Without a doubt the most important skill which is required to achieve a successful career as a recruiter is communication. As you know, almost all job specs you take on will state that effective communication skills are essential And as a recruiter, you’re no different. To communicate with clients, candidates, hiring manages and colleagues (to name a few!) on a daily basis, your communication skills really do need to be top notch. Here are my top 7 tips for great communication:
1. ConcentrateI’m sure we’ve all been guilty of switching off from the odd conversation, but listening and concentrating is what makes the difference between an okay recruiter and an awesome one. It’s not a great feeling to come away from a conversation and barely remember anything that was said, and it definitely won’t go unnoticed for long in the recruitment industry. One tip that can be adopted in order to remember what has been said is to repeat some of the words numerous times in your head. It may sound silly but it will reinforce the message and allow it to stay in your head. Nowadays, there are many distractions, for example, surroundings, mobile phones and other people which can all interfere with communication. The key is to have a strong level of concentration to be able to block out these distractions.
2. Be charismaticThe first impression you make with someone is the most important as they will always associate this to you. Portraying a confident manner encourages clients and candidates to trust you and what you are saying, and being prepared and organised demonstrates this. The most charismatic recruiters also have a sense of optimism, therefore, always seeing the best in people or situations.
3. Be assertiveIt’s important to show interest in other people by asking questions. Most recruiters will have this nailed when it comes to interviewing candidates, but it’s important to remember this when you’re communicating with clients too! Encouraging clients to be open about their opinions and in turn challenging them on and expressing appreciation for these thoughts demonstrates healthy communication.
4. Be in control of your body languageBody language automatically demonstrates to others how you are feeling or what you think about them or the situation. A relaxed (maybe not too relaxed...) approach is the best tactic as it shows you are at ease with your audience. Eye contact is equally important, with just one look someone can feel involved and included in a conversation. Maintaining this eye contact throughout the conversation really shows your clients and candidates that you are interested in what they are saying. Body language is something which people focus on, even if they are unaware of it, therefore, you must maintain a welcoming and friendly approach.
5. Get to know your audience beforehand (if possible)It’s important to know your clients and candidates, in order to be able to understand and choose which is the right method of communication. The people with whom you communicate with can vary, in terms of gender, age, culture, therefore, identifying the correct way to communicate with them is key. Does the client you’re about to contact prefer a call or an email? Will they only be fully invested in a catch up if it’s done face to face? If you don’t know – find out! Doing your research about people can definitely impress. For example, meeting someone from Spain or France may involve kissing them twice on the cheek, much like meeting someone from China who would appreciate a nod as a greeting. In addition, your manner of speaking is important, in terms of informal or formal speech, tone and volume of speech.
6. Build rapportSome communication can be very effective yet it almost feels distant. I find that having a relaxed and friendly approach to people will allow them to warm to you. Try to find common ground with your clients/candidates to develop a bond. As a result, building rapport with everyone you’re in contact with as a recruiter will eventually make the outcome of the conversation more positive.
7. Never rely on memoryIn the busy world that we live in, writing notes to remind yourself to respond to others is the only way to remember. It doesn’t have to be time consuming – a quick note prompting follow up action in your CRM will do the job! Reminding yourself that you need to contact someone shows that you have made time for that person and that you care about responding to them. People will remember and appreciate this.
Sarah lives in Glasgow working in marketing, with a particular focus on digital marketing.