What skills do you need to be a great recruiter?

What skills do you need to be a great recruiter?

Danielle Johnson, Senior Talent Acquisition Consultant - Gattaca

So Recruitment. You’ve probably all heard of it, but what is it? Recruitment is fun, rewarding and challenging. As a Recruitment Consultant, you act as an intermediary between your clients and candidates, helping the client find the best talent and job hunters find new opportunities. As well as this, recruitment gives you the opportunity to show your entrepreneurial skills, developing new business opportunities with your industry’s top businesses. 

Working as an Internal Recruiter at Gattaca, it is my responsibility to find and hire the recruiters who work for our specialist brands. Over the last three years, I have seen people from all walks of life join our business. Recruiters can come from anywhere in the world, have any background and join the industry for a whole host of reasons. Despite these differences, the most successful recruitment consultants share some common skills and traits that help them thrive in this fast-paced industry:

Good communication 

Conversation is the backbone of what makes this industry work. Recruitment is a people led industry; relationships come from engaging with others. Whether that be over the phone, in person or on LinkedIn, being a good communicator is key to unlocking a positive working relationship with clients and candidates.

Active listening

An essential part of good communication is listening. There are lots of recruiters out there who can talk the talk but the best are those who actively listen. They ask good questions and actively listen to the response to find out what clients and candidates are actually looking for. Not only does it maximise your efficiency, but demonstrating your interest in what clients and candidates have to say helps build rapport. 


Recruitment can be a rollercoaster ride with a mix of real highs and some lows when things don’t go the way you expected. You may have found the perfect candidate, but the client decides for some reason that they are not quite right, or a great candidate may reject the position you have found for them. There are some factors that are out of your control, so accepting that setbacks can happen will help you move on and refocus on the task in hand. If you are resilient and able to not take the lows personally, you can thrive in a recruitment career.


While you have to be resilient to pick yourself up when things don’t go quite right, your tenacity and perseverance is what will get you back on the phone. Keep yourself motivated with an eye on your goals and you will be able to persevere through any setbacks you may encounter. If you are tenacious, at some point your perseverance will pay off and you will soon be able to reap the rewards.

Efficient organisation

Keeping track of candidates, clients, meetings, interviews and calls can be an impossible task if you don’t keep yourself organised. Whether ‘to-do’ lists are your thing or you prefer using the latest online productivity tools, maximising your time and keeping organised are both crucial for keeping on top of what’s going on.


The list of skills and attributes to be a successful recruiter aren’t limited to those above, but having a good grasp of these five skills is the foundation for building a fruitful recruitment career. If you think you’ve got what it takes to be successful in recruitment, then Gattaca could be the perfect place for you to start your career. Take a look at our latest vacancies.

If you've got the skills but are unsure if recruitment is the  right career for you, read '7 reasons to choose a career in recruitment'.

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