Ten Things Every Good Recruiter Does Right

This is a very good article, but I take issue with #7. While salary history isn’t required, it helps recruiters to make sure they are putting you together with the right opportunities.


A great recruiter is an incredible ally in your career, but the wrong recruiter will dim your flame and leave you frustrated. Hold out for the best of the best!

Source: Ten Things Every Good Recruiter Does Right

Stories Tell it All!

I’m a huge fan of using “mini-stories” during interviews. When prepping candidates, I strongly encourage them to prepare short stories about their on-the-job successes, especially ones tied to the competencies an employer is looking for. There’s just no better way to demonstrate your ability to be effective in the role. Here’s an excerpt from an article that backs this up:

After a presentation, 63% of attendees remember stories. Only 5% remember statistics.

If you were a candidate looking for a job in recruitment and you read the following two statements in two different job ads, which job would you be more likely to apply to?

  • Job ad #1: “You will have responsibility for the identification and hire of 15 new staff.”
  • Job ad #2: “We started last year with 6 people. Stephen and Reza then joined us as interns after responding to a Youtube video; no salary, just the will to grow and learn. Lisa trained as a Black Belt 3 years ago in her old job. She called asking us if we were hiring and we snapped her up. Since then we’ve hired Johnny’s brother Graham and his mate Dave. This year, your job will be to scale this to 15 more people. You’ve got your work cut out! ;)”

Both job ads tell us exactly the same thing, but job ad #2 has given us so much more insight into the company looking to hire. We now know the story of how they’ve gotten to where they are now. We feel invested in the people mentioned in this story. We’d love to meet them. And we’re relishing the challenge of putting our skills to the test to find more people like Stephen, Reza, Lisa, Graham and Dave, and adding to this already great team.

As the incredible Chip and Dan Heath said in their book ‘Made to Stick‘, “Credible ideas make people believe. An emotional idea makes people care. The right stories make people act.” And as recruiters, that’s exactly what we need them to do, act! We need to compel the right people to apply for our jobs. And the best way to do that is through storytelling in your job ads. Storytelling grabs attention in a crowded marketplace and makes you memorable.

Why Job Postings Shouldn’t Be Your Only Recruiting Tactic

Reason #1: Relying on Job Postings is a Passive Strategy
Postings create a reactive recruiting environment because candidates have to see you out. This puts you at a distinct disadvantage compared to competitors who proactively seek out top performers and actively court them. The result? The best people gravitation toward your competitors and you are more likely to miss out on people who can make the most significant impact on your bottom line.

Today’s market for top talent is becoming more competitive than ever. They’re highly sought after and aggressively pursued by competitors with proactive recruiting strategies. Top companies don’t sit and wait for these candidates to come to them.

Reason #2: Job Postings Attract Unqualified Candidates
Replying to job posting requires little time and effort. Anyone who thinks your opening looks interesting can cut and paste their resume into an email. A few seconds later, there it is in your inbox. You wind up being inundated with candidates who think your job looks interesting, regardless of whether they’re even close to what you need.

Attracting and hiring the best talent is just too important to rely on a “spray and pray” strategy.

Reason #3: Job Postings Miss Lots of Qualified Talent

According to studies from LinkedIn and others, only 20-30% of the workforce is actively in looking for a new job.

What about the other 70-80% of the talent pool? First, they’re unlikely to notice your postings because they aren’t actively surfing the web for new jobs. Even if they do, there’s a slim chance they’ll take action, unless the information you provide is compelling and motivates them to take take the next step, something that most postings don’t so very well.

Furthermore, just because a high-impact candidate isn’t ready to make a change right now doesn’t mean they won’t be in the near future. Unless you proactively pursue them on a ongoing basis, you’ll never know about them when openings arise down the road.


My message is this: job postings should only be part of your overall recruiting strategy. Attracting the “best of the best” requires that you regularly talk with top performers, even when you aren’t actively recruiting. That way, you’ll better understand what might motivate them to make a change and have a better chance at bringing them on board when the time is right.