The head of talent acquisition at a cloud software enterprise asked me the other day:
“Who’s better at recruiting: the introvert or the extrovert?”
Traditionally, most people have considered extroverts to be the best salespeople. And since recruiting is often just sales by a different name (especially in a candidate’s market), conventional wisdom is that extroverts make better salespeople.
A strong case is made that extroverts make excellent recruiters:
- Extroverts are more comfortable cold-calling
- Extroverts are great story-tellers
- Extroverts are usually fun and can be the life of the party
But a strong case is also as to why introverts make the best recruiters.
Candidates are now empowered with so much information than in the past. Examples:
- Candidates can now see what other employees say about you the employer (through Glassdoor, Comparably, etc.).
- Candidates can look at the LinkedIn profile of the hiring manager or you the recruiter.
- Candidates can now go to PayScale or Glassdoor or Salary.com to see how much they can make
Recruiters now have to be more of a curator of information or trusted advisor for candidates.
A strong case is made that the modern-age recruiter is better off being introverted:
- Introverts are often better listeners to all the information that the candidate already has
- Introverts are often better at asking questions
- Introverts are usually better at listening to what the candidate or hiring manager wants
So, is an introvert a better recruiter than an extrovert.
But I’d like to suggest a third alternative.
The Best Recruiters are “Ambiverts”
What you want is what Doctor Adam Grant (Professor of Management at The Wharton School/University of Pennsylvania) calls an “ambivert”.
Dr. Grant told the Wall Street Journal that ”
“Ambiverts are like Goldilocks — they offer neither too much nor too little (introversion or extroversion).”
Ambiverts are a blend of introversion and extroversion. You can see if you’re an Ambivert by taking this 5 minute introvert versus extrovert quiz (note: it is optional to give your name and email at the end of it).
Basically, you want a nice blend of introversion and extroversion.
If you have a recruiter who’s too extroverted, they will likely come across as too salesy.
If you have a recruiter who’s too introverted, they might be too timid.
But an ambivert (a blend) has the best of both worlds.
I recommend you hire ambiverts as recruiters and steer clear of extreme introverts or extroverts.
Why I wrote this?
I love these types of questions (Introvert versus Extrovert) because I have a passion for talent. I also pride myself as a street-smart psychologist (I once launched a personality types ((TopTypes.com) website just for fun. Yes, I am a nerd.
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