12 Communication Skills Every Recruiter Needs in 2022
Recruiter communication skills are the holy grail of recruiting success. You can’t make a placement without first demonstrating your value. And you can’t demonstrate value without first intelligently positioning your opportunity in a context that is relevant, logical and personalized to your candidate. Before you can do that however, you first must ask effective questions to understand your candidate’s goals, objectives, motives and more. But candidates won’t share that information unless you first disarm, demonstrate credibility and project confidence and trustworthiness. You see the pattern here?
Recruiting, and the entire recruiting profession, is based on the recruiter's ability to effectively communicate. For example, knowledge of your recruiting process, or the candidate's job function is useless if the recruiter lacks the soft skills to open a dialogue with the candidate, uncover their needs, and identify and address their concerns.
Communication skills training teaches recruiters “how to do things.” Through communication skills training, recruiters can improve their capabilities, capacity, productivity, and performance. Recruiter communication skills are developed and mastered through experiential learning.
Without further ado, here are 15 communication skills every recruiter needs in 2022.
- Disarming: Your ability to relieve your candidate of anxiety or pressure. To put your candidate at ease and make them feel comfortable speaking with you and sharing information, especially sensitive information, with you.
- Empathy: Your effectiveness in making your candidates feel understood.
- Prefacing: Refers to your ability to explain your rationale for the question you are about to ask before you ask it. This aids in disarming candidates to get unfiltered, truthful responses to your questions.
- Checking for Feedback: Your ability to ask candidates for feedback and get candidates to state their level of commitment and agreement to the next steps. If you have candidates ghosting you or surprising you with new information late in the recruitment process, you need to work on your checking for feedback skills.
- Flipping: Your ability to probe for additional information by flipping the conversation and asking additional questions of your candidate before responding with an answer. This is a key objection handling skill, especially early in the recruitment process when candidates try to blow the recruiter off by saying things like “just send me the job description,” or “what does the job pay?”
- Questioning: The ability to ask questions to uncover your candidate’s thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. Your ability to know what questions to ask, when to ask them and how to ask them.
- Active Listening: The ability to concentrate and focus on the candidate’s point of view before giving your own point of view. Your ability to listen and identify vague words or statements and drill down for clarification.
- Demonstrating Credibility: The candidate’s perception of how believable and trustworthy the recruiter is. The recruiter’s ability to be convincing and believable.
- Presence: The recruiter’s effectiveness in projecting confidence, credibility and conviction in their voice tonality, word choice and body language.
- Intelligent Positioning: Your ability to present information in context that is relevant, logical and personalized to your candidate making it compelling and persuasive.
- Collaboration: The recruiter’s ability to work with the candidate and other parties to co-create a solution and achieve a common goal.
- Critical Thinking: The recruiter’s ability to analyze, synthesize, conceptualize and apply data gathered through observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication to make informed decisions.
Recruiter communication skills are by far the most important weapon in a recruiter's arsenal. Communication skills helps recruiters build the capabilities they need to open new relationships, better understand candidate needs, engage in win-win negotiations, and position themselves as authoritative thought leaders. Not only that, adopting these skills elevates their value to the business and to their candidate (and customer) interactions. Ultimately, recruiter communication skills builds a sustainable competitive advantage because it differentiates team members in an increasingly commoditized industry.