In my years as a recruiter I have found one thing to be true. Recruiting is not about talking. It is about listening.

When I first got into this industry, I was under the impression that recruiting was about being able to talk with candidates and convince them that the job I was calling about was the job for them. As I found out, it is not. It is about asking the candidate what they want. Hopefully, you've done your job sourcing and this candidate meets your requirement, but ultimately you need to listen to the candidate. They need to tell you their strengths and what they want in their next opportunity. Letting the candidate talk is the best thing you can do. Ask open ended questions and just get them to spill their guts. I'll guarantee that not only will you be more confident in your candidates when you do have a match, but because of that relationship and understanding, you are much more likely to place the candidate. It might not always be in the position that you originally called them about, but new positions always come along and they might be a fit in the future. Candidates are also much more likely to send referrals to you when you listen. Have you ever had a manager ask questions about a candidate and felt that you weren't confident in your answers? LISTEN more!

I also always assumed that getting client's to sign agreements or send you their openings was the hard part. From there the fills and placements would come naturally. Nope. You need to listen to your clients. I know in many cases, that a lot of us don't have hiring manager access... There is always someone to talk to though. Ask questions and LISTEN to the answers. A lot of us 'hotshot' recruiters think we can read manager's minds and anticipate what they want. You can't. Unless of course you have worked with them for years... When you get a new req, call the manager and qualify BEFORE you start recruiting. You'll get more interviews and thus more hires when you listen to the manager and ask questions about the opening. I find more than 50% of the time that the reqs we get are inaccurate or incomplete. If you don't talk to the manager, you could be wasting your time. So call them and LISTEN to what they have to say.

Anyways, that is my rant about listening. Asking questions is the gateway to listening, so be prepared with good questions. The key is, once you ask the question, seal your lips and listen. You will be more successful!

Views: 62

Comment by Maureen Sharib on January 9, 2009 at 12:16pm
Sourcing is not about talking either. It's also about listening. Thanks for the valuable viewpoint!

“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.” _ Unknown
Comment by Nick Gudowski on January 9, 2009 at 3:21pm
Agreed! The people that know when not to talk and when to listen are always going to come out on top.
Comment by saipeople on January 9, 2009 at 3:25pm
That's really an excellent Quote " Recruiting is not all about Talking.Its about listening" Thanks friend for giving such a beatiful quote
Comment by John Goodman on January 9, 2009 at 4:36pm
It's not just about listening, but ACTIVE listening. Paying attention. Not thinking about the lightening bolt of brilliance you're going to zap your candidate/client with as soon as they realize what you have to say is way more important than what they have to say. Okay, so much for the sarcasm! Your client/candidate is telling you something because they think it's important. You know what, it probably is!
Comment by Tara Guthrie on January 9, 2009 at 4:49pm
SO true! I am somewhat new to the recuiting field and that was one of the misconceptions that I had coming in to the company. I thought that I would have to continually be talking... about the company, about the position and then selling them both to the candidate. Even if that candidate came to us. What I did learn very fast, is that it is about listening and John is right-ACTIVE listening. Finding out about that person's dreams and passions and goals. And listening to those talents and drives come out in a conversation.
Thank you for the article! Have a great weekend!
Comment by James Trattner on January 9, 2009 at 7:51pm
I completely agree except the recruiters in my company tell me that they don't have the opportunity to talk to hiring managers. We have several very good clients, but we are required to do all of our communicating with HR. Any suggestions?
Comment by Nick Gudowski on January 12, 2009 at 9:07am
HR can still be a valuable asset IF you treat them right. I know a lot of recruiters that don't like working with HR, but what I've found is that they know more about openings than we might think. HR also usually can contact the manager with any questions that you might have. You might not get the same answers as you would talking directly to a hiring manager, but it is still valuable information that your competition might not take the time to get.


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