The Lost Art of Verbal Communication

I’m not a big talker.  I don’t enter the room and start conversations with strangers…it gives me anxiety.  That doesn’t mean I don’t have good communication skills or don’t enjoy a good conversation.  The problem with communication these days is that there are so many ways to do it!  How can you keep track?  The more people use scripted/typed messages, the more uncomfortable they are speaking to someone in person or over the phone. 

As a Recruiter, having solid verbal communication skills is a requirement.  You need to speak on behalf of your client and relay information in a manner that is crystal clear.  You also need to be someone that people enjoy talking to, that they’ll remember.  Here are some tips:

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1. Research the candidate before a call…not just their work experience.  Find common ground or more personal information in their profile(s) to help break the ice and create a more comfortable rapport from the beginning.  Maybe they’re an athlete, into music, or have a pet lizard. Whatever it is, use it as a way to help them relax.  Do not limit your "chit chat" to comments about the weather.  We live in TitleTown for goodness sakes!


2. The speed at which you release words from your mouth should be controlled and consistent.  We are not auctioneers at the rodeo and we’re also not reading a bedtime story.  Find that middle ground! 


3. There are some words and noises that people make while they speak that are really distracting and should be exterminated from existence.  The word "LIKE" is one of these.  You didn’t "like go to Chipotle" to "like get a burrito."  You either did or you didn’t...there isn’t anything that’s "like" that!!  Unless you’re being tricky and really went to Qdoba for a quesadilla.  Another thing is “ummm."  Nothing says "I just lost my train of thought" or "I don’t know what to say better" than "ummm."  Better to be silent.



4. How about this for tricky -> LISTEN!  Don’t stick to a template 100% of the time and move from one question to the next without really listening.  Take the extra minute or two to dig deeper into what they’re talking about.  You may find more of your questions being answered without even having to ask.  You also give the candidate an opportunity to stretch their communication muscles.


5. The end of a conversation is sometimes the most difficult.  Ultimately, the candidate is looking for some indication of how they did.  It is your responsibility to make sure there is no confusion or question marks about where you stand.  Sometimes recruiters opt on the side of being open-ended because they either don’t want to let the candidate down or don’t know how to verbalize how to let them down.  If they’re a great fit, there isn’t a problem telling them so --- you’re already flexing and prepping the submittal notes.  If you know the candidate will not be considered, you need to tell them.  Ask for advice if you’re having issues with the wording.


Phone conversations don't have to be an awkward experience for either parties if you just take the time to prepare and put yourself in a positive mindset. Everyone is going to have a phone call that goes down in flames at some point, it's inevitable.  Don't overthink the process and make sure you remember that PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!
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