Let’s get this out of the way right now. In today’s business world just about everyone we deal with prefers sending a text or email rather than picking up the phone.
I used to work for a sales training company called Sandler Training, who I feel is one of the world’s best schools for training companies and individuals on how to increase sales.
At Sandler I learned that nothing happened until I picked up the phone.
As recruiters we’re lured into believing that sending an email out to 50 prospects feels far more productive than making one or two phone calls. Everyone is emailing, texting, voice messaging … but that’s not real life. It’s not how people make decisions about their careers and their livelihood, nor how our clients go about hiring their key people.
Step #1 Protect You From YOU
It doesn’t matter if we’re trying to lost ten pounds, save for a new home or pay down our credit cards...
When it comes right down to it we just can’t seem to muster up the discipline and focus to take us from where we are to where we want to be. It’s what goes on between our ears that gets in our way.
That small space of only six inches fills with chatter at a rate of 50,000 thoughts per day
Is it any wonder we lose touch with ourselves and get off track so easily?
The Prime Culprits
Fear of success is every bit as powerful as fear of failure. There’s fear of looking or feeling stupid, or worrying about what other people will think of you. There’s fear of rejection because omg what if they say no? No schmo!
Focus on just having a conversation, instead of worrying about the outcome, and I’ll guarantee you that the people you’re calling will feel the relief and be a whole lot more comfortable talking to you.
Want to Win the the War Between Your Ears? Ignore the noise.
Fear of not being good enough, smart enough, young enough, strong enough… there’s a million of ‘em out there. The reality is that not one of them is real. It’s all just shite that your ego feeds you to keep you ‘safe’. But safe has absolutely nothing to do with achieving anything meaningful in life. Taking chances because you believe you have something worth sharing with others? Now that’s something to celebrate … and act on!
Fear of failure is the worst culprit of all. When we feel pressured, many of us shrink back feeling under attack. Just stop it. It’s just a call, one simple conversation. Think about it. What’s the worst thing that can happen?
No matter what the cause of your fear, don’t buy into it. Don’t let ‘it’ take hold of ‘you’. Focus on what success feels like instead.
Step 2 Establish What Productivity Looks Like for You as a Recruiter
In my world a typical retained search recruiter should be handling between three and five searches consecutively. If we’re talking contingency recruiting, I know a few rocket producers who roll with as many as 30 openings at any given time. Regardless of whether its retained or contingency, the key is that top producers are on the phone, plain and simple.
Here’s My Easy to Use Recruiter Call Formula
- How many searches do you want to close in a month? (3 is a good number for me in retained search)
- Multiply that by how many prospective employers (on average) you talk to before getting a yes. (for me it’s 10, some can go as high as 30)
- Add to that how many candidates you’ll talk to (not emailing or texting) before finding the right fit for your client.
(my average is 10 per search – I only actually talk to the strongest fits after a great deal of ‘messaging’)
- If you want to close 3 searches per month, your total call activity should be between 900 and 1000 calls.
(mine comes out to 3 x 10 x 30 = 900 calls)
- Add to that the multiple conversations back and forth between client and candidate to complete the hire and you’re now up around 1000 per month.
- Total number of daily calls (assuming 20 days/month) = 50.
Step 3 Make enough time to spend on the phone
LinkedIn is the greatest resource there is for finding great talent.
And it just keeps getting better. The problem with social media though is that it’s trained us to become digital relationship builders. And it’s lured us into believing that it’s okay to be spending entire days using our phones for texting and emailing, instead of making phone calls.
Continuously focus and refocus on what you’re supposed to be doing throughout the day. Reactive recruiters change course dozens of times a day and at the end of it wonder where there time went. Despite best of intentions they just didn’t make the calls that they had committed to making. Why? Because they let everything else get in the way. Why? Because it’s easier to react to things than to stay focused and on track.
Here’s the easiest way I’ve found to keep on track every day:
- Write down the 3 things that are most important to do TODAY
- Do them.
- Do that again tomorrow.
Step 4 Pick up the phone!
If eyes are windows to the soul, then think of voices as windows to the brain.
That’s how Business Insider reporter Rachel Sugar sees it too. She adds in her column If You Want to Seem Smarter Pick Up the Phone … ” people have more favorable impressions of job candidates when they hear them speak than when they read their written pitches — even if the actual content of the message is identical. So phone-haters, take note: dialing is worth it.”
There are so many factors in recruitment that can lead us to believe we have no control over the outcomes. We may not be able to control what other people think, do or say, but we can certainly control what we do, and build the skills to improve how we do it.
You can have all the bells and whistles in software and social media going for you, but the fine art of picking up the phone and asking the right questions is what makes or breaks a great recruiter.
Advantages of Phone Calls
- It is easier to ask questions and give feedback. It is much easier than sending emails back and forth for two days.
- It is easier to reach agreements and usually much quicker.
I guarantee you there are literally hundreds of employers you could be in touch with right now who are frustrated and fed up with not having enough time and/or the resources to find the talent they need.
Step 5 Remember, someone’s waiting.
You’re a professional recruiter, which means you’re in the business of building relationships. That is what you do. And if you’re good at it – and I believe you are if you’re reading this – you know that hundreds of people are always out there waiting for you to pick up the phone and say hello.
Barbara Ashton is President of Ashton & Associates Recruiting, and is a leading social recruiter with close to 13,000 LinkedIn followers.
View more of my LinkedIn posts here.
Ashton & Associates Recruiting … Helping you hire right. Every time.Offices in Kamloops and Kelowna serving amazing companies throughout the BC Interior and Okanagan.
This post has been approved for public release by Barbara Ashton. All certified posts carry this Google Authorship link to Google.