1. Know your industry and get hands-on.
There's a lot of great ways that you can learn about the industry that you're hiring for: local meetups on meetup.com, online learning platforms like Udemy and Team Treehouse, you can even browse specific linkedin groups and reddit subreddits to get a better feel for the industry trends.
Both your clients and your candidates are going to know whether you're knowledgeable about the industry or not. Candidates that see you're making an effort to understand their profession will be empathetic and go the extra mile.
2. Candidates in your ATS should never go stale.
Years ago, a recruiter reached out with a fantastic contract opportunity that would increase my then-salary by 50%. It was right up my alley... and it was a great career stepping stone.
Well, I didn't even get an interview. That particular contract was canceled by the client.
And I never heard from the recruiter, until three years later. I had zero intention of working with that person again.
Staying constantly engaged with your applicant base should be a mainstay goal of yours. If you haven't spoken to a candidate in your ATS in 3 years, they're no longer going a viable candidate for you; and even worse, they might be a detractor from working with you altogether.
It's super easy to make a mailchimp account and let your talent base know what you're up to and working on. Some of them will unsubscribe, most of them will keep you in mind when they're ready to make a transition.
I'd also recommend checking out Spark to replace your current email client. It makes it easy to 'snooze' emails for 3 months at a time, and check in with candidates periodically.
3. Build a personal reputation and brand.
The most successful recruiters that I've met in the Nashville area all have one thing in common: they have a fantastic rapport amongst the software engineering community.
Laid off? Go talk to XXX. Bored of your current job? Go talk to XXX.
By being involved in the community and doing right by their candidates and clients, they quickly become the go-to recruiter of choice.
More importantly, they're not promoting their company, they're promoting themselves.
Testimonials provide a lot of social credibility when an analytical software engineer googles your name and finds that you worked with their pal from one of their network events.
Placing a candidate in a job req is a lot easier, too, when you can post a job on linkedin and get referrals by the very candidates that you've worked with in the past. Those candidates are going to want to know more about you.