Recruiters realize they must satisfy both parties in order to successfully fill an opportunity with a qualified candidate. Learn six strategic listening techniques you can easily implement to enable you to understand the needs and priorities of both your hiring authorities as well as your candidates.
- I'd like you to think for a moment, about the reasons you were attracted to the recruiting profession. Most people I know that are in the recruiting profession, really wanted to make a difference, they want to have an impact on the life of the people that they interacted with and they love to talk. They have very strong communication skills and so they felt they had a natural ability to interact with people. There was also that strong desire to help others because there's great gratification in what we do. I don't know many other professions out there that basically can say, "What I do every day of my life, "is I change people's lives for the better." And that's what you do every day.
That basically is the bottom line of recruiting. We change people's lives for the better. But recruiting is a sales profession, and as a result, there's a lot of rejection, there's a lot of people saying no to us every day. And we have to become very good, strategic listeners. And what I'd like to do is really outline today, six strategic listening techniques that are most important to the candidates and the clients that you're interacting with. I'd like to start out with, listening twice as much as you talk. You know, we've pretty much got great communication skills, that's why we entered the recruiting profession, we love to interact with people, many of us are very visual.
I find that most recruiters are very visual individuals. But you learn as you go throughout your recruiting profession, that you have to listen much more than you talk. And quite frankly, people don't want our opinions. They don't really care about us, they care about themselves. And so, as you're talking to them, you want to always address the benefit to them of utilizing your services. But listen to what they're saying. You then have to learn to listen to understand verses judge. We have to listen differently than most people.
Because when you're talking to most human beings, you know what they do? You start talking and they interrupt you before you're even done. Like you're trying to run something by somebody and they're all of a sudden giving you a solution. Candidates don't want our solutions, they don't necessarily know or trust us at the beginning. What they do need from us, is to understand where they're coming from, see the world through their eyes. I want you to think for a moment, who was the best listener in your life? Because this isn't an easy question. You know, who was the best listener in your life? Somebody that listens to you to understand where you're coming from.
Not to judge you, not to give you a solution. Just to understand where you're coming from. Because if you become the best listener in the lives of the candidates you represent, they will stay with you their entire career. Because they trust you. They can run things by you and you're seeing the world through their eyes, which leads me to my next point. You've got to develop an outside-in way of listening. Put yourself in their shoes. You know, try to see where they're at. You know, so often, when I was in my career early on, I would say, I can't believe they said that, that's so stupid, why would they say that to me? That doesn't make any sense.
Maybe it didn't make sense to me, but you know what? It made sense to the person I was representing. And I wasn't smart enough to know, that I had to listen and see things through their eyes, not mine. I had a tendency of maybe judging what they were saying to me. That's not your job as a recruiter. You've got to develop that outside-in way of listening to the people that you represent. And start all conversations out the same. We've got people on both sides of our sale and life happens when you're busy planning something else. I'm sure you've heard that over and over again.
That happens to your candidates. Everything they tell you in their interview is as honest an answer as they can give you, at that particular point in time. And then maybe something happens that changes everything. So you've got to start out every conversation with, "Has anything changed since the last time we talked?" And then stop talking. And give them a chance to react to that question. Because often, you're going to be shocked by their answers. If somebody had something tragic in their life happen, if somebody all of a sudden finds themselves in a situation where they're going to be self-supporting, where they're going to now go through a divorce, or there was a death in the family.
Those dramatically change people's priorities. And these are things that happen as you're working with candidates. If you really want to clarify somebody's answer, you also have to learn to use, on a scale of one to 10. Because quite frankly, when you ask somebody, "Are you interested in the job I'm presenting?" They're going to say yes and then if you say, on a scale of one to 10, they might give you an answer of four and all of a sudden, you're flabbergasted by the four. Like, I though they were interested. Guess why they said they were interested? They want you to keep sending them. They want you to keep representing them but they've got other things going that they like more.
When you clarify something, numbers don't lie. And so when you say something on a scale of one to 10, what is your level of interest? On a scale of one to 10, are you ready to accept the job today? On a scale of one to 10, how do you compare this job to everything you're looking at? That's when you really have a true picture. And you're going to utilize this in your personal life as well as you will your professional life, when you learn how much more accurate this makes answers. And how now you really know how to take your direction from them. Because you've clarified what they're saying to you.
And again, remember, your job is never to agree or disagree what people are saying to you. What you want to do, on the hiring authority side, is you want to present people that they will hire. That's your job. And on the candidate's side, you want to present an opportunity that they're not only going to accept, but they're going to be excited about. And they're going to see themselves long term with that company. What you want to do, is position yourself as the best listener in the lives of both your clients and your candidates because this is step number one in forming lifelong relationships with them, which is exactly what you want to do.
You want people to utilize you throughout their entire career. And if you implement these strategic listening tips that we've outlined in this video, this is going to help you improve your ability to fill opportunities with more of your candidates in the future.
Barb outlines recruiting best practices, such as how to embrace attitudes and expectations for success, how to best use your time, and how to overcome common objections from employers and candidates. She also addresses the change in recruiting from a mostly verbal and face-to-face communication into the new era of data-driven social and mobile connections. In addition, she provides guidance on how to establish rapport and trust with hiring authorities and attract top talent, as well as techniques for negotiating, closing, and retaining clients and candidates for the long term.
- Develop the right attitude and expectations for recruiting.
- Use different recruiting methods, including websites and social media.
- Differentiate yourself to employers by positioning your services as a solution.
- Identify a company's hiring needs.
- Determine how to attract top talent.
- Build rapport and trust with candidates.
- Identify the right metrics to track your success.