What does it take to be a good recruiting consultant?

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In the area of Human Resources, we find professionals with academic training in careers such as Psychology, Administration, Labor Relations, among others. On average, these careers last for three to five years, during which time professionals acquire theoretical knowledge and develop skills to face future professional challenges.

However, university academic training and much of the literature related to talent management has focused on the execution of processes by collaborators and has not considered a scenario that is currently common: outsourcing through consulting companies.

But, what happens when the professional accesses a consulting company? What skills does the consultant or headhunter have to develop? What conditions does this professional face?

Differences in the work of a recruiting consultant

People who join a consulting company or begin the journey to become a consultant or headhunter, soon discover a different reality than they had been taught in their academic training.

The nature of the selection process is to cover the need for hiring your internal client, and that is precisely where a great difference lies: the consultant must understand the dynamics, culture, and demands of various organizations, as their internal client will not be one but several companies that have chosen to outsource the process. In the same way, your direct reporting line is not only with the head in the consultancy, but with the person in charge or contact person of each client.

The process of selection from consulting has variations with respect to other types of companies since it has additional requirements considering that it seeks to cover the needs of several clients simultaneously.

A consultant must investigate and process a large amount of information about the nature of companies, positions, business cultures, and other aspects that influence hiring. You must also learn to relate to terms such as passive candidate or feasibility analysis, and even execute activities that are usually considered to belong to other areas such as after-sales or follow-up.

For a consultant, the main means to obtain candidates is headhunting. Its source is in the labor market, so developing skills such as information search, recursion, initiative, and creativity is your priority.

The consultant is not someone who receives resumes, filters them and passes them on to a client. Your work starts before and goes beyond. He must dedicate time to understand the reality of his client, his situation in front of the working environment, analyze his requirements in terms of hard profile and soft skills, and based on that, perform a feasibility analysis to technically advise the company and thus help that the search is successful.

Some of the characteristics, specialists in business management practices, mentions that a consultant must have some of these skills: 

  • Skill in dealing with the client.
  • Ability to diagnose problems.
  • Ability to find solutions.
  • Technical knowledge.
  • Communication.
  • Skills to sell.

In summary, a consultant is not only a selection specialist or a human resources generalist, but also an adviser who, throughout the process, must discuss and manage the expectations of the different people involved in the hiring process.

It is essential that in this type of process the consultant can make his work tangible, that is, constantly show the client his progress. In turn, to achieve good results, there must be objective, comply with established times, and maintain constant and open communication.

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