Answered on Quora: As a recruiter, what are the top 3 intangible qualities you look for in all job candidates?

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I’m not a recruiter, but I have talked to hundreds of them over the past 30 years, and the number one thing they look for is a candidate who can be placed with a company and won’t run away after just a few months.

Recruiters are in their commission by placing people with companies successfully. If they place someone Who very quickly fails to be a good fit, their reputation is tarnished, and they can lose not only that commission but future commissions as well.

Years ago, I took a job with a firm that turned out to be a total nightmare. The company misrepresented it’s self, I had no idea how much they were struggling just to stay in business, and the work environment was toxic. I called the recruiter placed me there and begged her to find me another position, but she explained that if I didn’t stick around for at least six months, she would lose her commission, and her firm would be harmed by that.

I ended up sticking around for over a year, and while it was horrible and I dreaded going to work every day, I still learned so much from it, and it was the kind of professional experience I have been able to parlay into other great opportunities as well.

Recruiters make their living from people like me – who are a good fit for the companies they connect with, who contribute, and who really bring their best every single day. It’s a basic fact, given their business, that they want to find people who are versatile, professional, and who can tolerate a lot of hardship in the course of everyday work.