Part 5 of the series “So you’ve become a recruitment consultant… what does that really mean?”
We all communicate, we do it every day, every second, even when we’re asleep (although I have to believe that when my partner elbows me in the face during the night that he’s not trying to tell me something!) In recruitment it‘s the keystone to everything we do and if you put some conscious thought into it, you can consistently communicate well. If not, well then it’s just as easy to do it badly… really, really badly.
A blog post is not really enough opportunity to do this subject justice, so I’m going to look at 3 key aspects of communication – verbal, non-verbal communication (NVCs) and written in relation to recruitment. Next week, I’ll look at communication in relation to sales.
How we communicate changed dramatically with the advent of IT. We’re more likely to send a text or an email, than to pick up the phone to communicate with another person, but recruitment is a people business.
You have to have something interesting to say, but it’s actually the way that you sound that is more important than you first words. Who wants to talk to someone that sounds nervous, is hesitant or even worse, doesn’t sound enthusiastic about what they are saying. If you’re not interested, then why should they be?!
When speaking to someone new, we all get a little nervous, so it’s important to remember to slow down. Adrenaline will make your voice higher and your pace faster, so drop your tone and take your time… that way you are likely to sound more confident and they are likely to hear what you are saying, rather than thinking “This person sounds awful!”
When communicating a message to someone face to face, it’s not really the words that are leaving an impression; it’s your body language whilst you’re speaking.
- Ever thought that the person speaking to you is not telling the truth or maybe not the whole truth?
- Ever met someone and instantly taken a dislike to them or just ‘clicked’ immediately?
- Ever wondered why that is?
Our bodies give off a mass of non-verbal signals. When performing a polygraph (lie detector) test there are multitudes of bodily (non-verbal) responses that they are monitoring. We as human beings have our own built-in lie detectors. We are able to pick up on small messages given off by others, even if we don’t realise it. That’s why we have those initial impression reactions.
Therefore, when dealing with your customers it’s important to believe in what you are doing, do it with integrity and above all else – never lie. Your non-verbal signals can give either positive or negative impression of you, so make sure it‘s the former.
The key to written communication is to make sure that you follow some basic pointers.
- Keep it brief. Concise information is much more likely to be read.
- Use spell-check! It’s there for a reason.
- Re-read before sending. At least once.
- Use bullet points and numbering for ease of access to information.
- Keep the language simple. If 1 word sums it up, then don’t use 10.
- Use highlights, bold and graphics to emphasise your point.
- If you’re not sure, show it to someone that you know is a good writer to get their opinion first.
Just one slip up or grammatical error can change a whole sentence meaning – or even 3 words. This a real store in the states. A bigger space after the 4th letter would have worked wonders!
Next week we’ll look at using your communication skills whilst selling to develop business.