Super Recruiters … do they exist in our universe?

I believe that a simple Yes or No answer to this question will not give the subject its justice. I will eventually get back to this question once I elaborate few points on Recruitment in general and what do I mean by Super Recruiters.

The reason that pushed me into writing this article was the constant feedback that I keep coming across in social media or from friends, Hiring Managers, and Candidates about their negative experience with Recruitment and recruiters (e.g. not responding to emails, unprofessional process, unorganized approach, time consuming process, etc.). Accordingly, my objective in this article is to basically highlight the type of professional recruiters that everyone is looking for as well as some guidelines for recruiters to aspire towards becoming such role models.

To start with, it is very important to establish and agree on the key objectives of Recruitment Departments/Teams in any company. Out of the top of my head, these can be summarized as follows:

  • Objective 1: Recruiting competent and qualified candidates
  • Objective 2: Optimizing the Recruitment process/efforts
  • Objective 3: Branding the company throughout the Recruitment process

As you can notice from these objectives, Recruitment Departments and Recruiters are expected to be Business Partners to their company to eventually enable the company to successfully achieve its business/financial objectives through hiring the right people, saving time/cost/effort, and improving the branding of the company throughout the process. I just wanted to highlight this here just to reflect that Recruitment has a strategic role in companies which exceeds simply sourcing CVs.

Who are Super Recruiters?

Now when I say “Super” that does not necessarily mean speed of sourcing CVs, as at the end of the day what’s the point of having 100 CVs who are not qualified. Quality is much important than Quantity. Super Recruiters are those recruiters who consistently follow certain behaviors throughout the Recruitment process to ensure their full potential is utilized towards achieving all 3 objectives mentioned earlier. Accordingly, I will elaborate further in the following sections on these behaviors that would transform a typical recruiter into a Super Recruiter. To elaborate this in a clear picture, I will be taking specific stages in the Recruitment process (e.g. Sourcing, Screening, etc.) and explaining the relevant behaviors in each of these stages as per the following:


  • Hunting for candidates
    • Super Recruiters have a very aggressive approach towards sourcing candidates, hence I specified the headline here as “Hunting” and not “Sourcing”. The last thing Super Recruiters would think of is posting Job Posts on the different channels on the internet and just waiting for CVs to be submitted. That is the most inefficient approach of sourcing for various reasons. Frankly speaking and based on researches made, Talented Candidates are not actually actively looking for jobs and are being busy in achieving/overachieving their current jobs and are not really checking Job Posts, except for the rare cases when they are either unemployed or unsatisfied with their job/employer. That is basically why Talented Candidates need to be hunted for.

    • Super Recruiters would accordingly choose more effective approaches such as Candidate Search tools in Job Portals, internal databases of the company’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS), executive search (headhunting) firms/agencies, etc. Using these effective sourcing channels not only succeeds in identifying those candidates with the right set of competencies required but they also save a huge amount of time in terms of finding these talents.
    • The last point to highlight here is, Super Recruiters tend to get up to speed with all industry related information that shall help them in their hunting for candidates. Super Recruiter always ensure that they are fully aware of the industry of their company in terms of services, competitors (locally, regionally, and globally), industry-specific sourcing channels, and key terms used within the company and its particular industry. Having such knowledge in all of these areas equips Super Recruiters with the advantage of finding candidates quicker either by searching using certain industry terms or by using the names of competitor companies, etc.. Knowing these details makes a big difference even during discussions with the Hiring Departments in which Super Recruiters not only would understand their language but they can confidently speak with it as well.
    • As we can see from the above mentioned points, Super Recruiters over here have addressed Objective 1 by knowing how to find talented candidates and Objective 2 by optimizing the Sourcing process.


  • Screening candidates
    • The screening process is pretty simple for Super Recruiters. Once they shortlist CVs that seem to be relevant, they start contacting them by email for further details and conduct with them either face-to-face, phone, or skype calls to conduct a screening interview in which the Super Recruiter would be determining the suitability of the candidate to the company/position (e.g. communication skills, confidence, language proficiency, high-level technical skills, understanding of industry, availability details, why are they looking for a new opportunity, etc.).
    • Super Recruiters always keep in mind the next stage in which they will present the CV to the Hiring Manager and as such they ensure to collect all the information that would be required. Accordingly, they would have the template that will be used for presenting the CV (which will be explained in the next section) and accordingly know what are the questions to be asked. The screening interview should not normally take a long time as the Super Recruiter has everything prepared in advance and knows exactly what information he is looking for.
    • The more Super Recruiters are involved in Technical interviews with the Hiring Manager the more they are able to filter out or shortlist candidates during the screening call as they would understand the type of technical questions and technical skills the Hiring Manager would be looking for and accordingly they would assess these during the screening call (of course, at a high-level).
    • Super Recruiters do not waste their time or the Hiring Manager’s and accordingly after the screening interviews, they shortlist only those who they are very confident of and can highly recommend them for technical interviews. For example, if the position is urgent or has certain minimum qualifications, the Super Recruiter will immediately apologize for those candidates who require long notice periods or those who do not meet the minimum requirements. Super Recruiters are very time-effective and tend to avoid wasting time of any of the involved parties (the Recruiter’s, the Candidate’s, and the Hiring Manager’s).
    • Once the Super Recruiter is done with the screening process, he would then divide the relevant CVs into batches according to their relevancy to the position/requirements and then prepare the CVs to be presented to the Hiring Manager as will be discussed next.


  • Presenting candidate profiles
    • Now that the Super Recruiter has selected a batch of CVs to be shared with the Hiring Department, it is time to discuss how Super Recruiters would approach this.
    • The biggest mistake a recruiter would do is submit raw CVs (CVs in their original format as received from applicants) to Hiring Managers. The reason why, is that wrong impressions and decisions can be made by looking at raw CVs. I know plenty of cases in which Hiring Managers have rejected raw CVs because they wrongly thought that the candidate either does not have the required experience or is not working in the same industry.
    • This is where a Super Recruiter’s true potential comes into play as presenting the candidate’s profile to the Hiring Manager requires a certain type of talent. Super Recruiters accordingly try to behave more like a Salesman who needs to present his product properly in order to successfully sell it to the customer. This is obviously done by the Salesman firstly understanding why would the customer require that product, what problem would that product resolve for the customer, what features the customer is looking for, and so on and so forth. From a Recruiter’s perspective the same is to be done by understanding the role of the position and the experiences/skills candidates must have and accordingly highlight in candidates’ profiles how they will be the perfect fit for the position.
    • If you are in the Recruitment function you most definitely have seen lots of CVs and realize that job seekers are not very good in writing/presenting their CVs, or in most cases use one CV format when submitting for various vacancies. For example, I have seen plenty of Sales Manager CVs with 10+ years of experience who just forget to mention in their CV what services or products they are selling in each company they worked for.
    • I will simply elaborate this through an excellent example after which I will highlight the points that I want to express.
      • I used to work for an Electronics (home appliances) manufacturing company based in Jordan. The company had a Sales Manager position to fill and wanted to consider candidates with extensive experience in Sales of Electronics products to Wholesalers and Hypermarkets with strong experience in Account Management. I came across a CV that caught my attention. I asked the assigned Recruiter to take it through our process and came back to me saying that this CV was shared with the Sales Director before I joined and was rejected. For reference purposes, below is a snapshot of the candidate’s original CV.

Click here to see the original CV file

      • I requested the recruiter to take it through the new process (assess, screen, and present). The Hiring Manager selected the CV for an interview and was eventually hired. For reference purposes, below is the new format of the CV created by the recruiter.

Click here to see the new Candidate Profile

    • Now for the conclusions. Here are the lessons learned from the previous example:
      • Candidates are not very good in preparing their CVs for particular vacancies. The more relevant experiences and skills of candidates are highlighted the higher their chances of being selected for an interview, however, in most cases candidates use one standard template when applying for vacancies. That’s why Recruiters should avoid sharing raw CVs with Hiring Managers to avoid misconceptions about candidates. Accordingly, CVs need to be re-presented by the professional (which in our case is the Recruiter) who knows what the Hiring Manager is looking for in candidates and accordingly highlighting these skills/experiences on the CV so that the Hiring Manager can see them clearly. For example, the recruiter has highlighted in the new CV the following skills: Account Management, Modern Trade Channel experience, Products handled, etc. These business/industry terms are the ones trending across the company and which Hiring Managers look for in CVs. Although the candidate does have these skills but they were not mentioned on his original CV as he does not know what each company is looking for or what terms they use. This is exactly how the Recruiter’s role becomes crucial to close this gap.
      • The candidate was working abroad in other countries but in the same industry. However, the Hiring Manager rejected the CV because he is only aware of the companies in Jordan and assumed that they were in different industry. It is the Recruiter’s responsibility to do the research about each company and highlight this on the CV so that Hiring Managers have a correct impression of the candidate’s background.
      • Using this new CV format to represent candidate profiles has significantly helped achieving Objective 1 by highlighting the relevant skills and experiences to Hiring Managers and accordingly being able to improve the process of identifying talented candidates. Not only that, it also helped in achieving Objective 2 by following this new CV format as a standard for all CVs. This has significantly resulted in saving time for Hiring Managers as now they know perfectly where to look for each information (candidate overview in first page and detailed experience in following pages). When Hiring Managers review CVs in their original format it takes them a while to understand the format of the CV and to know where to find each information and of course there will be some missing information or extra information that is not required. However, all of this wasted time is now avoided through this new standardized format which takes the Recruiter a maximum of 5 to 10 minutes to prepare (just a reminder, this is not done for all CVs, only the ones the Recruiter has identified to be qualified and ready to be shared with the Hiring Manager. This can even be automated nowadays with ATS systems).
    • It is also highly recommended when sharing CVs with Hiring Managers to do so in Batches (e.g. batch01, batch02, etc.)., having around 5 to 6 CVs per batch. This firstly, helps you and the Hiring Manager in being organized and following a standard process. Secondly, this way helps you greatly in understanding the feedback on the CVs shared in a certain batch from the Hiring Manager before sharing another batch as the feedback may completely affect how you source for newer CVs. Sharing hundred CVs at once as well as randomly with Hiring Managers is just ineffective and makes a mess throughout the process and inability to track the status for each CV.


  • Preparing Candidates for interviews
    • Super Recruiters do not think of Candidates as enemies who need to be locked in a room and drilled with investigative questions. On the contrary, Super Recruiters think of Candidates as future or potential employees/colleagues who’s expectations of the interview need to be set clearly in order for them to be well prepared. Super Recruiters make sure to provide Candidates who are selected for interviews with suitable guidelines about the interview such as list of interviewers, key areas to be discussed, etc. The more Candidates are prepared the more they are confident during interviews and their performance would be much better. Below is just a simple example of how Super Recruiters prepare Candidates for interviews.

Click here to see the image in full-size

  • Updating and replying to candidates
    • Unlike laid-back recruiters, Super Recruiters take the aspect of communicating with applicants and candidates very seriously as it is very critical for achieving (Objective 3: Branding the company throughout the recruitment process).
    • Super Recruiters are very organized to the extent that every applicant and candidate for a vacancy gets a reply without any sweat. Just to clarify, Applicants are the ones who apply for a vacancy, and Candidates are the ones who you start communicating with and consider them for the vacancy. In terms of Applicants, Super Recruiters basically configure their ATS system to automatically reply to each applicant with a standard email message (below is an example). Even if there is no ATS system, Super Recruiters will coordinate with the IT Department to setup like an email address for receiving applications (e.g. and configure an auto-reply email with the same message below. This way each Applicant will receive a clear email message from the company explaining how the Recruitment process works.

    • Now in terms of Candidates, they will go through the different stages (assess, screen, present, interview). If the Super Recruiter finds the candidate’s profile not meeting the requirements by reviewing his CV (assess) or during the call with the candidate (screen), he will immediately send an apology email to the candidate and case closed. For those candidates whose profiles will be shared with the Hiring Manager (present), as mentioned earlier, the Super Recruiter shares candidates’ CVs with the Hiring Manager in batches. Accordingly, all candidates in pending batches will be informed that their application is still in process. Once the feedback is received from the Hiring Manager on the submitted batch, the Super Recruiter will apologize for those who are rejected and inform others regarding interview schedules (if any) and then moving on to the next batch (if requested by the Hiring Manager). Following this simple approach makes you connected with candidates throughout the process and successfully achieving Objective 3. On top of that, Candidates would be more than happy to provide the Super Recruiter with LinkedIn Recommendations based on such interaction during the recruitment process. My current team at Handover Consulting receives lots of LinkedIn Recommendations from candidates (the successful as well as the unlucky ones) as all my team members were trained as Super Recruiters and Objective 3 is one of our priorities. Even though some candidates failed to proceed in the process with the client, however, they were more than happy to endorse the Recruiter for taking the time and providing a professional feedback and closure. Below are few examples where my team members have received such LinkedIn Recommendations from Candidates. For reference, most of these candidates went through our recruitment process for certain opportunities with our clients but were not eventually selected for hire. Nonetheless, they were more than happy to provide feedback of such pleasant and professional experience.

Click here to see the image in full-size

    • I am always amazed when I keep hearing recruiters saying that they cannot respond to all candidates or update them about the status of their application as for them that is very time consuming. My response to that is that these recruiters are either unprofessional or very unorganized in their process. Either way, they represent their company and will eventually damage the reputation of their company in the market and obviously will impact Objective 3 negatively.
    • The way Super Recruiters actually approach email communication with candidates makes their life very simple yet professional at the same time. They tend to overcome the time-consuming complaint above by using a template of standardized responses (below is an example of these standardized responses). They only need to copy the appropriate response for the situation, paste it, and send it. At most, this should take less than a minute.

Click here to see the image in full-size

Coming back to the question (do Super Recruiters exist in our universe?), I do believe that they do exist out there but unfortunately we still do need more of them. I do believe that all recruiters should become Super Recruiters in order for them to succeed in the Recruitment function and be able to lead their company to success. It will be also one of the key responsibilities of Recruitment Leaders to ensure their Recruitment teams grasp these behaviors of Super Recruiters.

At the end of the day, Recruiters aim to achieve all the 3 objectives mentioned earlier while ensuring to maintain an effective Recruitment process for themselves, the Hiring Managers, and of course for Candidates.

I hope that you have found this article and the insights provided to be relevant and beneficial. Please do share your thoughts, feedback, and experience on the subject as they are always welcome.

(you may want to also check this other relevant article for further insights on recruitment behaviors: The top 5 Practices that are killing your Recruitment Strategy:

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