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Aug 8, 2019

As recruiters and sourcers, we cannot ignore that we have an influential profession.

Every day, we try to chase a candidate’s attention, getting their interest, and push for their desire to accept our vacancies.

Have you ever noticed people have a unique ability to make others take action on what they think or say?

This is the power of persuasion.

What if we could succeed every time we pursue a candidate to say yes?

Most of the candidates we search they have a job, and we are competing with other recruiters and companies for their interest and attention.

Persuasion and influence are words that recruiters should live by daily. Impact and creed should be linked to reinforce your marketing strategy in your recruitment processes.

These principles have multiple impacts on our day to day recruitment activity because:

  • Increase potential hires pay attention to you.
  • Delete their objections and the “yeah but…” towards your vacancy.
  • Generate commitment, which improves the relationship with the candidate and the community in our sector.
  • And, finally, they boost your potential hire to accept the job offer.

How does the influence process work?

People are influenced by six universal principles that guide human behavior to take actions.

Trying to convince candidates to interview by “you have nothing to lose” doesn’t work, especially in a candidate-driven market. Plus, only 70% of the workforce is likely to consider another a new job. This, along with their overloaded lives, noise on the internet, too many options, their hobbies, interests, etc., we made too many failed attempts to get their attention.

In the middle of that noise, using Robert Cialdini’s principles help us to get better engagement to our brand/company/vacancy on the talent acquisition processes in an ethical way.

  1. Reciprocity

Give but don’t expect anything in return.

When we unselfishly receive something, we unconsciously feel the necessity to thank that gesture with another.

This example applies to referrals. We all would love to receive referrals from the candidates. But, what can we give them first to active the reciprocity principle?

  • Teach how to boost their LinkedIn profile to get the right opportunities. Teach them Boolean.
  • Give them relevant information about the market according to their expectations and other opportunities available. Act as the right advisor to them.
  • Suggest other companies where they can send their resume or CV if you don’t have the right position for them.
  • Share your expertise by offering content of value in social media.

I recently read a candidate commenting on LinkedIn, that said, “I am very positively surprised by the xxx agency. It is the first time they advised me (based on my interview) on my skills to develop and points to improve in my futures interviews. This is a natural example of this principle.”

In the context of a social obligation, people are more likely to say yes to those that they owe.

  1. Scarcity

We want things that are not easily accessible.

This principle is very efficient since our brain prioritizes the fact of avoiding losing something or arriving late.

Companies like Amazon or limit the stock of a product for a limited time.

This principle could apply to a job-driven market. If your company has developed a strong brand, use it. Imagine allowing people to apply for a particular job for a limited duration, e.g., only 72 hours, or providing an extra benefit to the first X number of applicants, like getting training for xxx skills or a paid ticket for an xxx event.

  1. Authority

We prefer to say yes to those individuals who give us proof that they are qualified or if a company is an excellent place to work.

This is also why as recruiters/sources need a strong personal brand. People who are perceived as an authority figure, garner trust, and we tend to attribute the same authority to the product or service they promote. We are direct influencers to our potential hires.

To influence your potential hires with this principle, you need to give a lot of visibility on any channel, especially in social media. You can use the following:

  • Any award/individual recognition of your company.
  • Press releases
  • Any other relevant and remarkable facts and figures
  • Share high-value regularly in your content marketing
  • Participate in digital events or try some targeted people to share your contents on other channels/accounts to reinforce your unique company’s image.

All these actions will help you to be perceived by others as an expert.

It’s important to signal to others what makes you a credible and knowledgeable authority figure before you make your influence attempt.

  1. Social Proof

Today, nobody applies to a job without looking at the company webpage/social media.

When looking at your company, a potential applicant might think, “If my peers are doing something in this company, it might be a good choice for me also.”

Bear in mind the super-power of testimonials. Your current company employees’ word is a pledge to influence new hires. Candidates want to know what it’s like to work there.

Other people’s feedback and experiences (who are similar to us) provide us with trust and reassures candidates that the decision they have made is the right one.

Who better than your current employees to share their feelings about working at your company?

  1. Consistency  

People like to be consistent with the things they have said or done when they have publically committed to them. For example, publically stating that you are trying to lose weight or exercise more.

Consistency is activated by looking and asking for small initial commitments that can be made. If we can ask candidates to take a step in our direction, we can first commit by informing them on feedbacks and interview processes deadlines.

This principle is about coherence. If you are going to repeat the same message over and over again, it is better to look coherent.

  1. Liking

People prefer to say yes to people they know and like.

Recruiters/sourcers are negotiators, and a guide for this principle is to find a commonality. Something similar to our opponent. In many cases, we can deliver our candidates a better service, and consequently a better deal. Additionally, this is a more process-oriented, and as they feel we are different from what they are used to, as a consequence, they like us more.

There are three main factors which influence the liking:

  1. People similar to us
  2. People who pay us compliments
  3. People who cooperate with us on towards mutual goals.

If you realize we already work under the “liking” principle because we both, candidates and sourcers, work towards a common goal. They want a job, and we want the position filled.

What is surprising is that science tells us rather than relying on our ability to persuade others, we have a tendency to act like others.

This is why it is vital to catch people’s attention to move in a specific direction we want.

It is not what we present, but how we perform.

Now that you know Cialdini’s principles, and you are aware of how influence and persuasion works, you can start applying these principles.