The One Recruitment Skill… to rule them all…

Bit of a furphy really and I must apologise… Turns out there isn’t one skill to rule them all…

A little over a week ago I posed that question directly to my LinkedIn network. To my amazement (ordinarily I’m lucky to get a couple of random likes and a comment from my dear Aunty Dorothy… ‘Just to keep your spirits up.’ she says), there have been over 130 comments…recipe 1

Seems everyone knows the magic recipe… but… we are all using different ingredients.

So, what I have attempted to do below is rank the responses. And to make it even more interesting I have divided the comments into Candidate, Client & Recruiter… Read on… it will make sense…


Candidates – focused on 6 skills the successful recruiter must have… I have listed them from the least amount of mentions to the most.

  • Be Genuine
  • Build Relationships
  • Honesty
  • Respect
  • recipe 2Industry Understanding & Knowledge
  • Communication & Follow Up – 37.5% of Candidates felt that this was the most important skill a Recruiter needs to possess…


Clients – focused on 8 specific skills… again listed below from least mentions to most.

  • Strategic Thinker
  • Quality of Service
  • Quality of Candidates
  • Tenure of Recruiter
  • recipe 3Build Relationships
  • Deliver on Promises
  • Communicate Regularly
  • Ability to Listen and Understand Needs – 33.3% of Clients believe that this is the most important skill a recruiter needs…


Recruiters – And here’s where it gets interesting. There were 24 skills that recruiters focused on to be successful – once again listed from least mentions to most…

  • Diligence
  • Attention to Detail
  • Be Proactive
  • Swagger
  • Referrals
  • Influence
  • Thinking outside of Box
  • Communication
  • Self Awareness
  • Operate 360 degrees
  • Candidate Care
  • Passion – Fire in the Belly
  • Attitude
  • Reputation
  • Low Fall off Rate
  • Positive Feedback
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • recipe 4Resilience
  • Persistence & Tenacity
  • Generate Repeat Business
  • Build & Maintain Relationships
  • Successful Fill Ratios
  • Billings – Interestingly 24.3% of recruiters believe that Successful Fill Ratios or Billings are the most important skills a recruiter possesses.


To have a closer look at the comments… or leave your own… you can find the post here.

I promise you I will release the findings in a nicely presented infograph in the near future… but… until then… I will leave you with this question…

How can the Recruitment fraternity rank essential recruitment skills so differently from Clients & Candidates?

I’d love to continue this discussion below…

Craig Watson


2 thoughts on “The One Recruitment Skill… to rule them all…

  1. Greg Powell on Reply

    Craig, Really interesting, thankyou; but I think your final question is a little flawed. Candidates and clients are judging their exposure or experience to a component of the overall process. Recruiters will judge the whole. The lists are almost bound to be different.
    I also think that billing is an outcome not a skill.

    1. Craig Watson on Reply

      Hi Greg,
      Thanks for your comment. If billings is an outcome, what skill/s will generate that outcome?
      Your commentary around Candidates & Clients only having exposure to particular components is an interesting one – I still think that when hiring recruiters we need to ensure they possess the skills our customers require…


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