Recruitment Blog

What makes a good temp recruiter?

Sarah Linney
Content Marketing Manager at JobAdder
good temp recruiter

Wondering what to look for when hiring good temp recruiters for your recruitment agency? 

Temp recruitment is fast-paced and demanding, so a good temp recruiter is worth their weight in gold. 

Looking beyond the usual problem-solving and communication skills, temp recruiters need a number of traits to set them up for success.

But when you’re a busy agency owner or decision maker, hiring the right temp recruiters can be just another vital task in a long list of to-dos. 

So, we thought we’d simplify things and ask the experts: what makes a good temp recruiter?

Our Head of Product Tom Dyson did just this in a recent webinar, getting essential insights from longtime JobAdder customer and Founder and CEO of Consult Recruitment, Angela Cameron, and global recruitment advisor and author, Greg Savage.

WATCH THE WEBINAR: How to build a resilient temp business in 2023

A good temp recruiter is an extension of their client

First and foremost, a good temp recruiter will be a natural extension of their client. This means that they innately understand what their client needs, what they’re looking for and how they work.

Angela states that this is crucial. “A number of people here at Consult are actually an extension of the client, so they know as much about the business as the client does themselves.”

Greg agrees: “I’m very heavily involved in a lot of companies like Angela’s that have many hundreds of contractors working every day. And what I’ve noticed is the temp recruiters build exceptional, trusting relationships with their clients.”

These relationships form the foundations of any temp recruiter’s success.

A good temp recruiter is an advisor and influencer

Once these relationships are developed, a good temp recruiter can act as a trusted advisor and influencer of outcomes for their clients.

Greg explains it as strong influencing skills. “The ability to create outcomes, not through pushiness or overselling (that doesn’t fly), but through credibility, advice, consulting, insights, coaching, persuading and strength of character. To have in your mind that your client is paying the bill, but you’re the expert. Just like when I go to a doctor or a lawyer, if I trust them, I take their advice. It’s my decision, but I take their advice. And that’s what a great temp recruiter does.”

This is one key area where temp and perm recruitment skills slightly differ, according to Greg, who stresses that there’s still a lot of crossover. 

“It’s wrong to think of temp and perm as two different species. There are a lot of characteristics that a great permanent recruiter needs that a temp recruiter needs as well.”

“But this is the way I like to think about it: a permanent recruiter does the work and the process to create a shortlist from which the client will select. A good temp recruiter will actually decide who gets the job, even though the client doesn’t realise it. So you’re making a much bigger call in a way. So you need much more confidence.”

A good temp recruiter is driven and assertive

This confidence often means that good temp recruiters are very driven and assertive, while still maintaining professionalism and respect.

Greg states: “I’ve noticed that a temp recruiter has high self-belief. Not arrogance. There’s a big difference, right? They don’t use tentative language. You’ll never hear a temp recruiter say, “I think she can do this job.” They’ll say, “She can do this job. She’s been on three assignments for me. She’s got great references. She’ll be in at nine and by five past nine she’ll be productive.” And that won’t be spin. That will be true. Obviously, you’ve got to deliver.”

“They’re quite assertive, but not aggressive, with high levels of respect. They’re respectful to their candidates and they’re respectful to their clients. You can be assertive and respectful. You can be confident and respectful.”

A good temp recruiter can think on their feet

We all know that temp recruitment moves quickly, so thinking on your feet is essential for any good temp recruiter. 

“It’s a fluid, fast-moving, juggling type of job. They’re very innovative and outcome driven. They’re very fast,” explains Greg. “I’ve noticed that temp recruiters have very quick decision-making ability. You often have to think on your feet.”

Angela agrees and adds that this allows temp recruiters to anticipate client needs. “They’re incredibly customer-centric, so they’re thinking about their clients even when they’re not speaking with their clients. They anticipate needs.”

She adds that this is aided by a strong temp talent pool. “They need to be good on the old database as well because you need information at the ready as a temp recruiter.”

Whether you’re a recruitment agency that’s just starting to build its temp desk or one that’s looking to scale quickly, finding and nurturing good temp recruiters will be key to your long-term success. 

If you’re looking for more insights into building a strong temp desk, check out our webinar: How to build a resilient temp business in 2023.



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