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“Must have“ as Executive Recruiter

Author: Catherin Aulas, Altemis

After more than 15 years as an Executive Recruiter, looking for the rare gem for my clients, and often acting „like a firefighter“ solicited when the company has tried everything to find the ideal manager, I recently wondered why I like this job so much!

Because I’m always very excited about a new recruitment project, this challenge to look for a needle in a haystack. I feed on the history of my clients as company, its values, its culture. I need to understand who they are, what is the strategy behind the recruitment, what kind of profile do they expect, or do they dream?  Starting from a blank page, I ask to visit offices and production plants, to meet individually key decision makers involved in the process (CEO, HR, hiring manager…) to centralize plenty of information and to get the full picture of the skills expectations. My objective is to go out from the company, wearing its logo shirt as if I am an employee, and then, become a good ambassador.

Because I simply love people and discovering their professional journey!

I feed on the professional history of these people I meet. I like to detect what makes them unique in their professional journey which will correspond to my clients’ needs. I love to perceive the birth of interest, the spark in the eyes of these candidates who, initially passive, become, once the opportunity presented, truly receptive candidates.

They go from „tell me more“ jaded and flattered to have been approached by a headhunter to „yes, I want to meet with your client, present my profile!“ and who are already projecting themselves into a new professional challenge, and then, I become their best ally and friend!

After dozens and dozens of recruitments and a thousand anecdotes, this is what I learnt about the soft skills that you must have in mind as a Recruiter:

  • Listen and have a sincere interest in your interlocutor,
  • Be rigorous and consistent and analyze the information you receive objectively,
  • Be honest with the candidates and learn how to tell them “NO“

If you know that you are going to give a ’no‘ to a candidate, tell them why – transparency is essential. Don’t let them wait and hope for a positive response. Be in tune with your position as recruiter, candidates will be grateful for your frankness and will remain open to other opportunities that you may offer to them. Close the window, not the door!

  • Be kind, being a candidate is not a profession!

When we introduce ourselves, we say: I am Engineer, Sales Manager, Financial Controller, Managing Director…never, I am an applicant. Everyone has a great story to tell but not everyone knows how to tell it. Help the candidates you present to structure their speech and prepare them to meet your clients.

  • Be demanding!

Prefer quality than quantity even if it takes longer! Do not run after thousands of resumes, just find the right one. The important thing is not to present CANDIDATES to your clients but THE right candidate!

Finally, be proud of yourself. Looking for the 5-legged sheep is difficult and finding it brings immense satisfaction! You make 2 happy people, your client who will certainly become more efficient and your candidate who will start a new professional chapter thanks to a call, one day.  Educate your client and be considered as partner, not provider! The most powerful resource internally is your people.

Let your client understand that the first recruitment they must achieve is the one of their recruiter !

I recently read in an article:

“ In recruitment, the magic tool does not exist, the only tool that matters is your brain, never turn it off! “

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