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The art of conversation

This past weekend, with a house full of family enjoying spending some time together, it was watching my nieces and nephews chase fireflies, or lightning bugs as we like to call them in the South,  in the late summer evening that made me go back to a simpler time.  A time without so many electronic gadgets, when everyone didn’t have a smart phone or a handheld game system in their hands where they were locked away in their own little world, but a time where we actually took the time to talk.  To talk to our family, our friends, our neighbors and got to know people on a deeper level.

Have we forgotten how to converse?  How to really connect with people?

As a Recruiter, I am completely thankful for the advances in technology, the social media, Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, and all of the other tools that help recruiters to find those talented individuals, passive candidates, and diamonds in the rough.  But with all of the technology available and alternate means of contact, sometimes we may lose sight of or forget about our ability to hold a conversation and really connect with someone on a different level.  The ability to hold a conversation and make a sincere connection with a candidate can be the determining factor in whether or not the candidate responds positively to our attempts of recruiting.

Zappo’s CEO, Tony Hseih, while a huge proponent of social media said a key tool in the success of his organization was the 100 year old phone.  He called the telephone one of the most underutilized resources for most companies even calling it “one of the best branding devices out there”.

What can we do as recruiters to make sure that we are making that connection?

Steve Lowiscz, the force behind the Recruitment Education Institute, identifies a few key methods that can be utilized to ensure we are making a positive impact when reaching out to candidates:

Have an Introductory Goal

The introduction shouldn’t be about making the deal but about gaining a new friend or colleague and developing a relationship.  Be genuine and sincere, people will be better able to interpret your true intent.

Use Message Structures that Work

  • Don’t overwhelm with lengthy messages, make sure your messages are succinct and to the point.

  • Remember, it’s about them; be respectful of their time.

  • Don’t put pressure, be genuine so they can see that you don’t have a hidden agenda

  • Confidence is everything in a message and one of the easiest red flags that a candidate or client can sense

Understand the Benefits of the Conversation

Even if it turns out that the candidate is not the right fit for the position, be attentive, listen, be present in the moment.  This candidate, while maybe not the right fit, could be a source of referrals or use for pipeline building for future positions. You’re building a positive brand for yourself and the company you represent by listening and being attentive.

Actually Listen

Don’t just wait for your turn to present, actually listen to what the candidate is saying and the nuances of the conversation.  You will be surprised at the insight you can gain from being interested and engaged.

Present with Confidence

Know your candidate, the job description, and what it’s going to take to fill the position.  Speak with confidence; no one wants to hear a recruiter stammer because of lack of details.

Remember Who You Are

Remember, not only are you questioning the candidate – they are questioning you.  Honest and open communication, background about who you are and why you are calling will give the candidate a comfort level about doing business with you.

As a Recruiter, it’s important to embrace all of the tools available – applicant tracking systems, social media, internet sourcing, referrals, internet job boards, plus all other electronic media – but let’s not forget the one that holds steady and true – the irreplaceable telephone call.

This post was written by Jennie Vancel. Jennie is a Recruiter with Yoh RPO division and comes with a very diverse background including Human Resources, Sales, Training and ultimately Recruiting.  With over 15 years of experience across varying industries, she has been instrumental in piloting and implementing global strategies for process improvement, candidate experience, and retention.  Specialties include building customer relationships, strategic planning and superior service delivery.  Jennie currently resides in Louisiana and outside of work is an avid animal rescuer with four furry family members of her own.

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