17Nov

There’s no doubt that AI has transformed the recruitment industry by streamlining processes and enhancing efficiency. However, it highlights the importance of recruiters being able to connect and evaluate candidates on a human level. In this article, we’ll explore some of the soft skills that recruiters need to amplify in the age of AI.

Communication Skills

Effective communication skills are the linchpin of successful recruitment. Recruiters need to be able to convey complex information, provide feedback, and build relationships, all with clarity and precision. LinkedIn states, “Communication skills have always been make-or-break for recruiters, but as conversations with talent, employers, and internal teams spread across more mediums, they become more complex…. while technology can help start conversations, recruiters with the right soft skills are better at drawing the right information from them…”

Brooke Stemen, Director of Corporate Talent Acquisition at Green Key, reiterates, “Soft skills are the secret sauce so to speak of a successful recruiter. For instance, if a recruiter does not have strong communication skills, they aren’t going to be able to have a conversation with a candidate to gain a full understanding of the candidate’s background or goals.”

Emotional Intelligence

“In recruiting we call it ‘training your gut’,” said Brooke. “It’s being able to understand the candidate and client to assess not only qualifications, but also the goals, motivations and fit of potential hires.”

Indeed states, “Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand and manage your own emotions as well as being able to understand and influence the emotions of others. It involves being aware that emotions drive behaviors and impact people either positively or negatively.”

Ability to Solve Conflict

The ability to troubleshoot adds immense value to the recruitment process. Recruiters with strong problem-solving skills can navigate the inevitable hurdles that arise, finding solutions that benefit both the client and candidate. Forbes notes that, “Recruiters often find themselves between two fires — the client and the candidate. It is important to be able to resolve conflicts and misunderstandings, quickly find possible ways out of the situation and build a strategy of behavior so that ultimately both sides do not suffer.” Brooke solidifies this by saying, “It’s important to see things from different perspectives and do your due diligence to find out exactly what’s going on and find the middle ground.”

Tenacity

Recruiters with tenacity persevere through challenges, ensuring a relentless pursuit of the best talent. Brooke notes, “There’s a lot that you can’t control as a recruiter. What you can control is how much effort to put into your work and the quality of your submittals. Ultimately, you should have high standards for yourself, your clients, and your candidates.”

Strong networking and relationship-building skills

LinkedIn highlights that, “In fact, LinkedIn’s Future of Recruiting research found that 73% of industry professionals believe relationship-building will be among the most important soft skills in the next five years. In a tight talent market, fostering relationships with top talent could be the secret to success. Related soft skills such as teamwork, interpersonal communication, and leadership can help smooth the complicated hiring process and give both employers and candidates the confidence they need to see the process through.”

Empathy

The ability to understand and share the feelings of others is essential in recruiting. A personal touch in recruiting can make all the difference. LinkedIn highlights, “The ability to put oneself in another’s shoes can help recruiters understand candidates’ needs and motivations, making them feel seen and heard. It can also foster healthy connections between colleagues and teams internally, which can have real benefits. One study found 61% of employees report being more innovative with “highly empathetic” senior leaders and 76% report being more engaged.”

Ultimately, these soft skills paired with a sense of curiosity remain the human touch that makes recruiting a deeply personal and effective process. Recruiters who master these skills will not only adapt to the changing landscape but set new standards for excellence.

The Six Stages of Career Growth

Although there is no definite path in any career, many professional journeys follow a distinct course that leads to success. In fact, Gary Burnison, CEO of consulting firm Korn Ferry, believes there are six notable stages of any given career. Through every step, professional development requires a few key strategies to guarantee upward growth.  

The Follower 

The ability to network and stay connected generally reins the most important. Remaining a good contact allows you to keep doors open in future endeavors, should you ever need recommendations or referrals. This skillset is often taught in the first stage, which Burnison refers to as the Follower. Many of us in the working world experienced an internship or first job out of school, traditionally under the eyes of a supervisor. “You will never lead if you don’t know how to follow,” Burnison says. Arguably, this first stage is the most crucial, as it acts as the stepping stone to your future and allows you to begin building your network. 

The Collaborator  

This stage strengthens the skills you learned from your first job. Rather than taking direct orders from one singular person, you are working collaboratively with a group and banding together. In this job, you should be focusing on team building and the skills it takes to produce quality work with colleagues.  

The Instructor 

Learning to lead is an integral aspect of growing a career. Burnison claims there are two different types of jobs that will exceed your leadership skills: staff leadership and staff to line shifts. Staff leadership jobs “have the responsibility, but not the authority.” Basically, you are in charge of a team, but do not make final judgment calls. Staff to line shifts refer to jobs where there is a pre-determined result and managing larger projects.

The Manager 

This step speaks for itself. Burnison says, “Your skill set builds as you manage larger teams with bigger goals and objectives. You will need to motivate direct reports and learn how to manage them by giving objectives and goals, as well as the means to pursue and achieve them.” This is also commonly referred to as the Commitment Stage, as by this point in your career, you’ve likely netted out what type of work you want to do and can really focus on cultivating it from there. 

The Influencer 

Not to be confused with the modern take on the term “influencer,” this part of your career is when you start using your talents and experience to influence those working below you. It’s important for your colleagues to not only listen to you, but appreciate and learn from your presence.  

The Leader 

The final stage and what you’ve worked so long for. Leaders oversee large groups of people and inspire them to think differently, move forward, and perform their best. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are the CEO of a large corporation. According to Burnison, “Your biggest priority is to motivate people so that they can do and become more than even they thought possible.” 

The six stages are not concrete. Often, we might find we are moving laterally or working multiple jobs within one stage. There is no perfect way to climb the corporate ladder, but being aware of your own personal growth and the advantages of these steps is a sure way to better understand where you’re headed.

To find your next stage, check out our open roles today!