Using my Communications Degree in Recruiting
As a recent grad, I spent a lot of time searching for a career path that would allow me to fully utilize my BA in Communications. After two internships in event planning, I hadn’t fully considered a path in recruiting. However, after my first six months of recruiting, I have come to realize how critical communication skills are in this industry, and that I am using skills I developed through out college every day.
The very first interaction with candidates often includes a variety of negations. Whether this discussion includes pay rate, commute or other job factors, the recruiter and the candidate are both hoping to meet and a beneficial outcome. Using active listening skills and coming to fully understand what a candidate is looking for in their next position and how you can help as a recruiter is all part of the negotiation process.
I have also come to find that recognizing a candidates’ communication style and adapting to their needs allows for much easier and clearer communication between the candidate and recruiter. The three “technical” communication styles are passive, aggressive and assertive, but reading the tone of the candidate can help the recruiter deliver information in a way that is most effective for the individual. For example, working with a job seeker who is direct and to the point, may prefer a short, facts-based phone call, but a candidate that is more expressive of their emotions might appreciated a more through discussion of options. Adapting to a candidates’ communication style can help build a stronger relationship and keep lines of communication open.
Working on overcoming communication barriers also comes along with a role in recruiting. When working with job seekers from all over the country, physical barriers, differences in perspective and even regional jargon can play a role in disrupting effective communication. When communicating a majority of the time via phone call, tone of voice makes a HUGE difference. Talking to job seekers over the phone presents the complication of missing all non-verbal cues, so using tone of voice to reflect your intentions and reading candidates tone is key. In addition, taking a quick look into the local communication style has greatly benefited me in recruiting outside my region. Being from the Midwest, I am pretty used to a lot of small talk and over the top politeness. It is helpful to understand that people from different regions, like the East Coast for example, don’t always communicate in the same way. What is important is understanding and adapting to communicate effectively.
Overall, each day as a recruiter, we spend a great deal of time communicating with potential and current candidates. I have come to learn that the more effectively you can communicate the more effective you can be as a recruiter. Every new interaction allows me to grow in my communication skills and gain tools that help achieve success in this industry.