What Makes a Successful Recruitment Consultant?

What Makes a Successful Recruitment Consultant?

There’s no denying that Recruitment Consultants get some pretty bad press at times, and there’s also no denying that unfortunately, some of it is entirely deserved.

Most recruiters are ethical and hard-working, but the stories of those who aren’t tend to dominate people’s impressions, which is understandable. When you work with a recruiter, you’re trusting them with your job search, and so it’s going to stick with you if someone falls short of your expectations.

Job seekers don’t want to work with someone who only cares about lining their own pockets. They want someone who will do right by them, who will treat them as an individual instead of a number, and who cares about their long-term career development.

I’ve worked with a number of candidates and clients who were apprehensive at the beginning of our relationship (as they’ve been burned by recruiters in the past), so it’s important to prove your worth and build strong relationships with all parties.

Here are four key points as to what makes a successful and trustworthy recruiter. 

Excellent Communication Skills

As a Recruitment Consultant, you spend a lot of time speaking on the phone and meeting with people face to face. You act as a liaison between employer and prospective employee, trying to negotiate a mutually beneficial agreement for all parties. Recruitment is a fast-paced industry, so it’s inevitable that most Recruitment Consultants will concentrate on the candidates they think will convert to placements. But adopting this strategy makes it easier for you to forget your duty to the candidates who may not get placed this time, but may be perfect for the next job – so it’s important that communication is consistent.

It’s Not A Numbers Game

A lot of people think Recruitment Consultants just spam clients with irrelevant CVs because unfortunately, that is what a lot of recruiters do! However this type of ‘service’ doesn’t have any value at all. You should never be tempted to just send your client loads of CVs in the hope that one will stick. This will just damage your reputation as a recruiter and your agency’s reputation too. Only send across profiles that actually meet your client’s needs, even if that means you only send them one CV. This way, you’ll see your ‘CV sent to placement’ ratio increase and show your client you’ve really listened to their needs.


To be a successful Recruitment Consultant, you need a strong understanding of the market and industry that you are working in. Most recruiters work in specific industries and even some only place candidates in a particular type of position. Sometimes when consultants take on a new role, they won’t gather enough information about the job so they can’t identify the candidate the client is looking for. One of the most important skills to learn in recruitment is how to take a detailed job description from your client and how to ask all the right questions. This will tell you what a candidate needs to do on a daily basis so you can fully understand the requirements of the job, not just the generic info given to you on a job spec.

Showing Your Value

Agency recruitment is a tough gig, and the problem is that the job is so fast-paced that sometimes we don’t have the time to show clients all the work that goes into filling roles. If clients only ever see the results and never the effort we put in to getting there, it’s no surprise they could see using recruitment agencies as an unnecessary expense. As a Recruitment Consultant, it’s important you remind clients that you are an expert in your field by finding them candidates that no one else can. Show them the data on how many candidates you reached out to, interviewed and screened before you sent over your shortlist. Your CRM should make it easy for you to pull all of this data into a report, so it’s an effective way to show your client how much work you put in, without taking up loads of your precious time.