I’m not big on talking on the phone and especially not with people who are trying to get me to convince me to do something. I’m going to tell you this story because there’s a recruiting lesson to be learned here.
I just got off the phone with someone who called to invite netPolarity to participate in a career fair for veterans.
“Hi, this is Angelica from Veterans Organization Thingie, and I’d like to extend netPolarity an invitation to our career fair…”
“OMG that’s awesome! Is there a cost to participate?” I asked. I’m really interested…Veterans Outreach is something we can always do more of. You might find this as a surprise, but I am a huge fan of the United States Armed Forces.
“Fiveninetyfive,” Angelica said.
“Five hundred and ninety-five US Dollars?” What sort of approval process do I need to get this through?
“Sweet. What do I get with that?” What sort of approval process do I need to get this through?
“Oooh, a booth! How big is the booth?” Is there room to bring in a huge screen that plays a video of how much we adore our veterans?
“Well…it’s a table…”
“Alright…cool…” I can still do a lot with a table, I guess.
“When is it?” I asked. This will require some preparation. Is this a date I can commit to?
“On the 23rd…” she said.
“Of this month?” I asked.
“Hmmm. That’s fairly soon. Where is it going to be?” That’s just more than a week away. I guess I can sprint and ask for approval to spend $595 plus my time to attend this event…do I have the time or the bandwidth to do this? Let’s ask more questions! Will there be veterans from the Coast Guard? Will there be airmen? I’m really interested! Let’s ask more questions!
“You know what I can do for you? I can send you all that information via email.”
“Ahh! Sweet! Awesome, then. My email address is email@example.com.”
“Thank you ma’am. I’ll email all of that to you right now, and I can follow up with you once you’ve received the information.”
“Awesome…have fun! Thanks for calling and for the invitation!”
If you are a recruiter, you should find this story quite tragic. Angelica had the perfect target for that phone call. Not only was I the person in charge of veterans outreach, she must have a pet unicorn to have the awesome luck of actually getting a hold of me. And did I mention I was interested?
The tragedy here is that the likelihood I will re-engage with Angelica just dropped dramatically. Because after we hung up, I saw a note I made to myself, “write a recruiting blog post” and I started writing this. Meanwhile, I saw a tiny email notification on the corner of my screen that said “2014123 Bay Area. Support our troops.” I’ll check on it later.
Now think of me as your perfect candidate; that purple squirrel you’ve been looking for. You just let me off the phone, probably never to be heard from again. And you just let me off the phone.
Recruiting Lessons Learned:
1) Do not be afraid of questions. Questions indicate interest, each answer is an opportunity to present more value.
2) Treat each question as an opportunity to discover your candidate’s motivations. The more you understand your candidate’s motivations, the more control you have over the conversation.
3) Don’t let the candidate off the phone until you have everything you need. Your goal is to get that candidate to verbally commit to being submitted. You can’t get this accomplished on all calls, but you need to get as close to it as possible.
4) Treat each phone call as your one and only chance to have a conversation with the candidate.
5) Don’t give your candidate the option to put off what could be done now.
I could be reading Angelica’s email, instead I am blogging about it. So don’t be a blog post. Keep that candidate on the phone.