Make the Most of a Recruiting Call: Get the Info You Really Want

In my experience, there are two key questions that can dictate the direction and results of a recruiting call right out of the gate. The secret to the most productive recruiting call possible is asking them up front.

1) What is Your Motivation for Considering New Opportunities?

Before I get into the meat of things during a recruiting call, I ask each candidate what their motivation is for speaking with me. This is also one of the last questions I ask again before we end the conversation. I do this for two reasons:

  1. It helps me understand what the candidate can gain from the position.
  2. I can set the tone of my call based on the person’s motivation.

2) What Are You Looking for in this Call?

I’ve found that candidates reach out to companies and recruiters for a number of reasons, the top two being:

  1. They are open to a new opportunity, whether they are passively or actively looking.
  2. They are open to networking.

If candidates are taking the call to learn about a new job opportunity, I frame my conversation to speak in depth about the company and the opportunities it provides. I will also ask questions based on a candidate’s background, successes, and expectations. If the candidate is simply looking to network, I still absolutely want to speak with him or her. However, I will give them a broader overview of the company’s opportunities and ask limited questions about their background. Before digging into who the candidate knows, I might frame the conversation around the market, company, and industry.

What to Do When the Conversation Changes

It’s possible that your call could lead to the candidate looking into a new opportunity, or that the networking results in a renewed interest for the candidate. For this reason, it’s always prudent to ask the candidate at the end of your conversation what their motivation is for considering new opportunities. Eight times out of ten, candidates provide a more in depth answer than they gave at the beginning of the conversation. Once you’ve shared information about yourself, the company, and the opportunity, a reluctant candidate may be more comfortable discussing their job history. Having gone through the traditional interview in the phone screen, the candidate has laid the foundation of their career and experience, as well as what they are looking for in order to make a move.

Advice For Phone Screens

During the phone screen, ask the candidate to walk you through their history up to present day. Be sure to keep the conversation on pace. The candidate does not need to go into detail about experiences that they had six or seven years ago. Ask for an overview and dig into the more recent and relevant experiences. In this way, you can discover the motivations behind their career moves, as well as their reason for looking at new opportunities.   What kinds of questions did we miss that you think are great to ask during a recruitment call? Let us know in the comments section below!

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