Part 5 of a 10-part series entitled, “10 Traits of the Best Contract Recruiters

Respect the Dynamics of Being a Virtual Recruiter

In the course of managing our business since 1999, we have interviewed and hired a number of highly successful professional contract recruiters. We intend to keep doing that and have worked to identify some of the traits we have seen in our best performers over the last 18 years.  

Today’s blog is the fifth in a series of 10 that identifies the traits of our most successful senior recruiters.  We hope this perspective will provide guidance to those new to contract recruiting, offer some insight to experienced recruiters who are always looking to improve, and give TA/HR leaders some ideas on what should be expected of a contract recruiter.  We also hope that this will stimulate ideas and conversation that provide additional insight from readers of this blog.

The Majority of Recruiters are Asking for Some Flexibility

It has been interesting to see how employers embrace or reject the concept of allowing their recruiters to work remotely all the time or part of the time.  We routinely see sourcing recruiters working remotely and it makes a lot of sense on many fronts – it’s not a client-facing role, no cost of office space, no furniture, and/or no cost of utilities, as examples. Location is secondary to having the right experience. Sourcing recruiters living in less costly markets might save on the budget.

Virtual full-cycle recruiters can be more of a challenge, depending on the company culture and types of positions they are filling. We are finding that the majority of recruiters ask for some flexibility, with respect to working virtually, whether it’s working from home 100% or some portion of the week. To compete for the best recruiters, employers should be open to compromise on this topic. It is a priority for many recruiters we know. There certainly are tradeoffs. The employer will be offering a more attractive position while potentially sacrificing some of the valuable intangibles that are inherent with working on-site. Socializing with peers, TA leaders and hiring managers day-to-day, is diminished. There are missed opportunities for learning, collaborating, building trust, enhancing camaraderie, sharing information, and just getting to know people, in general. All TA professionals understand how this plays into their ability to effectively do their job.

Go the Extra Mile

The best virtual recruiters we know fully respect these issues and go the extra mile to compensate for what they are missing. They make it a point to have actual phone calls, voice-to-voice communication, and not rely on text and email exchanges. They try not to let too many calls go to voicemail. They return phone calls, emails, and text messages promptly, even if they don’t have the answer to the question, in an effort to let the other person know they are on it and will get the information needed by a certain day or time. They take whatever extra steps are necessary to ensure a great candidate experience from start to finish. They are diligent with their documentation of candidate status and reporting.

Trust Will be Earned Over Time

TA leaders who offer flexibility to work from home have probably been burned once or twice along the way. The most common complaint with virtual recruiters: “I can’t reach my recruiter. Calls always go to voicemail and they take forever to get back to me. They are not keeping me informed.” What do TA leaders fear? The recruiter is charging for time not worked and they have taken on a side job that has them distracted. Lack of results generally becomes part of this equation.

Trust will be earned over time and not blindly given. Most recruiters are issued secure laptops in which everything that happens on that computer is tracked. When a recruiter goes dark and results are less than expected, managers will head right to their dashboards to check the analytics on usage of tools the recruiter is expected to use. When the recruiter is out of sight, the employer needs to be confident the recruiter is on the job, putting in the hours, using their time and tools effectively and getting results. The effort is less visible, so the value of results is magnified.

The best recruiters are on a mission to exceed expectations in many ways. If the recruiter achieves this goal, they are recognized as a valuable resource contributing to overall business objectives, trusted, and most likely, earning the continued privilege of working remotely.

– Bill Sewell


10 Traits of the Best Contract Recruiters
Part 1: Pursue Contract that Leverage Your Strengths
Part 2: Client Relationship, Not an Employer
Part 3: Professional Curiosity and Pursuit of Knowledge
Part 4: Stay Organized and Communicate Efforts
Part 5: Respect the Dynamics of Being a Virtual Recruiter
Part 6: Factors in Determining Hourly Rate
Part 7: Should a Contract Recruiter Incorporate?
Part 8: Building a Business Case for Contract Recruiters
Part 9: The Added Value a Good Contract Recruiter Brings