by: Nicole Nelson

You’ve carefully crafted your job description and figured out your recruitment process. Now you’re eagerly awaiting phone calls from interested candidates. Let the recruiting games begin!

While fielding candidate phone calls may seem like a simple task, there are important fundamentals to keep in mind. Remember—you are competing with other possible employers. First and foremost, the candidate wants to feel welcomed and interested. You need to stand out.

Here at Time to Hire, we put together some useful tips about building rapport and ensuring a greater level of interest in your opportunity right away even if it’s a tough sell.

It’s vital to remember the first call always should be to gauge whether you desire a second interview. And if you do, you are trying to say just enough to get them to meet you in person.

That interview will be your opportunity to make sure both you and the candidate fully understand if this is the right match.

Slow Down and Build Rapport

Maybe you’re in an understandable hurry to get the first candidate screening done. But if you can help it, slow down. Stop and remember the moments you have been treated with haste and little attention. How did it feel? Maybe at worst, unmemorable or annoying. At best, it does not feel like a positive interaction.

In contrast to not enough attention, no one enjoys an overzealous interrogation either. Keep this casual and curious. Inspired recruiting starts with learning about each other to figure out if both parties are interested.

Part of your business image revolves around the hiring process and how you treat prospective hires. Why not be excellent and build rapport right away? Everyone wins. Kindness and attitude have a lot to do with how any experience progresses. It is important to consistently apply positive methods to everything you do.

How people FEEL about you is a crucial factor in their decision making process.

Building rapport is as simple as a friendly tone and genuine interest. It requires being present and listening. Write down the candidate’s name right away to make sure you remember it throughout the call. If you are speaking with several people, it may be hard to remember every time.

Here is a contrast of opening statements to easily feel the difference.

“Hi Bob. Let me tell you about this sales job you are responding to and tell you what we do here.”

“Hi Bob. Thanks for taking the time to call. How are you this morning? I see you are calling from Arizona. Is it warm there this time of year?”

Right away, genuine interest and conversation are conveyed in the second example. And Bob probably feels more comfortable and engaged. You actually may learn more about him now if he senses you are not in auto-pilot.

Here are some great rapport building openers to help keep a candidate’s interest.

— “It’s great you called us today! How is Tuesday going for you so far?”

— “Thanks for your interest and calling us, Manuel. Can I answer any questions before I tell you about the opportunity?”

— “Hi, Lynn. How are you today? I’m interested in learning more about you first and then telling you about our job opportunity. I see here you have worked in the medical field…..”

Taking the time to have a friendly conversation is a great way to get a head start on selling your job opportunity.

Sell the Job with Enthusiasm and Expertise

Now that you have built some rapport with the candidate, it’s time for you to sell your opportunity. Part of successful recruiting involves thinking in the most basic terms of what a job candidate is looking for. Don’t forget, recruitment is just like a sale.

Do you set up new employees for success with your in-house processes? Is there something unique about your company? What incentives do you have if it is a low earning position to keep them interested?

While you have certain points that are important to you, try putting their interests first. It’s just like any other sale. Your candidate is a customer and you want them to choose YOU. So tell them why they should by responding to their needs.

If the position is lower level or commission only, try saving compensation discussions for the second interview. Start with explaining company culture, what your product does, and how much you value your team first.

See the contrast of feel in these two statements:

— “This is a commission only position requiring a lot of determination to succeed. You need to have your own vehicle and it may require some weekend hours. We provide training.”

— “So here at New Day Insurance, we really focus on a team atmosphere. We encourage advancement in the company and try to improve processes all the time. We truly believe in our product and value our customers. Potential first year earnings here can average around $75k. Your success means success for us too, and we will do our best to help you advance.”

There is clearly a bigger picture with the second example of an experience rather than just the limitations of a job. The candidate may still be unsure, but they also may feel more inclined to consider it now due to your holistic approach to selling the role.

If they ask about compensation structure, it’s best to tell them honestly. But in commission only situations, it is not preferable when recruiting to phrase it that way initially unless prompted. Save the details for the second interview.

The goal is to get them to meet you in person. Pique their interest but leave the bigger questions for the second encounter.

— “I’d love to discuss this with you in detail here at my office, name. Is there a good day for you?”

Recruiting candidate

Always Be Professional

This may seem like a no-brainer but it is very important. Here are some ways to succeed.

— Only ask questions when learning about the person regarding their professional aspirations and history.

— Get the conversation back on track if the candidate tries to take it elsewhere by telling them you have another question to ask them.

— Use a friendly tone and reply with affirming responses. “That’s great.” “How interesting.” “Sounds like you have a lot of great experience.” “Thank you, name.”

— If the interview is going long, apologize nicely and tell them you would like to meet them in person instead. Make sure any interruption still leaves them with a positive feeling.

— Don’t interrupt unless you absolutely have to. Wait for them to finish thoughts.

— Do not put them on hold.

— Thank them for their time and interest at the end of the call even if you or the candidate is not interested.

 If You Are Interested, Follow Up

If the interview goes well and you wish to see the candidate in person, follow up via email if possible. In the email, thank them for their time and confirm the time and location of the in-person interview. Tell them you look forward to meeting them. It’s that simple.

It’s important to remember that jobseekers are first and foremost people wanting the same level of interest and respect we all hope for. By keeping your approach friendly, interested, and centered around their needs, everyone benefits. And your recruiting efforts are just that much more likely to finding the perfect hire for your role.

Happy hiring!