With more recruitment companies expanding their billing teams it’s important to know exactly what the traits of those super high achieving recruiters are.

Some of these attributes might be ‘natural’ and instinctive and you will be looking out for them at interview, while others can be taught encouraged and developed.

Over my 18 years working in recruitment I have recruited, managed and developed literally hundreds of this unique breed.

I was looking back over some of my old journals the other day and came across my original scribblings about top performers; interestingly little has changed over the past few years. The traits and habits are pretty consistent and here are my top 3.


1. They come from cause not effect


The famous personal development guru Brian Tracy is known for his quote:


If it’s to be it’s up to me!


Cheesy? Maybe. Yet the underlying principle is at the core of all successful recruiters I have ever come across.

The more logical explanation is related to living your life from cause rather than effect. I am more than happy to nail my flag to the mast and say all successful sales people live their life from cause.


What do we mean?

I first understood how this concept worked when I decided it was time to turn around my recruitment company and invested heavily in my  personal development and improving my skills.

At the time the penny had finally dropped that life didn’t just happen to me. That I could alter the path I was travelling on, so rather being at the effect of something I could come from cause and turn things around.

In 2008 a number of recruitment companies suffered in a global recession. At the same time a number flourished too. The difference? The successful ones I guarantee will have come from cause.

It’s the same with those high recruiters we have all seen that have a bad day and then get straight back on the saddle. Call it tenacity, drive or whatever word you think best fits; at the end of the day they understand that the conversations we have with ourselves are the most powerful, especially when it comes from that place of; “I can do this.”


2. They are sponges and coachable



Great sales achievers are sponges and they are super super keen to be coached. They love to learn and are always looking for ways to get better and improve what they are doing and consequently their results. They are the ones that ask questions and then actually go and act on the advice you have given them: Happy days.

You will find them attending webinars in their own time or straightaway downloading a book onto their ipad that you have recommended.

Many of your recruiters will fall into the Gen Y category and a common theme for them is being able to achieve. In my own experience recruiters that want coaching and those that embrace training are always the ones at the top of the achievement charts.


3. Plan their sales conversation

There is a mistaken rumour that great sales people have the ‘gift of the gab’ and can wing any sales situation and come up trumps. The evidence totally dispels this.

The great sales people harness their ‘cause’ mindset and follow a process that they don’t deviate from. They are the ones that always hit their KPIs and even set their own mini goals.



The exceptional sales people follow a script (yes they do). One that they have developed and honed so that they are prepared and ready to:

  • Ask probing questions of both candidates and clients
  • Understand how features advantages and benefits work and where to use each
  • Communicate the value of working with your recruitment organisation
  • Communicate the value of the fees you charge
  • Communicate the value of exclusivity
  • Have a list of all the common objections and prepared answers ( still surprises me that people don’t do this )
  • Handle objections
  • Close
  • Come away from a sales conversation and review the learnings


The question now is are you looking for this when you interview candidates to work in your organisation.

Let’s be honest with the information I have given you here it will be easy to construct questions and tasks that will enable them to demonstrate these attributes.

Good luck.


Warm regards




High performing consultants are the lifeblood of any successful recruitment organisation. The challenge starts when your recruiters underperform. There is a solution and I cover it in-depth in my latest ebook; How to Convert Your under Performers to Consistent Billers in 14 Days or less. You can download it here.