Talent managers are feeling the crunch as top talent is an increasingly scarce commodity. Competition for the ideal candidate is, in a word, fierce. What can you do to remain competitive in this recruiting environment?

The challenges facing talent managers today require a high skill level and certain qualities that make you stand out from others in your field. Here are a few of the top qualities the best talent managers share.

1. Top Talent Managers Believe in Relationship Building

Talent management at its core is about relationship building. The article “Top Qualities of Recruiters – Do You Have What It Takes” observes: “You need the desire and skills to build relationships effectively, and, to some extent, a predisposition to connecting with people. Your success as a recruiter is due, in part, to the people you know and how they feel about you.”

Networking is a part of the DNA of top talent managers. Building personal connections and relationships over the course of time helps them to maintain a healthy talent pipeline. Top talent managers understand that the job is really about people, not simply positions that need to be filled.

This means they pay attention to detail and truly get to know and understand the talent with which they are working. This gives them the ability to see connections others might miss. Skilled talent managers know how and where to connect the dots in their organizations with available talent both internally and externally.

2. Top Talent Managers are Excellent Listeners

With their proverbial ears to the ground, effective talent managers are always cultivating their listening skills. They listen closely to potential candidates, organizational leaders, and their own talent teams. Though they work in a highly competitive profession, they have the patience it takes to truly concentrate on listening.

Maria Martinez, CHRO at HSN, notes: “Recruiting leaders may assume that if positions are being filled according to predetermined ‘time to fill’ metrics, all must be in good shape. While this is certainly a sign of a healthy recruiting team, I believe that recruiting leaders should ensure that teams are spending time networking, learning, sharing best practices with each other, and creating efficiencies in process.”

Leaders in talent management expect and empower their teams to listen to candidates and to each other to learn how to best use knowledge available to them to improve recruiting efficiency.

3. Top Talent Managers have a Can-Do Attitude

While they do not match the stereotype of the practically rabid recruiter who just will not quit, top talent managers are persistent within reason. They understand that it is a rare thing to recruit highly-qualified candidates without a good deal of work, and they relish that work.

Skilled talent managers anticipate roadblocks in the recruiting process and engineer ways around them. They follow up with candidates at appropriate intervals and attempt to build a relationship founded on honesty, trust, and mutual respect.

They communicate a clear message to potential candidates, and avoid being pushy, aggressive, or disingenuous. They present their recruiting case, confident in the fact that they have done their homework and are matching the right candidate with the right position.

4. They Use Technology, and do not let Technology Use Them

Just like every other kind of skilled craftsman, top talent managers use the tools of their trade well.

While recruiting is an intrinsically human endeavor, top talent managers understand that well-designed talent management software can enable a more agile and responsive type of recruiting. They value technology that helps them manage their time and resources more efficiently, and they adopt new technologies as needed to remain competitive in their field.

Additionally, skilled talent managers help candidates to understand how to use available technologies to ease the recruiting process from the candidate perspective. This, too, is part of building a relationship of trust and mutual respect.

The Bottom Line

Commonalities among top talent managers include: a strong commitment to relationship building, an emphasis on listening and learning, a positive, problem-solving attitude, and a willingness to use all available technological tools to aid in the recruitment process.

Are you using the best technology available to help you hone your skills as a talent manager? Contact us to learn more about our talent management solutions today.