications, testing new software, interviewing candidates, talking to hiring authorities and more.

Doing all of the above takes skills. In this blog post, we’ll highlight the top four abilities experts consider to be essential for a successful career in recruiting.

Must-Have Soft Skills for Recruiters

1. Emotional Intelligence

One of the biggest challenges of recruiting is having to deal with people on different sides of the hiring process and their frequent changes of plans, opinions and priorities.

A hiring manager might decide not to move forward with a hire after you’ve put in hours of work, and the perfect candidate might turn down your job offer after leading you on for weeks.

To handle frustration and disappointment gracefully, it helps to develop emotional intelligence. Becoming more emotionally intelligent will make you better at assessing and regulating your emotions. As a bonus, it will make you better apt at identifying it in candidates, too, which will only increase your quality of hire.

2. Time Management and Planning

It’s no surprise that recruiters feel like they don’t have enough hours in the day: hiring is incredibly time-consuming. To hire one person, a recruiter can spend as many as 23 hours just screening resumes.

Without a plan, it’s impossible to get all the work done, so expert recruiters learn to not let busywork get in the way of work that actually leads to hires. Essentially, they learn to manage their time and to plan ahead.

If you’re just starting out, consider becoming familiar with some basic productivity tricks.

We also recommend learning to use technology to your advantage – start by checking out these 9 recruitment tools for increasing productivity.

3. The Ability to Overcome Objections

What do you do if you’re trying to sell your services to a hiring authority and they tell you they’re not interested? Do you thank them for their time and hang up? If so, it’s time to change your mindset and work on your sales techniques.

Recruiters hear objections all the time. Hiring authorities tell them that they don’t need them, or that they’re busy, or that they can’t afford to pay the salaries requested by candidates the recruiter brings in. 

Candidates tell them they’d rather submit their resumes directly, or ask for the job specs and say they’ll have a look and call back if interested, or say they want to negotiate their own salaries, or complain that they were treated poorly last time they applied for a job.

Good recruiters don’t see these objections as definite no’s. They see them as requests for more information.

If you want to be a successful recruiter, you’ll need to learn to expect objections and to use them as starting points for productive conversations.

The best salespeople are experts at this – and recruiters are specific types of salespeople – so learn as much about selling as you can.

Bonus: One Must-Have Technical Skill

4. Online and Social Media Recruiting

The best recruiters don’t wait for applications to come in or settle for candidates on job boards. 

They use creative recruitment sourcing strategies to go where their target candidates are. They identify and connect with the influencers there. They provide value through frequent, helpful posting. They are tech-savvy and use social media in their favor

Want to join the best in recruiting and hiring? Learn about big data, become an expert on social media, explore using technology to improve the candidate experience. And make it easy for candidates and clients to connect with you online, especially via their mobile devices.


Although there are plenty more skills that make up great recruiters, the ones we listed should set you off to a great start. Pick the one you most need to improve on and commit to working on that!

Let us know what you think are must-have skills for recruiters at @TextExpander and on Facebook.