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Do recruitment leaders need to be charismatic to be successful?

According to Page Group’s 2024 Talent Trends survey, two out of five Polish workers aren’t happy with their current compensation. Therefore, salary has become the main reason for individuals in Poland seeking new employment.

However, here lies a significant challenge for recruitment leaders–they may not always be able to offer the compensation candidates require, so they must be able to promote a company and sell other benefits and opportunities. This is where their skills and personality really come in, but is charisma enough to convince candidates?

Recruitment leaders play a crucial role in shaping the future of organizations by identifying and attracting top talent and we examine what traits successful recruiters require, how these can help with their team and clients and whether charisma alone will sell jobs and organizations.

The expectation gap

Like many other countries, Poland experienced workplace change due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, since the pandemic, Poland has boasted one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe. According to the Polish Economic Institution, in January 2024, Poland’s unemployment rate was 2.9%, with only Malta having lower employment in the European Union.

While unemployment may be relatively low in Poland, it doesn’t mean that hiring and retaining talent is without its challenges. According to Nicholas Kirk, CEO at PageGroup, coming out of the pandemic has led to a: ‘Subtle but transformative change in workplace dynamics, with people thinking more holistically about the value their job contributes to their lives.’

He adds: ‘Finding people strategies that work for all sides is becoming trickier – something we call “The Expectation Gap”. On the one hand, workers have a growing list of expectations, stretching far beyond competitive salaries and flexibility. On the other, their employers are facing significant pressures in a rapidly evolving business environment, making it harder for both sides to meet in the middle.’

So, how can recruitment leaders use their personalities to influence candidates, ensure constant adaptation to candidates’ needs, and fight against the expectation gap?

Personality vs the market

In markets with low unemployment and positive opportunities, recruitment leaders still need more than strong ethics to exceed expectations and win over candidates and clients.

By following any of Poland’s recruitment experts or influencers, it’s clear to see that they possess more than just charisma. It’s a powerful trait as a successful recruitment leader, but alone it may not create long-term success.

James Caan, chairman of Recruitment Entrepreneur, believes successful recruitment is not just about the market. He said: ‘Success in our industry is about your passion, your drive, your conviction, your belief and your expertise.’

Even those recruitment leaders who are bursting with charisma need to establish and retain trust with candidates. Simply filling roles will unlikely bring long-term results. Changing jobs can be hugely daunting and can involve feelings of doubt, disloyalty and fear of change in even the most confident candidates. If the candidates don’t trust a recruiter, there’s scope to change recruiters or stop looking for a new role altogether.

If a recruiter is simply looking to fill positions and hit their targets, then long-term candidate satisfaction and job-company fit may not be possible.

Be on the ground

Like any role, there’s no single trait someone needs to succeed, but recruitment leaders do need to be influential, inspiring, knowledgeable, and charismatic. They also need to remain connected and actively involved with the teams they work with and lead.

Effective communication skills are key for recruiting leaders to build strong relationships with candidates and hiring managers.

VP of Global Talent Acquisition & Development at Adobe Jeff Vijungco said: ‘Even though things go well 80% of the time, 20% of the time they don’t. It’s tough when searches don’t go as planned, and I always make a point to understand where my team is coming from.’ He believes strong recruitment leaders should always be on the ground sourcing candidates and driving the recruitment process from beginning to end.

Build respect, trust and loyalty

Listening skills are also crucial for successful recruitment leaders. Not only do recruiters and their teams have to understand what the business needs regarding skills, experience and cultural fit, but they also need to know what candidates are looking for, what they don’t want and what they might be willing to negotiate on.

‘Listening is the single most important skill for successful recruiting. If you want to achieve long-term, sustainable performance as a recruiter, you must be able to listen carefully and ask the right questions,’ says TEDx speaker Stephen Lowisz in Forbes.

Such effective listening can help build respect, honesty, and loyalty between the recruiter and the candidate, and that’s when communication can really open up and help facilitate successful placements.

Ongoing development is essential

Regardless of location, one thing is clear–recruitment trends within the market do not remain the same over time. A successful recruitment leader needs to stay on top of the trends in their industry and region so they can share these with their team and candidates to ensure they retain a strategic and competitive approach.

This concept of continuous learning and development and a growth mindset can be achieved through simple actions like reading and updating knowledge and through training for development in areas such as effective listening or feedback that need further development. A leader’s approach to their role in any specialism should be towards ongoing development rather than a static stance.

And it’s okay to develop leadership competencies through formal training, as McKinsey states that a mere 10% of individuals have the ‘natural talent to become great managers.’

They add: ‘The more challenged 90 percent can cultivate many leadership competencies, mindsets, and skills if they invest in improving their capabilities. Lifelong learning and growth are prerequisites to survive in any executive job, and given today’s flatter hierarchies and increasing turnover, more professionals are likely to take on leadership roles at some point in their careers.’

By staying updated on industry trends and best practices, recruitment leaders ensure they and their teams are equipped to find the right candidates for each position.

Author: Sarah Haselwood

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