What Most Recruiters Don’t Have and Only the Great Recruiters Do

In order to recruit A-level talent, you need to be a Star Recruiter. For recruiters, it’s a necessity to have a toolbox filled with a wide range of skills. These skills include people skills, communication skills, listening skills, patience, reliability, and the list goes on.

All these skills work hand in hand to build strong rapport. The ability to relate to others and make them feel heard fosters a relationship between recruiters and their candidates.

One essential skill that many recruiters do not have in recruitment is natural curiosity.

“Curiosity is the most powerful thing you own” – James Cameron

At Wejungo, our team shadows loads of recruiters every year when we are brought in to “skill them up”. As we are shadowing them on their calls here are the 3 BIG MISTAKES we always hear:

  1. They talk more than they listen
  2. They try to sell at the candidate before they even know what the candidate’s ideals are
  3. They are biased and rule out candidates all the time based on assumptions because they didn’t get enough information

Instead, we train recruiters the 80/20 rule. What most recruiters forget, or maybe never learned is the 80/20 rule.

80% of the time you should be quiet and let the candidate talk and share, and 20% of the time you should be asking questions and digging with a natural curiosity. 

So if you’re going to be quiet and listen 80% of the time and the remaining 20% of the time you are asking good questions and digging, the questions you ask matter.

“Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply” – Stephen R. Covey

Most recruiters make these 3 BIG MISTAKES:

  1. They lead into questions
  2. They ask yes/no questions
  3. They don’t ask enough questions

As a recruiter you must ask a lot of questions. But not just any questions will get you the answers to the things you need to know, these questions need to be targeted, skillfully asked, and be situational, culture and accomplishment driven.

Great recruiters have a natural curiosity that helps drive them into the unknown, which is where they make discoveries, deepen relationships, uncover accomplishments, experience stories, and provide themselves the opportunity to learn more about the candidate beyond what they have prepared.

For most people curiosity doesn’t come naturally.

Here are 3 tips and tricks we teach recruiters to enhance their ability to be MORE curious.

  1. You must be willing to admit what you don’t know. As a recruiter you must be willing to be wrong, say you don’t know something, or you need to ask someone to explain something to you. It is more important to learn something than to look smart. By being open about the things you don’t know, you will cultivate a sense of realness and openness within the conversation. After all, lack of knowledge is the essence of curiosity.
  • Practice active listening. It may be challenging at times to ensure you are hearing everything the candidate is saying while simultaneously coming up with new follow up questions to ask. But the questions you want to ask are equally as important as listening so don’t sacrifice one for the other. Being a good listener helps build rapport and creates trust with the candidate.
  1. Stay on topic. When engaging in an open and curious conversation with a candidate it is easy to fall down the rabbit hole of question after question, or encountering a candidate sharing something that is not relevant to the job you are recruiting for. You may have a lot of follow up questions but it’s important to respect the candidate’s time and try to focus your follow up questions on things that will provide you more insight on how well they will do the job at hand. To assist you in staying on topic, do your research. Research the candidate beforehand, research their industry, their company and if you are unfamiliar with it, and have a list of questions that can easily supplement the questions that are already prepared.

Can you find room for more curiosity in how you recruit or interview? If so, which one of these tips do you think you are most likely to implement?