I recently came across an article that reinforces many of the principles I beleive to be true regarding effective recruiting. Steven Lowisz does a great job of succinctly summarizing the parallels between effective recruiting and effective sales.
Since many of the hiring managers in the real estate industy started out their careers as sales professionals (ie. agents), the connection between these two activities will feel familiar. The skills that once made you a great salesperson will now help you become a more effective recruiter.
In this two part series, I will discuss five steps to effective recruiting that also apply to sales. Managers will get a two-for-one benefit in this discussion--insight for recruiting and insight for coaching agents on the sales process.
I believe these ideas are also helpful for the "first responders" in the recruting process (what we call recruiting coordinators). It is important that the candidate experieces a consistent set of best practices from their first contact with your organization to the face-to-face interview.
1. Developing the Relationship: This is the time that the warming-up events occur before the serious selling begins. This includes how you introduce yourself and how you begin the conversation. Candidates have stated that it’s during the first two minutes of the call that they form crucial initial impressions that influence the rest of the recruiting process.
The recruiting coordinators are on the frontline with the HiringCenter leads. They are the first to start building the relationship between the candidate and the company. I’ve found most of the candidates who are contacted within the first 24 hours after applying are genuinely appreciative of the responsiveness and information that is shared. After the initial screening the candidate is then introduced to the manager who starts to build their own relationship with the candidate.
2. Creating/Identifying the Need: Every sale involves identifying a need that the candidate is often unaware of by asking questions. This is much more than a simple collection of data. Identifying or creating the need is the most important of all selling and recruiting skills. Recruiters who are the most effective during this investigative stage are most likely to be the highest performers. Recruiters with poor investigative skills generally create candidates who ultimately do not accept the position once offered.
Here is where a little finesse comes into play. Just asking for one’s work history is not enough. Of course it's important, but falls short of effective screening.
Take it a step further and ask what it is that they enjoy about their current career/position…listen. Then ask what it is that they don’t care for….listen. Then compare and contrast how a career in real estate would address those observations in their favor.
For example, a candidate may say “I don’t like being behind a desk all day” or “There is a lack of advancement” or “I really feel micromanaged.” All of those observations are non-issues as an agent.
As you capture the frustrating aspects of their current job and gently suggest how these issues may be solved by transitioning to a real estate career, the need for an interview with the hiring manager will be easier to sell. Remember, that is the primary function of the recruting coordiator.
Also, when similiar questions are later asked by the hiring manager, he/she will be in a better position build upon the groudwork that that has been laid earlier in the process.
In my next installment I will discuss the last three steps critical to the recruiting process.
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