Are recruiters born or made? Some say they’re born, while others say that changing circumstances can bring out one’s “inner recruiter.” Most of the team at Ken Leiner Associates (KLA) will tell you that the thought of recruiting never crossed their minds before changing career paths and discovering they had the talent for it. Some had worked in technical sales. KLA Partner Frank Munero was an engineer-turned-marketing director. Owner Ken Leiner himself worked for the Postal Service. With a degree in sociology and dream of joining the Peace Corps, Amy Shepardson took a friend’s advice to try recruiting. She loved it, and worked for five years at KLA before moving on to sales. “Recruiting is exciting and challenging at the same time, and it’s very fulfilling to help people get jobs. Yet, it does take a certain type of person,” says Amy, who returned to KLA in 2012.
Of KLA’s veteran team, Alan Strober believes a recruiter is both born and made. He explains that “a good recruiter is predisposed with certain innate, personality traits combined with emotional intelligence, and those traits need to be honed and nurtured.” While Frank Munero agrees, he also notes that the top five to ten percent of successful recruiters seem to be born. Why? It involves an element of sales. “Sales is part art–reading situations and knowing how to react, and part science–or process,” he says. “The art part is more ‘born’ while the process part is ‘made.’ You can make average reps more effective by teaching them sales processes, but I believe the best don’t need to be taught because they naturally develop their own processes that maximize their strengths.”
So, what makes a good recruiter? Some of the qualities that run strong in the KLA team are: diligence, self-motivation, networking savvy, and the ability to listen and communicate well. Must have integrity. Must have empathy. Must enjoy people and be able to connect with many kinds. Frank believes that the best recruiters “take a real interest in the needs of their candidates and customers; listening to what they want, consulting them on market conditions, making sure their goals are realistic and finding what they need.” Amy points out that a good recruiter also “acts in everybody’s best interest, even if sometimes doing the right thing doesn’t bring financial gain. Also, being energized helps. Unlike your typical corporate environment, KLA is very team oriented. The company and the people here are great and that reflects in my work. I encourage recruiters to consider KLA.” Indeed, due to high demand, KLA is growing its team with a focus on recruiting for Federal and commercial sales teams for technology vendors and professional services firms. Contact us, and watch top recruiter Frank Munero’s quick interview about recruiting with KLA.
by Marisa Arbona-Ruiz