Recruiters and Communication – Are You Getting it Right?

One of the biggest issues as a Recruiter, whether internal or external, has always centred on the subject of communication when dealing with hiring managers and candidates.

I recently read an article regarding the top 10 lessons in communication:

  • Lesson #1: Communication is Like a Muscle.
  • Lesson #2: You’re Overrating Your Communication Skills.
  • Lesson #3: Good Communication Can Compensate Bad Communication.
  • Lesson #4: Talk to the Point.
  • Lesson #5. Be Clear.
  • Lesson #6: Ask!
  • Lesson #7: Be Yourself.
  • Lesson #8: Listen Instead of Assuming.
  • Lesson #9: Don’t Argue for the Sake of Arguing.
  • Lesson #10. Smile!

From the list above it seems straightforward doesn’t it? You’re probably thinking, “yeah I know all this, I do it every day”, however, when you stop and think about it; I’d like to ask you. Do you? I came up with some questions that I’d asked myself in relation to the lessons below:

I’d like to first share the finer details of each of the ten lessons and then I invite you to ask yourself the questions I asked myself

Lesson #1. Communication is Like a Muscle.

The more you use it, the more it develops. This doesn’t mean that just by communicating you automatically improve your communication skills every time; applying certain principles and seeking to improve is also important. But the basics are in actually practicing, in interacting with people as much as you can.

Lesson #2: You’re Overrating Your Communication Skills.
There are two things which happen a lot in relation with communication: one is that almost everybody agrees that most people need to improve their communication skills, the other is that almost nobody believes they have this problem. It’s very possible that your communication skills need work, and it’s best to take this into account.

Lesson #3: Good Communication Can Compensate Bad Communication.
If you deal with people with bad communication skills, the situation is not hopeless. To a great extent, you can still get the kind of results you want, if you have good enough communication skills to balance things out. Just focus on your side of things.

Lesson #4: Talk to the Point.
Probably the most common mistake in communication is losing the attention of the people you’re talking to, because you’ve stopped saying something relevant for them. Always keep your target in mind and adapt the content of your communication so it’s relevant for whoever you are talking with.

Lesson #5. Be Clear.
General, fuzzy words don’t have much practical use in communication. They’re mostly a way of talking without saying much. Focus on using very specific and precise words when you talk, in order to present your thoughts in as a precise manner as you can. This improves your chance to be understood and to be convincing when you interact with others.

Lesson #6. Ask!
I can’t even begin to describe how much most people sabotage themselves in communication by not asking clearly for the things they want. We tend to avoid expressing our own needs or wants, or we fail to express them clearly.  Instead, we hope that someone will simply address our needs and wants the way we want. This is a terrible strategy. If you want something, ask for it clearly. That’s what confident and effective people do.

Lesson #7: Be Yourself.
Communication can be used as a way to create a false impression about yourself. And this has some benefits but overall, it is just another bad strategy in relating with others. Instead, use communication as a way to express your true self, without regrets and without excuses. Authentic communication is the way to build great partnerships and overall, and to get the best results.

Lesson #8: Listen Instead of Assuming.
We will often stop listening to what a person has to say when her words seem familiar and we think we know what else she has to say. But we often jump to the wrong conclusions, and we end up misunderstanding others. Each person has unique experiences, and they will express them in unique ways. Listen to them instead of assuming before you respond.

Lesson #9: Don’t Argue for the Sake of Arguing.
This is something I see all the time: a person expresses an opinion and another person who has a different opinion instantly contradicts them. There is no practical benefit in converting this person to their side, and it’s improbable that they will, but they stubbornly try nonetheless. There are times to argue, when there is practical value in doing this. But these are the exceptions rather than the rules.

Lesson #10. Smile!
It’s such a simple act, which can communicate so many positive things, and can brighten up somebody’s day. Smiling is generally the act of the confident and the happy. It creates subtle but powerful effects and it’s something I recommend that you practice consciously each day.

And of course, whatever lessons you put into practice in your communication, remember to enjoy the process. It can be as meaningful as the destination of having cutting edge communication skills.


How often are you communicating with your hiring managers/candidates? Are they chasing you, or are you updating them?
Are your communication skills good? Really? How do you communicate – Phone? Email? Face to Face?
How often are you frustrated with things not moving forward? Where does your focus lie? Are you getting the results you want?
How often does your hiring manager/candidate seem uninterested in what you are saying? Are they often quick to get you off the phone or suddenly busy?
Are you sure your hiring managers/candidates understand your terminology? Have you asked them?
Do you want the business/feedback/a decision? Do you ask for it?
How often have you tried to impress and felt uncomfortable? What’s your personal style? Do you adapt it or try to be what you think the hiring manager/candidate wants to see?
How many times have you taken the hiring manager/candidate’s requirements assuming you know it, and have actually got it wrong? How much easier could it be if you continued asking questions and listening to really understand the requirements?
How often have you disagreed with feedback from a hiring manager/candidate? How do you approach it? Do you argue based on feeling, or do you educate with facts? Do you know when to accept?

And finally...................Do you smile everyday with every single person you communicate with?


About the AuthorPaul Myers - Staffing and Recruitment Professional

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