5 Skills of the Modern Day Recruiter – Baltimore Business Journal

Our president and founder, Trevor Simm, discusses what skills it takes to be a recruiter today in this Baltimore Business Journal column.

Check it out here – 5 Skills of the Modern Day Recruiter.

The saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The recruiting profession has seen its share of changes over the years with the rise of robust job sites, powerful search technologies, an abundance of contract-based jobs, remote workers and more.

These changes, not surprisingly, demand a new set of skills from recruiters.

Despite the need for new skills, recruiters are also expected to master skills that have been requisite to the profession since its beginning. This column examines both types of skills while highlighting a few roles recruiters face throughout the course of a regular day.


When it comes to recruiting, communication skills are critical. Effective communication is a two-way street. Recruiters must articulate services to clients, and jobs to candidates accurately and enthusiastically, while simultaneously listening to the needs of both. No two clients have the same requirements and no two candidates seek the same from opportunities. Having open ears enables recruiters to pivot and work more efficiently with prospects on both sides of the deal.


The best recruiters — and recruiting firms — seek lasting relationships with clients. Likewise, recruiters should be job candidates’ greatest advocates. Being able to form trusting relationships will set a recruiter apart from their peers. They can accomplish this by regularly checking in with hiring managers, making sure their needs are being met and to affirm that the services they’re providing are exceeding expectations. Recruiters should also interact with current, past and potential candidates in order to keep their talent pipeline active and engaged.


The internet and social media have ushered in a seemingly infinite number of ways and sources to find talent. Having these tools at your disposal does not make you a good researcher, however. Finding the right candidate is a search for the proverbial needle in the hay stack. While cold-calling, keyword searches, networking, tracking job boards are basic tools of the recruiting trade, drag netting is not the best way to research. Rather, candidate research should be approached like spear fishing: understand what you’re looking for, know the environment in which you’re searching and use the right tool to land the right target.


On the subject of tools, it’s no surprise that recruiters must have a solid understanding of technologies and how they work. These days, companies and job candidates operate across many digital channels, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and countless web browser add-ons. What’s more, recruiting firms and hiring managers use many different software platforms to manage workforce augmentation and talent acquisition. While it’s important for recruiters to stay abreast of technologies, it’s equally important to know how to use what all of them generate: data.

Data scientist

Companies are increasingly relying on advanced analytics to not only search for and retain talent, but also to measure employee performance. Likewise, they are using data, algorithms and even artificial intelligence to match the qualifications and cultural fit of job candidates. The most obvious benefit of recruiters that understand and use data is the ability to make a better case for placing a specific candidate; a solid resume, references and gut feelings are simply not enough.

Undoubtedly, the recruiting industry will continue to change, ushering in the need for recruiters to learn even more skills. And while it’s incumbent upon recruiters to advance with the industry, they should be mindful of and hone skills that remain timeless. When deciding to work with a recruiter or recruiting firm, be sure select those that bring this full range of skills to the table.

Trevor Simm is the founder and president of OpalStaff and Talos Solutions. “