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A Lesson in Listening

| March 8, 2017 12:10 pm

During my 9 month old son’s bedtime routine, we were making our way thru his Animal Rhymes book. The Wise Old Owl was last night’s reading and I found it rather appropriate in relation to our wonderful world of recruiting.

“A wise old owl sat in an oak. The more he heard, the less he spoke.
The less he spoke, the more he heard. Why aren’t we all like that wise old bird?” -Edward Richards

Today, we are all about speed in submissions and placements as we work against the clock and our competitors. However, there really is a true art to recruiting and candidate management. I’ve been recruiting for several years now and I’m constantly perfecting my pitch and screening verbiage. I believe that there is a thing or two we, as recruiters, can learn from this “wise old bird”. LISTENING. Listen to your candidates. Sometimes we need a reminder of how important it is to listen to our candidates instead of blurting out the current opportunity and rushing to submit.

LISTEN to WHY your candidate is looking for a new opportunity. Are they just unhappy at their present place of employment? Are they being laid off? Fired? Contract ending? Management change? This could really help you in making sure you present only the opportunities that would only lead to a successful tenured placement.

LISTEN to WHEN your candidate wants to make a move. Are they active or passive? Are they working with a timeline?

LISTEN to WHO your candidate would like to work for or has a background working for. Commercial or Gov. Con? Non-profit? Start-Up? Large or Small Business?

LISTEN to WHAT your candidates’ ideal opportunity looks like. I always ask my candidates this question. It allows me to connect to them, as well as present current and future opportunities that are the closest match to their “ideal”. They will appreciate you taking the time to understand this!

One of the largest take-aways is never try and fit a square peg into a round hole. You may get the placement, but it wouldn’t last long, and then you are back to square one with both the candidate and client. So, LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN… not only in recruiting, but in life if you just sit back and listen more you will find that people will talk. People get uncomfortable in silence and may reveal something to you that you alternatively wouldn’t find out if you didn’t allow for them to speak.

I leave you today with a challenge. Whether you are screening a candidate, performing a requisition intake, or pitching to a new client, allow more time to LISTEN to them. Don’t just hear what they say and pitch what you know best. Make a genuine effort to LISTEN. I guarantee you will learn something!

Mandy Vitto is the Senior Internal Recruiter at NSS RPO, a consulting firm that provides on-site and virtual recruiting professionals. Contact NSS RPO to learn about how we can help your organization meet and exceed it’s hiring goals.