Recruit the Recruiter: 10 Tips For Hiring Exceptional Recruiters

Recruiting - 10 tips for hiring exceptional recruiters

Industry influencer Greg Savage believes that a huge challenge for recruitment agency owners and managers is finding and retaining top recruiters. And he’s right!

These are a just a 3 reasons why it remains such a difficult challenge:

  • The role of a recruiter requires a varied skill set: the job is about more than just selling
  • There’s no dedicated qualifications – an exceptional recruiter can come from a varied employment background. so screening CVs is not a simple checklist exercise
  • Recruitment is a competitive market to say the least. There are now almost 40,000 agencies in the UK, all in demand of top talent

To make your hiring process more robust, here are 10 tips to help you recruit exceptional recruiters:

1. Take your time to re-evaluate your hiring requirements

According to REC, a poor hire (with a salary of £42,000) can cost a business more than £132,000. Given these costly ramifications, the need for a considered approach cannot be underestimated.

It is an ideal time to re-evaluate the requirements for the role in order to attract the kind of candidates with the right recruitment DNA for your agency. Has the success criteria changed since you last hired? How have the market demands changed?

Look at the experience, skills and abilities of a modern recruiter and what’s invaluable to your agency? Are they fluent in data? Do they have a marketing mindset? Are they a tech innovator?

2. How do your KPI/commission/company incentives compare?

There’s no denying that, in recruitment, salaries must be competitive and your commission scheme must drive your recruiters to hit their targets . But have you considered other benefits and rewards schemes which can set your agency apart from your competitors?

A rewards scheme could include:

  • Give a percentage of the team profit to a team-selected charity
  • Award extra holiday time for exceeding targets
  • Offer gym memberships and personal trainers to inspire motivation

3. Leverage your network

Ask the opinion of trusted peers, partners and connections in your network for recommendations of prospective candidates. The candidates they suggest could be much more suitable than a traditional candidate search.

You can also ask your LinkedIn connections to repost your advertised job ad within their network to widen your reach and act as a trust indicator.

4. Poaching from your competitors

This is a sensitive topic, but there’s no denying that poaching top talent from your competitors happens within recruitment and other industries – here are some pros and cons:

  • Acquiring top performing recruiters with specific industry knowledge
  • Gaining a recruiter who needs little-to-no training
  • Hiring from a competitor may well be quicker than entering the oft-lengthy, traditional hiring process


Download our guide for more insider know-how about building an exceptional recruitment team.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

5. Attend recruitment networking events

Do not underestimate the value of attending high profile recruitment events. Networking will increase the visibility of your agency and can promote it as a great place to work. It won’t necessarily be an opportunity to proactively recruit candidates on the day: it’s more about showcasing brand awareness and gives you the chance to connect with top recruiters on a personal level.

6. Monitor industry-related social media groups

There a plenty of social media groups such as Headhunter & Executive Recruiter Community and Recruiters Online where you can find members to connect with. Follow posts and comments closely and identify whether there are suitable candidates you can begin to approach.

7. Be creative with your interview process

Recruiters know how to conduct an interview successfully – or, at least, the exceptional ones should – so there’s potential here to have a bit of fun while assessing the candidate’s skills: For example, you can role play real life work situations such as:

8. Be transparent

During the interview be transparent about your expectation,targets, KPIs, your agency’s working culture and key deliverables for the role. This will provide a candidate with a clear expectation of what is expected before taking the role, so there are no surprises once they start. Being candid and honest from the outset will attract open and honest recruiters who’ll be more likely to stay with you long term.

9. Make your hiring process efficient

Ensure your interviewers will be available during the interview period – the last thing you need is for interviewers to be on holiday or travelling out of the office. Make your internal approval and on-boarding process efficient so you are able to make an offer and on-board your exceptional recruiter straightaway,

10. Conduct a reference check

Use a reference check as serious component of the hiring process, not as part of the post-hiring administration. Don’t just be wowed by a company they’ve associated with: impressive testimonies from people they’ve actually worked with will be able to verify their experience, their work ethic and give you a better idea of how they’ll fit into your agency.

For a more detailed look into everything you need to know about building an exceptional recruitment team, download the guide today!
How to build an exceptional recruitment team