What makes a Happy Recruiter?

My ‘Little Green Book’ will tell you how…

I have always been fascinated by what makes one recruitment consultant successful and another not. It’s no secret that recruitment is a ‘Marmite’ profession – people either seem to love it or hate it. Like baby turtles headed for the sea, only the most determined newly hatched consultants will survive.

For more than a quarter of a century now I have been travelling around the world having conversations with recruiters and these have formed the basis of my latest book, The Happy Recruiter.

I have also crowdsourced advice from my network of thousands of recruiter customers, asking them, ‘if you could go back to “you” on the first day of your career and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?’

I was pleased to discover that recruitment is widely regarded as a rewarding career, most of the people I canvassed had worked in the field for over ten years, and 85% were satisfied or highly satisfied with their jobs.

So what do you need to do, or be, to become a successful recruitment consultant?

To be a happy recruiter, I think you should possess seven key attributes, or personas, that you can adopt throughout your career. I’ve called them the ‘Seven R’s’. These are:

  • The relatable recruiter, who builds trusted relationships with candidates and clients.
  • The relevant recruiter, who knows their specialism inside out.
  • The ready recruiter, who’s prepared for every eventuality.
  • The rapid recruiter, who’s quick enough to win the best candidate or client.
  • The resilient recruiter, who keeps going no-matter what.
  • The reflective recruiter, who never stops learning.
  • And all of these qualities lead to … the rewarded recruiter, who’s fulfilled and respected by their candidates and clients alike.

To bring the ‘Seven Rs’ to life, I’ve assigned to each of them a ‘spirit animal’ that you can summon in times of need. Why a spirit animal? Well, I have observed over the years that success in recruitment requires spirit, and the animals I’ve chosen encapsulate the different types of spirit that take the successful recruiter forward. An eccentricity? Perhaps, but it works for me. So which spirit animal are you? The rapid hare or the resilient tortoise? And which would you like to be more of?

There’s few things worse than reading a lot of theory that you can’t see working in practice, which is why my ‘Little Green Book’ is short, sweet and based firmly in the real world.

If you are working in recruitment or would like to work in recruitment, my hope is that it will help you on your journey to becoming… a Happy Recruiter!


The Happy Recruiter, by James Reed, is available now from Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Click here to read more.