The Many Hats of a Successful Recruiter…

A Successful Recruiter needs to wear many hats.   Recruiters do not just go out source/find new talent and move on.   Recruiters need to wear many different hats and do many different jobs to be successful.   Here is my list in Alphabetical order.

A Successful Recruiter is also a:

  1. Business Partner
  2. Closer
  3. Collections Agent
  4. Cyber Sleuth
  5. Friend
  6. Good Listener
  7. Interview Coach
  8. Job Coach
  9. Life Coach
  10. Negotiator
  11. Salesperson
  12. Sourcer

What other hats do you think a Successful Recruiter wears?



Recruiters: Your First Conversation is Key…

Recruiters – the first conversation you have with potential Candidates and Clients is one key that can lead to more success.    Think about your conversations.  

  1. How was your introduction?   
  2. What are the key points that make you stand out, from your competition?
  3. What can your Candidates and your Clients expect from you?
  4. What do you expect from your Candidates and Clients?

I believe you need to set these expectations and make sure your information was presented correctly.   There are too many recruiters who just go through the motions.   Set yourself apart and let them know how you are different.


Recruiters: Don’t Get Mad. Get Better…

Have you ever had a candidate that you thought was a slam dunk.   There was no way this candidate was not going to get the job.   Then the phone rings and the client says they have chosen another candidate.  Huh?  What just happened?    How did this Happen?   This is not a time to get mad – use it to get better.

Look back into the 30 steps in the placement process.    Did you skip a step?    Most of the time, when a placement doesn’t happen you can trace it back to something that you, the Recruiter, missed or skipped. 

Look back and think.   How was your presentation?   Was it complete or did you just send a weak description because you were sure you had it in the bag?   Did you receive the up-front contract with the client company?    What about your interview briefing and debriefing?   Were you pre-closing?   What could you have done better as a recruiter?

In this business we hear a lot of No’s.    You can not get too upset when you hear a No – you have to strive to better your craft and reduce the percentages of No’s that you hear.

Recruiters: What is your First Impression, to Clients?

Do you know what your first impression is on others?   When speaking with your clients what impression do you leave?   These are important to think about.

I believe first impressions are one of the keys to recruiting success.   Everyone we talk to has a problem that they want us to help them solve.    Clients have a job opening that needs filled and Job Seekers are looking for a new career path.    It is the first impression that they will remember.   This post is going to focus on the client aspect and relationship.   (Candidate post coming soon.)

If you are talking to a first time client, what is the impression you want to leave with them?    Are you listening to their problem?   All clients are not the same – do not treat them that way.   You have to listen to what they are actually saying.  Listen to the big overall problem as well as the smaller ones.  When I am talking to a new client, I want them to know that I am their partner and ally, their Trusted Advisor.   That I am the “Go-to-Guy” for their Recruiting issues.  They will know that I provided them with the best service, listened to and understand their issues and was up-front and honest with them regarding the process.

Hopefully, now they have decided to give you a try but they probably want to ”test you” with a harder to fill order before they start giving you most or all of their business.     This order is probably one that has been open for months, given to many other recruiters and is that “Purple Squirrel” type of position.  What do you do?

This is your chance to woo them.   The most important task to do here is to roll out the red carpet and treat them like they are your only client.    Contrary to conventional thinking, the MOST important issue is not whether you fill this order BUT how you treat them during this hiring process.    Let them know up front, what to expect from you and as a new client, what you expect from them.    Keep them in the loop the entire process.   Tell them what is difficult about this search and what potential matches you have found.  Don’t be afraid to give them the bad news as well as the good.  Make them feel at ease while working with you and make sure they feel that they are an intimate part of this process.   The new client should be involved throughout so they can start feeling comfortable with how you recruit.   As stated above, be their true Consultant and Trusted Advisor.  This is your one chance to put yourself in that category with them, versus just another staffing firm.

How you treat the first order is the factor they will use to give you more business, all of the little things do matter.

Think back, on your last new client.   What was your first impression, on them?  Now look at that person in the mirror and commit to being even better next time!!!

Social Networking’s Guide to Finding Employment

Social MediaWith the unemployment rates at an all time high, it is essential, now more than ever, to tap into alternative ways of getting noticed—and getting hired. Recruiters and Talent Acquisition Specialists have relied mainly on the job boards for their pool of resumes. Sites like,,, and many others are over-flowing with resumes from every industry and educational level. With such a large pool of competition, how can anyone become noticed?

Many recruiters rely on a well-crafted Boolean search string and wait for the website to spit out a handful of resumes that match their job description. But this method can only give recruiters a list of skills, completely overlooking the essence of who these job seekers really are. Most job seekers do not understand the processes recruiters use to find talented professionals, and as a result, become overlooked. The use of social networking creates a new layer for job seekers. The power of sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are drawing attention. There are millions of users on these sites. This is no longer a want-ad kind of world—this is a world of cut throat competition based on who you know and who you impress. Social networking can bridge the gap between a nameless resume to a memorable meeting with executives and recruiters ready to put you to work.

LinkedIn is a networking site geared toward professionals. This site has over 135 million members with the majority over the age of 25 making an annual income in the six figure range. LinkedIn members are serious about their professions by linking up with other professionals in and out of their industries. LinkedIn members conduct themselves in a more professional matter than members of Facebook which is geared more towards casual contact. LinkedIn also comes up in the top 5% of all searches. It is a key site to present your best professional face to the working world. Connecting with co-workers and friends on LinkedIn is appropriate; however, the key is to not limit yourself to those you know. By expanding your LinkedIn connections, there are more opportunities to network with professionals working in companies you might be interested in. Also, joining LinkedIn groups can give you an inside view of company news.

LinkedIn is not the only social networking site that can help land jobs. Facebook and Twitter also have a huge web presence. Many potential employers scan your Twitter feeds and Facebook posts in an effort to get to know you. Updating your statuses to reflect that you are job hunting will get attention. People are more than resumes and companies recognize that. In fact, recently a company posted an advertisement for an investment analyst but instead of receiving traditional resumes, job seekers were asked to provide their LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook links along with a video message as to why these candidates wanted this job. They are most interested in what people are like, what they are like to work with, how they think. By utilizing social media, hiring companies can get a better feel for potential hires and avoid the jungle of faceless resumes.

If you are still not convinced that social media can help you land a job, try these statistics on for size. For every six people, one gets hired using social media. Over half of job seekers use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to find jobs. When polled 18,400,000 people say that Facebook got them a job, 8,000,000 give Twitter credit for their jobs, and 10,200,000 people credit LinkedIn with their current positions. And remember, the average LinkedIn user makes over $100,000 in annual income. Do I have your attention?

So, how exactly do sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn help you network and land a great job? First, it is common knowledge that having an inside contact is incredibly beneficial for finding a great job. That’s how I got my current job, but not everyone has a second cousin or friend of a friend that can give inside information or push your resume to the top of the stack. This is where savvy networking can educate you and bring attention to your profile with the big bosses. For instance, searching LinkedIn for company employees can bring you to the person that might end up interviewing you. This is the time to send a private message to connect—only. Pushing your resume during this first contact is ineffective and will most likely get you nowhere. Begin by asking questions about his or her job and develop a relationship. Your contact will be more likely to endorse you if you begin this way—trust me. Also, use groups to connect with people. You will most likely link up with someone in the same group verses going straight for the HR person who will delete your Inmail. And don’t stop there, find out about the person doing the interviewing. Pointing out commonalities goes a long way in relationship building and elbow rubbing.

Using social media has its advantages for getting you noticed. Millions of members take part in professional websites. It is a bridge that fills the gap between an anonymous resume and your professional presence. Recruiters and hiring managers alike troll these sites for potential hires. Introduce yourself and you will get that virtual handshake—that’s a promise.

In Recruiting the little things DO matter…

I was taught and learned early on the little things do matter.   Everything in this business is a process and has a sequence.   Follow that process and sequence and you will have a greater success.   I have found that when I “short-cut” or rush through, my candidates have less of a chance of getting hired. 

Your sequence may be different than mine – do what works for you and your desk.     Write out your sequence and post it on your desk.   Keep it in-front of you to see daily.   As you are talking to a candidate, setting up interviews and speaking with clients – did you do everything listed?    Was everything covered and discussed?    Most times when a person is not hired it is because something was missed.



Bruce Rowles

Perspectives of a New Recruiter Part 1 of 2

“Hey Chris, have you ever thought about working in recruiting?”.  That’s how it all started.  This was a question posed to me by my now Managing Director at a local networking event I attended.  I had recently graduated with my Masters degree in Human Services and was actively looking for an entry-level position in Human Resources.    I had considered going into recruiting but most of the positions I had seen  were in-house recruiting positions and they all “preferred” experience within the field.  I discussed the field of recruiting with my now Managing Director and did some homework on my own.  After a few interviews I had my first job in the recruiting industry, I was a contract sourcer. 

I worked as a contract sourcer for several months before being hired on permanently as an Associate Recruiter with Experis.  I currently have the opportunity to go through a one year certification/training program which will eventually lead to being one of the first Certified Recruiters for my company.  While I have only been working in the recruiting industry for 10 months, I have gained great insight into the recruiting world.  I have learned what a unique culture it is and how many challenges go along with this industry.  Every day I continue to have my eyes opened, in both good and bad ways, to the adventure and challenges of putting people to work.

  I learned very quickly that recruiting is sales.  As someone who swore they would never work in sales I found this truth to be ironic.  But what I realized is that I had a very negative stereotype of what I thought “sales” was.  I have learned that while we are sales people, we are ultimately helping people improve their lives.  While I understand this may sound a bit dramatic, I truly believe this and it is reaffirmed every time a candidate thanks me for helping them land a job, improve their resume, or refer them to a resource that is useful to them.  I take great pride in this role and it is one of the main aspects which keep me highly motivated to do what I am doing.

I understand that as recruiters we “work” for our clients.  They give us the opportunity to work for them and ultimately trust us to help them achieve their business goals.  In fact, my Managing Director has a saying that rings true to this fact.  When asked what we do, he says “We help our clients win in the world of work in the most economical way”.  I’ve learned our clients are the reason we are here however; I also believe that we wouldn’t be able to do what we do for our clients without our candidates.

Providing a positive experience for our candidates has been of stressed importance since my first day on the job.  I have always witnessed and been trained to give the candidates we speak with a great experience and great service.  This will ultimately set us apart from our competitors but also will show our candidates that we want to get to know more about them than what is on their resume.  We want to know what they WANT to do, where they want to go, what their situation is, and what is going to be the best fit for them.  This helps us not only to connect with our candidates, but also helps our candidates connect with us.  Ultimately, this also helps us provide the best fit possible for our clients by having a deeper understanding of our candidates.  We want to help our candidates feel like a person and not a number or just another resume in a database.  

To Be Continued……..

I wouldn’t hire you as my recruiter…and neither would you!

Have you ever gotten the call from a friend because you are a recruiter and they need a job? As the conversation unfolds and you hear the woes of the market, the reason the current job has wronged them, and all the other reasons the work world is not kind to them. Admit it, in the back of your mind you are thinking… NO WAY is this person getting a new job anytime soon. They have to change their mindset.   

Why then do we exude the same behaviors and expect to be that GO TO person for our clients and great candidates?

Attitude:  When looking for a job, really anything good for that matter. attitude is everything. Positive attracts positive.

  1. As a recruiter are you positive with your clients and candidates?
  2. Do you think the next call could be a hire?
  3. Do you attract and teach that a great attitude is key in getting your next position?

No Excuses: When finding a reason for leaving or not being successful in a current position we as recruiters don’t want excuses we want to know how you will win in your next role and why we should bet on you.

  1. Would you bet on you? Or do you make excuses about pay rate, location; skills needed and in what combination as reasons you may not win in this search?
  2. Do you find reasons to turn no into yes, or do you find a reason to move to the next more winnable challenge
  3. Solutions not problems are what we all want to hear from someone. Do you get creative and find a way to win? OR do you just concentrate on the issues at hand.


Somebody will fill that position! Why won’t it be you? We coach candidates to ask for the job at the end of the interview, to show interest, to leave no question unanswered. Are we willing to do the same thing?

  1. Don’t give up
  2. Ask one more question
  3. Don’t assume you have done all you can…. Ask for feedback?
  4. Just make it happen. Set a goal, and go after it. Someone will fill that spot.

Boolean Search Strings—Not as Scary as you Might Think!

The first step for sourcers and recruiters is to understand the job request sitting on their desk. Then they need to put together a finely crafted Boolean search string. When we receive a job requisition we now need to condense it in such a way as to bring back excellent resumes that match that job order. Sometimes this can be a bit daunting. As an IT sourcer, I need to be educated on what the job is really asking for. If any skill seems like a foreign fleck of abstract Martian language, chances are a little research is needed. Once an understanding of the job request is gained, the fun begins.

       Taking all of the information from a job description and condensing it into a few lines can be challenging. For example, if a job request is asking for a Senior Oracle Database Developer with skills in Oracle, pl/sql, stored procedures, and Oracle XML, a Boolean string could be constructed as follows:

“oracle database developer” AND oracle AND pl/sql AND “stored procedures” AND “oracle xml”

Now, not everyone writes their resumes with these skills the same way. The opportunity to miss out on a talented professional can happen if alternative spellings aren’t accounted for. So, the revised string could look like this:

(“oracle database developer” OR “database developer”) AND oracle AND (pl/sql OR plsql OR “pl sql” OR pl-sql) AND “stored procedures” AND (“oracle xml” OR xml)

When you put a phrase in quotes, you are telling the computer to bring back results with that exact phrase. If you need to create an OR option, put the options in parenthesis.

Now, our string is much more specific. The more specific the string, the fewer amount of results will be retrieved. Also, note that NOT can be used as well. If our job request specifies that they do not want resumes reflecting work in finance, then we could add that on like this:

(“oracle database developer” OR “database developer”) AND oracle AND (pl/sql OR plsql OR “pl sql” OR pl-sql) AND “stored procedures” AND (“oracle xml” OR xml) AND NOT (finance OR banking)

Sometimes Boolean strings can be too specific. Another strategy is to find alternative names for key skills and create an OR option in your string. Many people leave off skills on their resumes because those skills may be implied in a job title. Be flexible and allow for some loosening up of key words. Not everyone writes their resumes the same way. By allowing for variations on skills or action words, your search string can yield amazing results. Be flexible, have fun, and don’t be afraid to tweak your string!

Shannon Fatigante


What Summer Camp taught me about being a Recruiter:

When I was a kid I spent my summers at camp in Northern Michigan. I loved it, and made lifetime friends there. What I didn’t know is that it would shape me into the recruiter I am today.
If you ever went away for camp you had the preparation of packing, making sure to include just the right items. This was very hard for a teenage girl, guessing what people from all over the country would think were cool clothes, the right music etc. So you would try to prepare by talking to last year’s friends and gathering insight from them, the counselors that were already there and faith in your ability to not only survive the prior summer, but to excel. You also had someone helping remind you of the basics… your parent or handy check list from a counselor.
1. My parents would talk to me before hand about making friends, having fun, what to do to be kind to others, how to get in touch with them in case of an emergency and even send me with a few extra dollars and preaddressed letters home. So how does this prep translate into candidate prep?
As a recruiter we ask questions so we can prepare our candidate.
• We ask questions of ourselves. Of others. Sometimes things look obvious but there’s often much more happening beneath the surface. It is our job as recruiters to find out what each candidate needs “to pack”, and we gather that from our clients by talking about what it is like to be a member of their group, who the cool kids are in the cabin, and why.
• We also prepare them to interview and cover the basics like a counselor. Send interview prep check lists, practice with them, ask them what they are concerned about in their interviewing techniques and make sure when they get off the bus they are ready to have fun and win the assignment. We even tell them to call us anytime, and remind them we are there for them in case they need anything at all.

2. As each summer began, we would all have ideas of what we wanted to accomplish. Not unlike many of our careers, things change, opportunities arise and the path can become unclear. As a counselor, it was our job to remind kids to find the little wins in each day and to help them define their own success (not ours) and go after it.
As a recruiter we understand that if you want success for yourself or for others you need to know what it looks like and that it’s often different for each person.
• If we continually go after transactional recruiting vs. a positive candidate experience we never truly help anyone find success, including ourselves. Being a guide is important, but mutually agreeing on a goal and achieving it is the win/win in recruiting we all strive for.
• Know that there are usually different paths that will lead to the same place. Once you know where it is you or someone else wants to go your job isn’t to figure out the BEST path to get there but the RIGHT path for person traveling it.

3. I swam across a lake… more than once. As a counselor and lifeguard it was my job to make sure that each kid that tried to swim that 2+ mile swim in very cold water. Often, I would jump in, and swim with them. I didn’t allow them to quit, and often taught them they could do more than they ever thought they could, it always taught me more about what I could do as well.
Raise the bar higher. People feel their most driven when someone believes that they can do more than they thought was possible. They also feel their most proud when they reach that bar.
Recruiting is not for the selfish. You have to be willing to jump in the cold water and push someone, turning their doubt into a victory. It is that candidate that has the skills, and the heart, but fears the change. OR the candidate that has been laid off and lacks the confidence to push through another interview. JUMP IN THE WATER and guide them to the win.

Sourcing: More than a Good Boolean String

If I told you that there was an amazing and effective tool for sourcing, would you believe me? As a Sourcing Specialist, I look at resumes all day, every day. An effective sourcer knows that finding talented people is more than just punching in key skills and hoping for the database to spit out the perfect candidate. Sourcing requires in depth research, a finely crafted Boolean search string, and perseverance. But what many sourcing specialists miss is the fact that a resume is not the whole person.

One of my responsibilities is to present quality resumes to my team of recruiters. I could very easily punch in my search string on Monster or Career Builder, pull up the resumes, and forward them to the recruiter assigned to that particular position. But how exactly does that help my team? Our computers are used in all sorts of ways to research, find, and contact people that might be a fit for a particular role. But, as sourcers, we are neglecting the most important element of finding a great talented professional! Want to know what that is? Every desk has one, most people carry this tool in their pocket or purse, and millions of dollars are spent on advertising for it. Give up? It’s the telephone!

The role of a Sourcing Specialist is more than a resume pusher. A sourcer needs to investigate those resumes that stare back at them from their computer screens. The only way to do that is to speak with the candidate. By using the telephone, a sourcer can gather important information that is typically not listed on a resume. Is this candidate interviewing with other companies? What type of communication skills does this candidate have? Is this person willing to pursue this opportunity? Will this candidate travel or relocate? Can this person pass a background and drug screening? And better yet, is this person a good fit for the opportunity?

When we take the time to pick up the phone and speak with talented professionals, we are, in essence, being an advocate for both the candidate and the recruiter. The candidate feels valued and humanized and the recruiter is armed with important information to match this person with the best fitting opportunity. When we take the time to make a phone call, the resume becomes more than a piece of paper. That resume becomes a real person with real potential for new and exciting opportunities… and isn’t that why we do what we do?

Shannon Fatigante

Twitter and Social Recruiting

Recruiting has evolved and Social Media is here (and has been here for years now – where have you been?).    People ask me all the time – can you find candidates on twitter and the answer is YES.Social Media   Just last month, I placed a candidate on a PERM job and I sourced them from twitter.   


Twitter is also a great tool for broadcasting your opportunities and the jobs you are recruiting for.    Recruiters – do you have job seekers calling you daily or weekly to see if you have any new jobs, for them?   Now tell them to follow you on twitter and that you post all of your current opportunities and jobs there.   Now you have more time to do other duties – like recruiting.


Evolve in your practice and try something new.  Let me Challenge you – try to find candidates using Social Media.   Try something new and see what happens.


There are many resources out there to get started and to show you how to recruit using Social Media.   Go on YouTube, visit blogs – see how people are using it and being successful.    I know I do.   Here is a video I found that may help the Beginner.