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Recruiting Call: Beyond the first awkward ‘Hello’…

An archetypal Technical Recruiter gets precious few minutes (if he/she is lucky!) to talk to a candidate on the first call. Sandwiched between the pressure of having to make a certain number of qualified submissions per day within a certain time period and the amount of time a candidate is willing to spare – how can the beleaguered Recruiter make an effective first call?  At the risk of sounding like a pompous management Guru, “Do your ground-work and put your game face on.” And, to that end – here are my two cents on the leg-work a Recruiter can do so he/she can confidently ease into what could otherwise be an awkward first call:

  1. Do you have a LinkedIn profile Mr/Ms. Recruiter? – Keep it simple and professional and do try not to use your latest party picture as your profile picture 😉
  2. Prepared to answer tough questions about your staffing company?– Sounds basic but although most contractors understand how this industry works, there is always that oddball awesome candidate who you may lose out on just because your spiel about the company does not inspire confidence!
  3. Sound self-assured about your recruiting background?– Obviously not details about elementary school but as much as is relevant to the present job requirement!
  4. Candidate Focus? – Kinda obvious but with the clock ticking feverishly, its easy to lose focus. However, ‘not’ listening to what motivates the candidate is not going to get you that placement. Location, technology goals, rate, work culture…tune into the cues the candidate is throwing your way.
  5. What makes the requirement unique?Yes please – do make sure you understand the requisition and what exactly the position is looking for! Google is around for a reason – use it or other sources when unsure about those tech buzz words! An understanding of cultural fit is definitely a plus.
  6. Know about the company you are recruiting for?– You may or may not reveal the name of the company but you should be in a position to confidently respond to simple queries about the client.
  7. Hesitant about being up-front? – Don’t be!Its not worth the hassle of losing credibility with the candidate and client.
  8. Note to self, ‘Be Professional at all times’? – The candidate maybe a super-friendly guy or a prize cad…keep repeating to yourself at the back of your head, that this is the first call and you cannot let your guard down. Whether we like it or not – first impressions are hard to weather down.
  9. Mastered the art of ending the call? – Time is of the essence so you have to learn to end the call if you don’t see a fit but at the same time do it politely – you never know when you might need him again.
  10. Have you outlined the ‘Process’ the candidate can expect at end of call?As one successful Account Manager at Indotronix always says, ‘Always close the loop on the communication cycle’ – It may be a follow-up email or phone call but the candidate should be clear on the steps that will follow.

Bonus tip: Does not harm to rehearse – the world is a stage where every man plays a part J

So, in my opinion the direction beyond the first ‘hello’ is determined by the work you put in even before the journey begins. Keep your eye on the ball at all times – if the candidate seems to be a good fit, the goal of the first call should always be to get a ‘Yes, submit my resume’ by infusing confidence and enthusiasm. Go get ‘em 😉




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