Predicting which Recruiters will be successful.

Correctly predicting which people will be, or continue to be successful recruiters can often mean the rise or fall of a recruitment business. Because this so directly affects a business’ success, managers/ directors and owners bring to bear a huge range of tools to help get this right. From psychometric testing to competency based interviewing, aptitude testing, personality profiling to crystal balls and the occult – not to mention that the people to wield these tools are seasoned professionals that have spent a career qualifying and assessing Talent.

So why is the industry so bad at this?

I think a big factor is that most of the techniques above look in the wrong places.  An aptitude might tell you a person’s IQ, a psychometric test might tell you how trainable someone is, a personality profile might tell you about their social intelligence and a competency based interview might tell you how they’ve approached work up until this point.

So, is the profile of a future highly successfully recruiter: the most intelligent, compliant, amenable person who has the model approach to work? This might be true of Accountants or Engineers or Project Managers, but not of recruiters.

So what should we be looking for?

In my opinion, Grit. Grit is having stamina of passion and perseverance for long term goals. Talent doesn’t make you ‘gritty’, so many talented recruiters fall by the wayside because they do not follow through on their commitments. Likewise many successful recruiters would never be considered the best or the brightest by any traditional measurement, and yet they have risen to the top as a result of grit.

How do we asses grit? It’s difficult, but one factor that seems to be a good indicator is how a recruiter reacts to failure. A gritty recruiter does not view failure as a permanent state.

We can all easily bring to mind a good number of famous multi-millionaire businessmen and women that regularly appear on the television who have gone bust once, or several times whilst building business empires. They have succeeded through perseverance and grit.

So why not look for this in recruiters? Perhaps looking for the recruiter who is perfect on paper is not the always the right way, maybe recruiters who have failed at some point can give you a better demonstration of grit than those who have never experienced failure. Maybe that ‘CV with a story’ might be worth a second glance.