by Bernie Reifkind

10.  The telephone is the most important tool that a recruiter has. Recruiters use every technological Internet advantage while conducting a search, but ultimately it all boils down to the phone and more importantly: how one communicates over the phone.  Phone presence is key.  Knowing when to speak and when to be silent, knowing how to speak with clarity, humility and humor is critical.  Communicating integrity over the phone is a gift.  But you need a phone!

9.  Successful recruiters are (for the most part) on commission and we are among the hardest working service providers in the world.  We are always thinking about our deals, our clients, our candidates.  We cannot afford to rest on what happened yesterday or even 2 hours ago.  Recruiters are not reactive, we are proactive. We make things happen.

8.  Most of our work doesn’t materialize. We swim in a sea of “No’s” trying to ride the wave to “YES.”  We accept that rejection is inherent in our work but sometimes the rejection is painful.  We are all told that in business: “it isn’t personal”,….but come on….it feels personal.  Sometimes the constant sting of rejection can be completely exhausting, but there’s always tomorrow.

7.  Recruiters love the challenge of a hunt.  In fact, the more difficult the search, the more resolve we have in filling the job.  Some of us are up all night in quest of the very best talent.  If a client lets us know that a job is almost impossible to fill, we’ll take it on and use every angle possible to fill it.  There’s no quit in us.

6.  Successful recruiters are born with a resourcefulness that cannot be taught or learned from a course or a book.  No one graduates with a degree in resourcefulness.  You either have it or you do not.  This resourcefulness is what separates the pros from the amateurs.

5.  Recruiters do not find jobs for people, they find people for jobs.  If we are successful, then of course recruiters have helped someone secure new employment, but our client is never the candidate: it’s the employer.  We absolutely care deeply for candidates but to be candid, they’re not paying the fee.  Recruiters work for their employer clients.

4.  Professional recruiters understand the human dynamic and have a high aptitude and knowledge of human psychology.  Many years ago we were called “counselors” because much of our work is guiding people and our client employers to the employment conclusion that they desire.  The most successful recruiters are older in age.  They’re seasoned.  They’ve lived and loved and have lost.  Great recruiters have life wisdom combined with a healthy dose of common sense.

3.  It’s the most difficult job in the world to earn $50,000 and yet it is the easiest way to earn more than six figures.  Why is that?  Ask any recruiter and they’ll tell you.   Recruiters only know what they’ve earned by looking back at their year and recruiters can not “rest on their laurels.”  We start each day as if the prior day had not happened.  And it’s never enough.  The real professional recruiter is on the phone all day long gathering information or closing deals.

2.  Recruiters cannot explain their job.  If you are an accountant, you’re an accountant.  Most people understand.  If you’re a teacher, than you’re a teacher.  A lawyer? A secretary? A sales person? OK.  Tell someone that you are an executive recruiter and watch the other person’s eyes roll back into their head.  Unless you have worked as a professional recruiter, than it is virtually impossible to describe your job.  It changes minute by minute.   One minute we are sales people, the other we are career counselors. The next minute we are deal makers, then we are customer service agents. Then we are business consultants, confidants, talent agents, financial planners,economists and party planners!  I am blacking out as I write this!

1.  Recruiters change people’s lives for the better.   After all, why does someone accept an offer of employment?  Obviously there are many reasons but in so doing the intent is to better their lives which of course betters the lives of family and friends.  Most importantly, we have helped our client employer in the ultimate success of their business.  We put good into the world and everyone wins!

I am Bernie Reifkind, CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc.  I can be reached at 1(800) 801-1400 or email at  I welcome your phone call.