In the world of recruitment, effective communication is the key to success.
Whether you are a newcomer to the industry or a veteran, it always pays to find ways to improve your communication skills and look out for any bad habits you might have picked up along the way.
With that in mind, these rules for communication should set you on the right track and provide a framework from which you can build upon your existing skill set.
Information Is Power
In a recruitment context, perhaps more so than any other, the person who has a handle on the relevant information will be better equipped to communicate effectively and achieve the results they crave.
According to Foundr, being armed with precise details will be especially helpful during phone conversations, since you will need to think on your feet and will want to avoid having to scrabble around to find something specific.
For example, if you are going to have an interview, you should think not only of questions you are going to ask, but prepare for questions an interviewee will ask you as well.
Thus, checking articles with lists of interview questions will help you prepare for the most unexpected questions (such as “What is the turnover rate for this company?” – you definitely need to think good before answering that question right).
Of course, if the form of communication you are using is not reliant on real-time fact recall, this might seem less important.
However, you can demonstrate your professionalism and attention to detail if you are on the ball information-wise even if you are writing an email.
Responsiveness Is Appreciated
Anyone who has been involved in the recruitment process, whether as a recruiter themselves or a prospective candidate, might feel like while communication flows freely during the early stages, it can dry up and leave certain aspects of the relationship unresolved.
Part of this comes down to recruiters being reluctant to give candidates bad news if they are unsuccessful in their initial application or deemed unsuitable after an interview.
There is a stigma attached to being the bearer of bad news, but unfortunately, this is simply a reality of the job.
Candidates will be far more appreciative if a recruiter communicates with them consistently throughout the process, especially in the aftermath of a failed interview attempt.
This is not just about getting closure; there are practical reasons to let people know what is going on in this scenario.
They might put off applying for other jobs or made changes to their schedules in anticipation of being offered a position if you choose to be reticent with providing information and feedback.
If the temptation to ignore follow-up emails comes knocking, realising that you are actually doing a candidate a favour by getting in touch should push you back on the right track. Job hunting is already stressful enough without the added pain of post-interview uncertainty.
Timing Is Everything
Having a good sense of timing is very important for recruitment, especially when it comes to communications.
Knowing how to make contact with candidates and colleagues is not just about choosing the right platform, but also about getting in touch at the most appropriate moment.
In a way, this ties in with responsiveness, although here the goal is to be both open to maintaining a productive dialogue without also overloading your contacts with incessant interactions.
Recruiters can call upon an army of different services and devices to stay in contact, yet each has its own etiquette to navigate for both timing and content suitability.
For example, texting a candidate at 10 pm to tell them that they have been unsuccessful following an interview will seem really rather rude.
Likewise calling someone at 6.30 am to ask if they are available to apply for a position will rub most people up the wrong way in an instant.
A sensible move is to stick to office hours for communications purposes, although email is arguably exempt from this rule given its flexibility. People tend to be more receptive to interactions in the morning, as the post-lunch lull can ruffle some feathers.
Tone Is Key
Striking the right balance between professionalism and approachability is a struggle that many people face in their jobs.
This is arguably even more of an issue for recruiters since they straddle a delicate line that requires them to be enthusiastic at one moment and then deliver some home truths the next.
As with the timing and responsiveness of your communication efforts, adopting the right tone is not an exact science.
It’s more so something which you need to work on and develop.
You also need to be able to adjust your tactics according to individual candidates’ expectations and preferences.
In the early stages of any interaction, another consideration that has to be made from a tone perspective is that you do not come across as if you are merely going through the motions.
Pitching positions to a lot of people over the phone, face to face or even in a written form can be draining and lend itself to an apparent sense of fatigue.
Being aware of this, as with all of the other aspects mentioned above, is enough to empower you with the ability to deal with it.
Thanks for the valuable advice Stew!
And he’s right with what he says, you know.
Having these rules in the back of your mind when you’re recruiting will help you to handle any situation in recruitment.
The sooner you learn that, the sooner you start finding higher quality candidates.