By Jessica Miller-Merrell 
When someone recently asked me what I thought it takes to be a great recruiter, a very cheesy and very popular quote came to mind: “Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.” This popped in my head and has since stuck with me because I’ve come come across so many people who want the secret recipe. They want to know what it takes to be the recruiter. The one who amazes the boss, wows the client and is highly sought after. The truth is that there is no secret recipe, no piece that just needs to fall into place and no secret to pass along because the true mystery of being a really great recruiter lies in the amount of work you put in.
As much as we would like for there to be a magic easy button, hiring and retaining good people is a complicated task for any recruiter. Even the rock stars. Good recruiting is tough and certainly takes dedication, but great recruiting is flat out hard. It takes putting in a lot of hours and using your time very wisely. In fact, it’s not unheard of for highly successful recruiters to schedule upwards of 20 interviews in a week, make 50 plus phone calls and juggle the rest of their responsibilities.
This may seem impossible, but the key to successful execution is preparation. Before the day-to-day duties can even be tackled, these recruiters spend time researching and planning. Aside from being willing to put in the time to do the work, spending that time wisely is also vital to your success.
Trust best practices – but test them
Spending your time wisely sometimes means that it’s not always practical to reinvent the wheel. Researching and putting industry best practices to use can be incredibly effective in your recruiting efforts. However, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work, so it’s important to evaluate whether or not your methods are working. Setting benchmarks and measuring your results can keep you from spending an exorbitant amount of time doing something that doesn’t work.
Dare to be different
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, candidates today are swimming in a sea of sameness that requires employers to stand up and stand out if they want to recruit the best. Learn from those around you, but don’t be afraid to veer away from the ordinary. Recruiters can spend years going through the motions and doing all the right things, but if you want a wow moment, you might have to pull a wow move.
Differentiate, differentiate, differentiate
And just for good measure, differentiate again! The money-making area of your company knows how important it is to have the one thing everyone wants but that oly one company can give them. Take a lesson from them and offer candidates and employees what the average company doesn’t. This could be as simple as feeling wanted and appreciated. You’ll set your organization apart from the many others who use marketing tactics in place of a good company culture, and it will pay off.
In addition to these three keys to making the most of your hard work, don’t be afraid to utilize tools and technology that free you up to tackle the important things. When you have a game plan in place, use the right tactics and tools and are aiming toward a goal, you’ll find that hard work does equal rock star recruiting. And until we invent that magic easy button, this as close as it’s going to get to a secret to success.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell 

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