Lessons from the Wolf Pack #3 Howling Loud Enough To Be Heard

Lessons from the Wolf Pack is an ongoing series of recruitment advice articles taken from, or inspired by, situations and events observed during our phone coaching sessions with recruitment consultants making real, live calls to win business and find candidates. This is advice directly from the recruitment front lines!

Lessons from the Wolf Pack #3

Howling Loud Enough To Be Heard

I was asked by a reader of these articles if I could include more example questions and dialogue to both illustrate the points and also to give them something specific they could take away from the articles so I’ve included more of those this time. Let me know if that works for you and if there are any other things you’d like me to include.

Email me directly at stephen.hart@edenchanges.com or tweet to @edenchanges

On with the blog …

Being What Over the Phone?

Question - What's one of the main impressions you want to make over the phone as a recruiter?

Answer - That of a confident person.

And the quickest and easiest method for sounding more confident on the phone is to be louder on the phone.

When people get nervous they typically lower their voices. Consequently when people are soft spoken, whether in person or on the phone, they are judged to be less confident.

It is also worth remembering that over the phone you lose a certain percentage of clarity and volume and that the further afield you call the more you lose.

As any of you will know from listening to my session on the Recruitment Animal podcast show when I called New York from my office in England I sounded a lot quieter than I wanted to - and indeed a lot quieter than I was actually speaking!

So the two word tip for the week is - more volume!

To get specifics ask for specifics

As recruiters we should have the ability to generate a conversation in the face of initial obstacles and rebuffs from the decision maker. A powerful opening statement and a planned approach is going to help with that along with a certain personal charisma – faked or genuine!

That front part of the conversation is often practised and role-played within recruitment companies but the bit that doesn’t get enough attention is what happens after.

Remember that the call is being made for a specific reason so that should mean that the consultant wants specific information out of the call.

Where many consultants go wrong is after talking through the initial part of the conversation they then come away with vague or incomplete information.

Let me give you three examples I regularly hear being accepted as final answers by consultants when in fact they are not:

Client will often say;

‘The candidate needs good experience of x technology’ or

‘The position needs to be filled as soon as possible’ or

‘We’ve seen a few candidates so far but no one was right’

Now I regularly see those answers written down by consultants on their vacancy cards or notes and accepted as final answers. They are not. They are vague and incomplete answers.

Whilst you should use open questions to open up conversations with decision makers closed, specific questions should then deliberately be used to clarify, specific information that you can use to help you fill the position.

So taking the above three vague (and common) examples here is how you should drill past the vague outer layer and get to the gold:

Example One

‘The candidate needs good experience of X technology’

“When you say ‘good experience’ specifically how much experience (in years) do you mean?”

“What would be the minimum length of experience that would be acceptable?”

“What would the ideal length of experience be?”

You would then want to ask how the length of experience would impact on the salary / package and if it would influence the role itself. Again these should be specific questions – “How does Y years of experience of X technology affect the salary you would expect to offer?” etc.

Naturally you might want to, depending on the situation, also find out what other technology would be acceptable as a substitute and if technology X is a deal breaker etc. but that is going outside the topic of this article so let me stop there.

Example Two

‘The position needs to be filled as soon as possible’

“When you say ‘soon as possible’ when do you mean exactly?”

“When would be your preferred start date?”

“If I found someone that fitted the profile later today when could you interview and how quickly could they, in theory, start?”  (Two questions in one but remember these are examples and you could ask in two parts if you wanted.)

“Do you have budget signed off?” (Always worth asking!)

Example Three

‘We’ve seen a few candidates so far but no one was right’

“Where did those candidates come from?”

“What let them down?”

“What did they have that was good?”

“Have you taken any of them forward to the next stage?” or

“How far did you get in the hiring process with the most promising candidate?”

Then you’d repeat the above questions regarding what did they like and not like etc.

Overall point

A powerful recruitment call goes from general to specific so spend as much time getting specifics at the end of your calls as you do developing the conversation at the front end.

More recruitment advice next week

That's all the Lessons from the Wolf Pack this week - tune in next Wednesday for more advice from the recruitment front lines.

Until next time; be successful!

Stephen Hart

Consulting and Training

We blog to be helpful but consult and train for a living so if you like our style and feel we might be able to help you or your organisation more formally then do get in touch via phone or email and we can discuss your situation.

We look forward to hearing from you.



Development Specialists  ♦  0333 121 4212  ♦  enquiries@edenchanges.com

Based in the UK and working world wide


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