The Art of Persuasion in Sourcing & Recruitment

I have had the privilege over my career to interact with many sourcing and recruitment professionals. Over time, it never ceases to amaze me how the lines have blurred between traditional sourcers (the finders), and recruiters (the engagers). Today, a sourcing professional might find themselves on the phone pre-qualifying a candidate, and vice versa a recruiter may find themselves on the internet conducting a Boolean search. Master both skills and you will be unquestionably in demand. For some, being on the phone and persuading a candidate may be next to an absolute fear, but mastering the “Art of Persuasion” as I call it will make you all the more valuable. What follows are five tips to build the “Art of Persuasion” so that you can find greater success as a sourcing professional in getting candidates to respond to your messaging approach.

Tip #1. Think What’s In It for Them.  The best talent acquisition professionals I know show empathy. Seems simple enough right? Empathy allows you to build trust right out of the gate; it shows respect of time, it shows that you DID view their resume or profile before crafting a message, and it shows that you are genuine. This candidate you have found, and researched, and gotten to know; what human element can build trust and help foster a conversation? How can you approach them? How can you relate to them? Use your research skills to highlight their interests and then get creative in the reach out. Getting a comment from a candidate that says “you were genuine” is the best compliment we can get in staffing.

Tip #2.  Engagement Is All About Satisfying Hot Buttons. You will increase response rates to messaging approaches when you uncover what that candidate needs, and providing a solution. Every candidate has hot buttons; commute, money, bad boss, insane schedule, frustrating circumstances, stability, concerns over work-life balance, etc. Find the solution to the hot-button and be able to sell that. The candidate will likely be open to a discussion. That’s the key.

Tip #3.  The Phone is Your Friend. Calling a candidate boldly and without fear, while being able to strike up a conversation, leave a friendly and compelling voicemail, smiling into the phone and “dialing for dollars.” You may have heard these terms. But your goal is to get into a conversation, all roads lead to a dialogue, and discussion. The more apt a candidate is speak with you via phone, the more your ability to close that candidate. Being genuine and leaving crisp, clean and buttoned up voicemails can lead to referrals, business, trust, and closed jobs. Sometimes come up with a script, something that’s going to help mitigate nervousness. As you gain confidence, your closing approach will change, and candidates will open up to you. The phone allows for the greatest engagement, referrals, and partnerships to flourish. Being able to answer questions and maneuver strong outcomes you will start to observe patterns of engagement for different types of candidates.

Tip #4.  Use a script, but don’t rely on it as a crutch. Having a personality on the phone is a critical piece of the engagement approach whether on a voicemail, a live call, or focused on outcomes of recruitment endeavor. Truth is using a script is helpful, but once you have a rhythm then stick to it, and drive to the dialogue. Conversations are a two-way road. Ask good questions, facilitate open-ended questions, and find a way to get the candidate to open up and share concerns, thoughts and patterns of what they want in their career, and a new opportunity. Going “off script” allows you to answer questions and tailor to your audience.

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Tip #5.  Always be Closing. Always be closing, asking questions, uncovering concerns like a detective and getting to the bottom of what the candidate wants in their career. These are essential characteristics of making and getting a “yes” on an offer. Your research skills come in handy to “always be closing.” By asking strong follow-up questions you will start to be able to observe patterns of what will make that person want to accept an offer, r join a company. You will get a sense of the goals, realities, and needs that a person has.

Conclusion: Sourcing and engagement are part of the pattern for getting good candidates into your interview loop. Persuasion is an important factor of the quest to get the right place, right fit candidate into your position. If you can find and engage and get candidates to respond to you, that’s half the battle but practicing the ABCs “Always Be Closing” technique you will think big picture and enable a candidate to have the outcomes that make them and your team happy. It’s truly worth the effort to do so.

Mike Rasmussen, PHR, SHRM-CP is a Talent Acquisition Business Partner with ADP.  Mike works out of his home office in Utah and is a full life cycle recruiter at ADP.  Mike has a passion for Staffing/Recruiting and Sourcing and in his career has helped hire nearly 1000+ professionals in a wide variety of roles from Executive, Technical, Operations, etc.  Today Mike supports Talent Acquisition efforts at ADP in several key Western States.  A contributor to Recruiting Blogs, Mike has been writing regarding Talent Acquisition topics for nearly 8 years.  Connect with Mike via Twitter @MikeRADP.

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