Plenty of jokes have been made about how no one calls each other anymore, yet…
It's still an effective way to catch up, get information and make plans, especially with people you know. You're familiar with one another and generally know how to communicate comfortably over the phone…
But what happens when you call someone you've never called before? Like candidates.
It can be a daunting process and you might not know where it fits in your recruiting strategy or how to start.
Here's what you need to consider when going into candidate phone screening and other candidate phone calls.
Research and Plan Before You Dial
Before you phone screen or call a candidate, it's important to map out a framework of where communication will take place throughout the recruiting process.
Make sure to consider these questions:
- Do I know the role well (both requirements and intangibles)?
- When am I calling candidates?
- What do I want to discuss during each interaction?
- Where do each of these calls fit into the larger recruiting process?
- What information will I have on the candidates ahead of each conversation?
- What questions might come up and what will my response be?
- How am I making this a positive experience for the candidate?
If you have a team, talk through these questions with them so you all have an understanding of how candidate interactions will ideally take place through the process.
Let's go through some of these questions together.
When Calling Takes Place
The most recognizable time phone calls are placed between TA professionals and talent is during the phone screening process.
This is the time when you've had an intake meeting with your team to discuss the requirements of the role, you've likely reviewed a candidate's resume or work and you are ready to ask them questions.
Good phone screens will accomplish a few things:
Introducing yourself and having them open up about themselves
Get answers your organization needs regarding logistics
- If they're authorized to work in a given country
- Sponsorship questions
- Work location questions if applicable
- How does their timeframe look for starting work?
Answer any questions about their resume
- Is there information you have specific questions on?
- Is there information left unanswered?
Questions related to the role
- What interested them
- What their work process
- Do their expectations align with the role and organization?
- Is there something they expect that you can't fulfill?
Answer questions they have
- Try to forecast what questions they might have
- If new questions are asked, take the time to jot them down for future use?
These are some of the basics to consider and can be a useful framework to keep in mind to ensure you're gaining all the info you need.
And don't be afraid to create a written script or framework when you start out.
This will help you feel more comfortable as you make more calls.
Eventually, you'll get to a place where you won't be reading questions off of a script and will know the information well enough to naturally flow into a conversation.
But effectively engaging talent over the phone goes beyond the basics of asking specific questions.
More than acquiring information, phone calls can be used to establish a positive candidate experience that reflects well on the company.
Going Above and Beyond for the Candidate Experience
The first way to go above and beyond for the candidate experience is something very simple that gets overlooked: listening.
When you're often the one asking questions it can be easier to jot down answers and not engage in a conversation.
Yet, those TA professionals who listen to their candidates are the ones who create more seamless conversations and show candidates that they care.
For instance, there have been instances where a candidate gives a long winded answer which is not easy to navigate. However, in their response, they may provide an answer to another question you have.
Saying “I noticed you mentioned this and it actually ties into my next question… can you speak to that a little bit more.”
Or if a candidate mentions they are actively interviewing, making a note of that and later in the process asking them how those interviews are going.
Not only does this help you gauge the status of a candidate but also shows them you cared about what they had to say.
Another way to go above and beyond for the candidate experience is checking in with them and guiding them where possible.
While phone screens are the area where most people think to call talent, there are recruiters who call talent after every stage of the interview process.
This can be to see how the interview went, get feedback and even guide them through the next stages.
One recruiter at hireEZ was experiencing offer acceptance rates of 46%. After checking in with talent at each stage with a phone call that offer rose to 93%.
Phone calls like that are a very effective way to improve the candidate experience and again show candidates you're invested in them for your role.
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