Soft Skills
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Member Article

APSCO research identifies soft skills as crucial for top recruiters

New research based on a survey of APSCo membership has revealed that softer skills such as resilience, positivity and keenness to help others are becoming increasingly crucial for competitive recruitment companies. The survey, which quizzed high-performing consultants from sectors including search, technology, education and finance, identified a number of approaches and habits of today’s top performing consultants.

The following personal qualities were identified as key for successful recruiters:

• The capacity for resilience • Confidence in one’s own ability • Keenness to help others and give back to clients and candidates before taking • Positivity and a solution focussed approach • Seeing recruiting as a long-term learning process and career over a get rich quick fix. The report also outlined the business critical people initiatives that firms need to implement for these skills to flourish, including:

• Hiring for the right attitude and fit (resilience and positivity) • Creating conditions for success (training, market knowledge, techniques, strong leadership) • Developing specific expertise in client relationships and candidate sourcing through referrals • Retaining people through culture, policies and reward.

Commenting on the survey, Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo said: “This research clearly demonstrates that the recruiters of today need more than just the ability to sell. Consultants are continuing to become strategic advisers to businesses, and those that are able to think beyond immediate hiring needs of clients will be in high demand in the recruitment field. In order to remain competitive, firms need to create the right conditions for their recruiters to be successful, better retain them and ultimately see greater profits. While for some of the most forward-thinking consultancies, this is perhaps old-hat, for those still facing high attrition rates and loss of the best consultants, these findings can be leveraged to improve growth and profits.

“Long-term investment is key to success. Businesses should focus on recruiting future leaders, increasing investment in development, and retaining them for longer periods. Positioning recruitment as a career of choice among school leavers and grads, and not just a ‘get rich quick fix’ is something that the most future-proof firms are leading on – and I encourage more recruiters follow suit.”

Jane Newell-Brown, author of the report, added

“Traditionally, new entrants into the recruitment sector are given 3 – 6 months to deliver results. Yet this research suggests that success comes from longevity, from knowing your sector your candidates and your clients and honing your craft.

“Five or ten years ago success was very often down to the sheer volume of work delivered. Since then a sea-change has taken place. Success both for those growing their recruitment businesses and for recruiters aiming for a good long-term career comes through experience.”

“Very few days in recruitment will be the same which is why it takes a long time to become truly skilled. People need to be given the opportunity to learn skills by training and developing, observing others, taking guidance, being encouraged, given responsibility and by being allowed to make mistakes.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by The Association of Professional Staffing Companies .

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