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What it takes to be an exceptional recruiter

by Loula Metaxa, Group HR Manager| Metaxa Hospitality Group

Recruiter’s job consists of several levels of cognitive processing – it depends on how much you want to achieve. The primary step is to analyze the obvious: foreign languages, duration of employment in each position, studies, computer skills and more. This level of processing does not require any special talent – even a software could do it. It requires observation and a good understanding of the relevant job description.

The ‘detective germ’

When you get the obvious and move on to the second level of analysis, the role of the recruiter requires combinatorial thinking and the called “detective germ”. You basically put all the elements of the resume in a logical and timely order, and then you unite each move / choice in a causal way: “why”, “what led you”, “what were you thinking”, “what was your intention”.

After all the questions have been answered, and the resume resembles a story that you can easily narrate even to a child, with no gaps or contradictions, the character study begins. At this point, the engine starts to burn fuel. This is where your energy is consumed because a process like this requires complete mental functioning, critical thinking, and a good “translation” of verbal expressions into personality traits.

Solving the jigsaw

Most people believe that the recruiter stands on the judge’s throne and decides who is good and who is bad, who will go to heaven and who the hell. Big mistake! As a recruiter, your role is to examine the character of the person you have in front of you and decide if he/she fits the position you have in mind. So, your mission is to unite two puzzle pieces, which when combined, cease to be just two puzzle pieces but are now a dynamic reality!

To continue with, the hard work begins when you grab the hammer to throw the candidate’s “psychological walls”. You have to see the inner reality of this person you have towards you. At the same time, you have to imagine / assess whether he/she can successfully adapt to the company. Hard level! You must open and close the window of the soul beautifully and discreetly, as you are not an expert in either healing or judging if someone needs psychological treatment. You just have to match a soul to the right home.

What makes a recruiter a successful one?

In my opinion, to become a successful recruiter you have to do all of the above simultaneously and in combination. In other words: you unify the obvious in order to reveal the true nature of the candidate during the discussion. For example, you start with foreign languages, you continue with the reason why he decided to take Japanese lessons in the middle of his studies, and you realize that you have a person trying to get the attention of those around him (obvious > cause > personality trait).

Clearly, such a conclusion does not come from a single answer, it is harmoniously linked to other information in the interview. This works as a rule in my mind: never an information / answer on its own is ever able to unveil you a candidate’s personality.

What makes a recruiter an exceptional one?

On the other hand, what distinguishes a successful recruiter from an exceptional one is that the exceptional is honest, humane and creates a positive atmosphere for the candidate. An excellent recruiter tells you things as they are. The candidate leaves the interview and deep inside he/she knows exactly the chances he/she has to get the job. An excellent recruiter accepts the person who is against him, does not criticize him, but instead he listens to him with a positive human attitude. He does not overreact, but he is encouraging in a professional and discreet way.

In conclusion, the excellent recruiter offers the candidate an interview experience that expresses a positive recognition of his position in the job market, as an evaluation of his achievements so far. The excellent recruiter has struggled with his selfishness, his insecurities, and has chosen to exclude them from the staffing process. He looks you in the eyes and lets you tell your story because it’s important, just like you: important and unique.



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