8 Essential Skills You Need to Be a Successful Recruiter

As a recruiter, employers look to you to provide the world-class talent they need, and job seekers turn to you to connect them with their dream jobs. To expertly handle both sides of this equation and build a solid professional reputation, master the following recruitment skills:


Communication is a key skill in any career that requires you to collaborate with others. Recruitment is one of the most people-oriented careers out there because it’s all about matching employers and candidates. To be a successful recruiter, you need to have some strong impressive communication skills to highlight on your resume.

Here are three communication skills you should master:

Written and Verbal Communication

A day in the life of a recruiter involves constant back-and-forth communication via email, in-person, and phone or video calls. As the link between employers and job seekers, you’re trusted to gather and relay pertinent information in a timely and easy-to-follow manner.

You’ll need excellent oral communication skills to:

  • Reach out to and follow up with ideal candidates
  • Interview potential candidates in-person or via phone or video calls
  • Liaise with human resource personnel
  • Respond to job seeker’s questions on the phone

Written communication skills come in handy when:

  • Designing or writing job descriptions
    • Pro Tip: It’s best practice to aim for shorter job posts as they gain a higher application rate than longer job posts
  • Crafting email correspondence and social media job ads
  • Summarizing employer feedback
  • Combing through or editing candidates’ resumes
  • Helping candidates write impressive cover letters

Active Listening

Interviewing candidates is a primary role for recruiters. Talking with a prospect in-person or via video call helps you know the candidate on a more personal level. But to understand a person well, you must do more listening and less talking — try practicing the 70/30 Rule of Communication.

During an interview, ask candidates open-ended questions and allow them ample time to answer. By actively listening to their responses, paying attention to their word choices and non-verbal cues, and paraphrasing their responses, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of their communication skills and personality.

Good active listening skills will help you appraise a candidate’s soft skills, which you can’t always clearly assess from their resumes.


Empathy helps you understand candidates’ needs and wants from their perspective. Being empathetic allows you to identify what company culture a candidate is best suited to and match them with the right positions.

Also, being empathetic goes a long way toward improving the candidate experience. Empathy is particularly useful when delivering feedback to unsuccessful candidates. In the end, whether job seekers secure a job or not, you want to build trust and provide them with the smoothest experience possible.


Negotiations in recruitment are two-tiered. First, you must negotiate with your client (the recruiting company) for fair service remuneration. Secondly, your client may require you to negotiate salary and benefit offers with potential candidates.

In these scenarios, you’ll require top negotiation skills to get the best possible outcome for all parties involved (yourself, your client, and job seekers).

Potentially, negotiating salary offers with candidates is more challenging because of the complexities involved. You must be aware of state employment laws and be careful to avoid discrimination cases. For instance, it’s illegal to ask about a candidate’s pay history in states such as California and Colorado.

Interpersonal skills

Across the board, professionals with strong interpersonal skills are labeled as “good with people.” Having good people skills is even more consequential in recruiting, given that it’s a people-oriented sector. Interpersonal skills help you build and maintain cordial relationships with HR personnel, peers, and job seekers.

Better yet, networking becomes second nature when you’re good with people. This is a significant advantage in recruiting as you’ll need to proactively headhunt candidates. Keen interpersonal skills like breaking the ice or putting people at ease can put you ahead of the competition in attracting top-tier talent.


There’s no telling how many candidate profiles, job ads, resumes, or legal documents you’ll browse through in a day. All these documents, whether print or soft copies, gradually pile up. Because they contain crucial data for your everyday operations, you must organize them systematically.

Organizing your data files makes retrieving, analyzing, and applying information easy. Additionally, well-cataloged data makes it easy to use recruitment software like Tracker to fast-track your recruitment process or automate recruitment functions like candidate matching.

Time management

Recruiters have to screen dozens of applications, attend job fairs, take meetings with clients and candidates, and find the time to walk candidates through the hiring process. With so much to do in a day, it’s important for recruiters to stay on top of their schedules.

With remote work in full gear today, recruiting foreign workers is commonplace, which means recruiters often need to work with clients and candidates across time zones. This calls for exceptional time management skills so you can schedule and prioritize tasks promptly.

To manage your time wisely, ensure you:

  • Use meeting scheduling tools that account for timezone differences
  • Schedule engagements to minimize spontaneous communication
  • Set notifications well in advance
  • Use a time-tracker to better understand and allocate your time
  • Optimize your schedule by finding what time of day works best for each type of task

Analytical Skills

You need strong analytical skills to determine what clients are looking for, what type of position candidates’ strengths make them well suited for, and puzzle-solving for the best possible match in every scenario.

Additionally, making hiring decisions without consulting your data is not pragmatic in our digital world. You need good data analytics skills to evaluate and interpret critical recruitment data and derive relevant insights to inform your recruitment decisions.

Recruitment Software

Tech advancements continue to advance changes in the staffing industry, pushing recruitment to a more data-driven future. While you don’t have to be a techie to excel as a recruiter, you should have the basic IT abilities to work with these two types of systems effectively:


Applicant tracking systems (ATS) empower you to source, track, and engage job seekers throughout the recruitment process. An advanced ATS like Tracker gives you extra recruitment and applicant tracking features such as long and shortlisting, skills profiling, and candidate prospecting.


A candidate relationship management (CRM) system enables you to establish and maintain relationships with candidates throughout the recruitment process. Recruitment CRM is designed to treat and engage job seekers in your database like you would treat your customers. Using a CRM effectively enhances your overall candidate experience and smoothens the hiring process for all parties involved.

Knowledge of Current Hiring Trends

The staffing industry is subject to many shifting technological, economic, and social changes. The Great Resignation of 2021, still ongoing in certain sectors, is a good example.

You must have sufficient knowledge of the imminent and ongoing recruitment trends and challenges to pivot your recruiting strategies as needed. Failing to keep up with current and future hiring trends will negatively affect your ability to remain competitive in the hiring market.

In Summary

Success in the dynamic staffing industry is tied to your mastery of these fundamental recruitment skills.

By finding ways to hone your interpersonal and soft recruitment skills, you’ll be sure to make a meaningful impact for both clients and candidates, building a vast professional network and relationships that last.

By continuing to develop your hard recruiting skills, you’ll be equipped to keep up with industry changes and adapt to new ways of finding and attracting the best talent.

Guest Author Bio

Corissa Joy Peterson is a Content Writer and Resume Expert at Resume Genius, where she loves equipping others with the tools they need to pursue their dreams. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Philosophy and a certificate in Peace and Conflict Studies.

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