9 Things All Likeable Recruiters Do in 2019

Sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on why someone’s likeable. But I’m here to argue, the more likeable you are, the more successful you are.

Especially in recruitment.

But how do you become likeable? Surely it’s something you’ve either got or you haven’t?

Not entirely.

In fact, a lot of people have an image of likability as intelligence, extroversion, and charisma.

But that’s simply not the case, and there are steps you can follow which will help you along the path.

Even for the most introverted of characters.

Here are those steps…

1. Be Encouraging

Likeable people are supportive, generous in their praise and humble in their success. They elevate people around them.

If you’re billing big this month, carry yourself with humility. If you just got knocked-off the top biller spot, congratulate others with sincerity and be quick to share praise.

Remember how it felt when you were struggling. It’s all too easy to be scathing of a rival. So lead the cheers and pick up your colleagues when the recruitment world beats them up.

Because everyone needs it from time to time.

2. Celebrate Success 

Likeable people are positive, upbeat and optimistic.

They focus on what’s working and what’s not. Both in their own performance and in others’. This is also a sign of a high emotional intelligence; a trait which top recruiters often have in abundance.

Likeable recruiters see the positives in their day outside of actually putting a fee on the board. Making a placement definitely deserves celebration, but acknowledging the small wins, personally and for your colleagues is really important to stay motivated.

Equally, if the figures aren’t looking so great, likeable people don’t brood on failure.

They’re positive, and focus on working out what went wrong and where to improve next time.

3. Listen

Most Recruiters know that good recruitment is as much about listening as speaking.

In fact, it’s probably more about listening than speaking.

Likeable people are great active listeners. If you’re spending longer on the phone talking than you are listening, you need to rethink.

Likeable people give others their full attention, always appear engaged and are constantly curious.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that a sales call isn’t just about delivering a sales pitch, but selling based on the needs of your client. Adapting your pitch based on the information you can gather will mean you make more placements.

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4. Be Yourself

Likeable people are authentic.

In the context of work, you need to balance behaving naturally with acting professionally. Authenticity allows people to build a consistent personal brand.

If you want to be more likeable, don’t learn your pitch word for word and don’t regurgitate company information wholesale. You’ll sound like a robot and the old adage holds true for a reason:

People buy from people.

Try memorising some of the key details and use them in your pitch, rather than repeating them verbatim. Adapt your pitch to the audience and be honest and authentic when delivering it.

5. Be Confident

Likeable people are confident without being arrogant.

You’re aiming for solid assurance in your own ability. So, try to under promise and over deliver, not the other way round. Making grandiose claims is likely to inspire disbelief and can result in disappointment and mistrust.

It’s important to be honest about what you can and can’t achieve and manage expectations from the outset. You’ll know that from the very first deal forecast you made.

Be firm to manage expectations and don’t be afraid to prove your capability. Outlining your achievements will instil confidence, just be humble in doing so.

6. Be Consistent

Likeable people do what they say they’re going to do.

So the more reliable and consistent you are, the more you’ll earn people’s trust.

Keeping organised is crucial – scheduling callbacks, keeping your diary up-to-date, responding promptly to important emails – these are all trademarks of the likeable Recruiter.

If you say you’ll call a candidate back, do it.

Even if there is no new information. In fact, especially if there’s no new information. Keeping to your word is always appreciated and is critical for building your personal brand. If you have a day plan that’s written down, you’ll easily ignore it.

Even if you’re only using outlook as a recruitment tool, you have the capacity to be reminded of important daily tasks. 

7. Be Engaging

Likeable people understand the value of small talk but also know how to get beyond that. People like you if you’re engaging, and too much idle chitchat about the weather can seem insincere.

Sharing personal stories of your own can be a great way to start building more authentic relationships.

Building rapport with your candidates and clients should be easy. They’re people too.

Engage with them on a deeper level and you’ll gain an understanding of their personal motivations. Which means you’ll align more closely and do a better job.

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8. Be Rational

Likeable Recruiters rarely lose their cool, slam their phone down or storm out of the office. If you can be calm, patient, and reasonable, at least outwardly, you’ll face problems with a clear mind, and deal with the issue. Not just react to it.

Don’t let frustration come across on the phone, even if this is the 15th time the client has asked for more candidates.

Being likeable is about putting your head above the parapet and being trusted because of your composure in difficult circumstances.

9. Respect others

Likeable people have to actually like people. Or at least treat them with respect if they don’t.

There’s no way around it. If you’re jaded and cynical, and believe all candidates are liars and all clients are inept, it will leak into your conversations.

Instead of cynicism, try to cultivate an attitude of liking and respecting those around you and this will trickle into everything you do.


Most Recruiters will recognise themselves in this list. Recruitment’s a people industry, and as a result the best Recruiters are some of the most likeable people.

If there’s anywhere you think you could improve, remember that likability can be learnt. Try and at least have a go at these 9 pointers and you’ll be well on your way!

If you somehow manage all 9 please tell me how.