Things may feel a little uncertain in talent acquisition at the moment. 2022 was a roller-coaster that saw a dramatic shift from hiring frenzies with recruiters in high demand to hiring freezes and layoffs. And as the economy cools, hiring rates are slowing down too.

This makes looking to the future difficult with many workers bracing for a further economic downturn. It is indeed a time of uncertainty, but it’s also a time of great opportunity if recruiters shift their strategies and master the necessary skills to accommodate this new economic ambiguity. 

What will make talent acquisition professionals successful in 2023? Without a doubt, succeeding as a recruitment professional requires mastering hard recruitment skills, however, recruiters who can master soft recruitment skills will soar to new heights. This year it’s also all about becoming an active member of the recruitment community, leveraging your network, and boosting your personal brand. 


Active participation in the recruitment community


In the current climate, it’s more important than ever to leverage your network. This requires a conscious effort to become an active member of the recruitment community. It includes your online and offline presence and engagements such as:

- Making your LinkedIn shine with a top-notch profile and consistent engagements.

- Taking the time to attend industry events to connect with fellow recruitment professionals and expand your network.

- Investing in personal relationships within the recruitment community.

- Attending recruitment trainings and signing up for recruitment newsletters to keep up to date.

All this will help boost your personal brand, and it goes hand in hand with boosting the employer brand too. It really is a two-way street, from which you can benefit. Wider recognition and active participation in the recruitment community will create new opportunities and open doors to advance up your career ladder.

Without further ado, let’s dive into must-have recruitment skills to set you up for success this year.


Soft skills to make or break recruiters’ success 


Recruitment professionals are known to be “Jacks of all trades”, meaning they perform multiple jobs: from being sourcing experts, copywriters, linguists, project managers, analysts, psychologists, sales reps, and negotiators. However, it’s increasingly important for recruiters to have developed soft skills in order to interact with clients and candidates effectively.

Interpersonal skills ultimately will decide whether you succeed or fail. Can you manage your impulses? Can you manage change? How agile are you? Can you adapt to shifting client priorities? Can you build rapport in difficult negotiations or do you become defensive under pressure? These are all skills recruiters must possess as they connect talent with potential employers while supporting the objectives of both talent and companies. It requires a lot of finesse, but recruiters who can master relationships will soar to new heights. We have broken interpersonal skills down into the following:


1. Emotional intelligence tops the chart

As we rely more on technology and data in the recruitment process, the value of recruiters rests in the ability to practice high levels of emotional intelligence in the workplace to manage both talent and clients.

Emotional intelligence skills form the base of competencies that all soft skills are built upon and create the foundation for effective relationship management. It is essential for efficiently navigating the maze of personalities, biases, and human instincts that can quickly go array. Great recruiters can self-regulate, as well as manage the fears, aspirations, and disappointments of candidates.

If we think of emotional intelligence as an umbrella of soft recruitment skills that fit into all other interpersonal skills, we can break it down to make it tangible. It is a skill that researchers believe can be improved with training and practice.  Some examples of emotional intelligence in action in the workplace include:

- Constructive feedback instead of personal criticism and challenging behaviors, not people
- Taking steps to better understand yourself and the people around you to work well with people from different cultures and personalities.
- Supporting colleagues through recognizing their emotions and working to reduce stress.

- Keeping calm and productive under pressure.
- Helping to resolve conflicts that arise between team members.
- Creating a workplace where people are free to express themselves openly.


2. Receiving and giving feedback

There is no growth without feedback, and this is true if you’re just beginning your career or if you’re in a leadership role managing a team. How can you progress and be successful in your job if you don’t know your strengths and weaknesses? Constructive feedback is essential for employees' growth but employee feedback is also essential for the wider organisation - having a huge impact on engagement, productivity, and performance.

However, how we give and receive feedback is changing due to hybrid and remote ways of working. And here, practicing a high level of emotional intelligence is crucial. It’s about adapting new approaches to accommodate these new virtual set-ups to avoid possible misinterpretations and misunderstandings. It’s important to make a conscious effort to keep it personal, consistent, and constructive.