A business is not always the best place to be oneself. Often times one has to let go of his true personality in order to have a more professional persona. Many people feel that their work life is in a constant state of judgment and so-wait a minute…what am I doing? A blog is supposed to be an expression of a person through his/her writing! I am all for professional diction and proper grammar, but come on! Who wants to read boring articles when I could be drawing you in with my writing flair? My style brings all the readers to the blog just as your recruiting personality should bring all the candidates to the ya…job openings!
Recruiter Katie Peterson believes that how you present yourself in conversation is what causes candidates to think of you as a trusted advisor and stay connected (other than the obvious fact that the person wants a job!) She starts off with the formalities and then tries to learn as much as she can about the candidate during their talks so that their conversations become more real. She is a person just as much as the candidate she is working with.
People want someone that they can open up to and being too professional can cause awkwardness between recruiter and candidate. They want to know that you are truly listening to them and not just there for the business. If a candidate tells you that they don’t want to relocate and you later send him information on a job in China, he WILL spit on your grave.
This is not to say that you should change your personality in order to be a better recruiter. If a candidate mentions that he is all about harpooning whales and that is not your thing, simply change the subject to find something different to connect with. If harpooning whales is also your forte, then you have something to talk about that will cause the candidate to trust you and all others to be scared of you. Recruiting is about connecting to a person and trying to find the right fit for him. Lying in order to accomplish this does not build trust.
Recruiter/Sourcer Angela Crooker remembers back when she was working to find a qualified candidate for Bosch. She met a man named Shamik that she talked with for over an hour on their first phone conversation. A little while after she placed him, he called her back and stated that he did not like the position and wanted her advice. She gained his trust and so she was able to retain him as a candidate even though the position she found for him was not what he liked. It has been three years and they still talk once a week. Obtaining candidates like this is also a great way to get referrals. He sends people her way all the time.
Recruiting is not always lollipops and rainbows, however. Sometimes it requires you to toughen up! Katie Peterson always strive to be herself when dealing with candidates and clients, but sometimes that requires her to have hard conversations she would normally shy away from. Stuff that she would normally not have said before has come easier over time, and she has learned to have tough conversations with people from time to time.
Recruiting is an active process. It requires a lot of finesse and the ability to be yourself goes a long way. Take the extra effort to make a connection with your candidates and you will see them open up to you! I would stay away from molding yourself to do so in the process, however. Fake people sink ships. Wait; is that the right phrase I’m looking for?