What makes a good Account Manager?

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I have been in recruitment for just short of a year. Starting my recruitment career with Scantec has given me the opportunity to work alongside some exceptional Account Managers.

I very quickly realised the role of an Account Manager goes above and beyond just looking for candidates and filling requirements. Arguably one of the most important responsibilities of an Account Manager, in my opinion, is managing relationships. The Account Manager has more influence on processes and how they and their organisation are perceived in terms of credibility, professionalism, transparency, integrity, compliance and most importantly delivery, provided they effectively manage relationships.

Having spent some time thinking about this I made a list of the skills I believe are the pillars of what makes a good Account Manager, you may or may not agree but either way, here it goes…

Communication and Transparency

The ability to communicate effectively at all levels is crucial. A successful Account Manager must be able to communicate with clients including HR, hiring managers, managed agents, Directors any other decision makers in an organisation. There is something to take from every conversation whether it is a job, a lead or a referral, so communication is crucial. 

The ability to communicate with colleagues is equally as crucial as an Account Manager will have a steady influx of jobs that require resourcing. They must be able to understand who is best suited to work the roles and be able to provide a detailed overview of the clients and requirements to be worked in order to achieve the best result. It is also important to regularly audit roles passed to colleagues to ensure everything is being done to fill the roles in a compliant manner.

Communication and transparency with internal management is vital for both a successful business and a successful Account Manager. Utilising the experience of management to learn necessary skills and communicating effectively and transparently with the client supports the AM to determine the current status and effectiveness of an account. If the account isn’t working how it should, experienced internal recruiters and managers alike, are best positioned to provide guidance on how to work in partnership with the client to turn it into a successful account.  

Time management and preparation

Without time management and preparation it would be difficult to have a successful desk. Managing time gives a clear understanding of what is achievable and is important to help prioritise tasks. A lack of preparation means the chances of failure in any activity are increased. Planning your days before they happen are far more likely to lead to success. 

Forming relationships and existing relationships

Learning about clients and their organisation, and more importantly, the people who make up their team and business will go a long way. A good Account Manager should never underestimate the importance of trying to get to know clients better on a personal level too. Rapport and trust should be two of the most important values when it comes to managing accounts.

Maintaining existing relationships are important for repeat business and maintaining a rapport. A good Account Manager will have the ability to understand, study people and relationships and the dynamics that come with them. By maintaining good relationships a desk can start to run itself and bring jobs in without chasing them.  

Influence and credibility 

Being Account Manager makes it more possible to influence a process. Once a rapport has been built with a client. Giving consultative feedback, advice and guidance to clients and candidates goes a long way to maintaining credibility.

Like many before me, I made the mistake of thinking an Account Managers role would be relatively easy, and again like many others, I quickly found out this is most certainly not the case. The role requires a huge number of skills. Being able to juggle all of these skills and do so with impeccable time management means that there are only actually a few reputable and credible, good Account Managers in the industry.

This of course is my interpretation of what makes a good Account Manager and I’m sure there are many Account Managers that have different views to mine so I will finish with my original question for you to think about.

What makes a good Account Manager?