Part 4 of a 10-part series entitled, “10 Traits of the Best Contract Recruiters

Stay Organized and Communicate Efforts

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 fourth 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.

Consistent Communication

Our client portfolio contains organizations of all shapes and sizes, from large multi-site corporations to very small companies. All but the smallest have an ATS and a well-established talent acquisition process requiring disciplined data entry. Many recruiters view this as a bothersome administrative pain. Our best contract recruiters embrace this activity as an efficient way to track their candidates / reqs, as well as an opportunity to show the over-all progress of their recruiting effort. If the ATS reports do not contain the needed information, they build their own tracking tool on a spreadsheet and often put it on a share drive so their hiring teams and TA / HR Leaders can view it in real-time. This is particularly important for remote recruiters working in a different time zone. They need to be in constant communications to show that they are fully engaged.

Project Management

Providing quality candidates is the recruiter’s responsibility. A good recruiter collaborates with, or at least gets buy-in from the hiring manager on the recruiting strategies to be used to fill the pipeline with qualified candidates. Selecting and hiring the right candidate is the manager’s responsibility but the recruiter helps to drive that process. Essentially it is a team effort where each opening is a project. Multiple openings in one department make it an even larger project.

Successful project teams have good communication and that is the recruiter’s responsibility. Objectively presenting timelines and facts in weekly (or bi-weekly) status meetings with the hiring team keeps the team organized and on track. Openly sharing this data makes everyone aware of each candidate’s situation, the timelines developing between process steps, the next steps to be taken, and the assigned responsibilities. This keeps everyone accountable and exposes issues that should be addressed. When a req is filled, everyone on the team gets to experience “the win”.

Keeping TA / HR Management Informed – No Surprises

Recruiters should also hold weekly or bi-weekly meetings with their TA / HR Leaders when progress report(s) are integral to the discussion. In this way, the recruiter is marketing her / his own recruiting efforts and organizational skills.

TA or HR Leaders do not like negative surprises. Every recruiter runs in to “that req” where the candidate pipeline has dried up or a candidate was unexpectedly lost. Ignoring it is not going to make things better. Keeping management informed with information, showing what transpired and when, prepares them for potential confrontation from the client group or upper management. It is an opportunity to define adjustments being made to the recruiting strategy and to get the Leaders input.

Finally, good contract recruiters realize that there are lulls in hiring activity. When TA / HR Leaders consider who to keep or rehire, who gets the contract extension? It is often the recruiter who managed her/his work efforts in an organized approach that drove results and who openly communicated those efforts. Such data supports getting great references, which leads to new contracts.

Bob Williams


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