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How Can Recruiters Break the Ice When Talking to Candidates?

Updated: Aug 9, 2023


Recruiting potential employees is a time-consuming effort that has multiple touchpoints.


From the initial phone interview to in-person meetings, making a strong connection with candidates is essential.


However, it can often be difficult to break the ice and make a lasting impression.


Here are some ways that recruiters can help make their conversations more engaging and memorable.


Listen Actively



When speaking to someone on the phone, listening actively is key. This means being engaged and paying attention to the conversation and understanding what the other person is trying to communicate. Here are some tips on how to listen actively on a call:

  • Focus on the conversation and not any distractions around you.

  • Avoid multitasking - give your full attention to the caller.

  • Make sure to stay present in the conversation by asking relevant questions or providing feedback.

  • Summarize what has been discussed from time to time during a longer call.

  • Take notes if needed so that you can refer back later on in the conversation.

When speaking to candidates, it’s important to listen actively to what they have to say. This means not only listening to what they are saying but also paying attention to their body language and tone of voice.


Take notes if needed so that you can refer back later on in the conversation. Asking follow-up questions or clarifying points is also a great way to show your interest in the candidate and their experiences.


Be Enthusiastic



Making a strong connection with candidates over the phone can be challenging, but it's not impossible.


Being enthusiastic about your conversation with potential new hires will show them that you view them as an asset and understand why they would be a great fit for your company. Here are a few tips to help foster enthusiasm during conversations with candidates on the phone:

  • Speak clearly and confidently so that your message is clear.

  • Smile when speaking - it will project into your voice!

  • Let the candidate know that you appreciate their work history, achievements, or goals.

  • Make sure to give positive feedback or recognition when appropriate.

  • Ask meaningful questions to get to the heart of why they think they would be the best choice for the job.

No one wants to talk with someone who seems uninterested or bored by their experience or story. Being enthusiastic about your conversations with potential new hires will show them that you view them as an asset and understand why they would be a great fit for your company.


Letting them know that you appreciate their work history, achievements, or goals will demonstrate how much you value their candidacy and might even convince them that your company is the right fit for them!


Use Humor



Using humor on calls with potential new hires can be a great way to show that you are approachable and open to their ideas. It can also create an environment where candidates feel comfortable, which can be beneficial when trying to assess their skills or character. Here are some tips on how to use humor in your calls with candidates:

  • Start with self-deprecating humor and let the candidate jump in if they feel like it.

  • Make sure to pay attention to the candidate's interests so that you can bring up similar topics.

  • Be aware of cultural differences - what might be funny in one context might not work in another.

  • Listen for cues from the other person - if they don't seem interested in a joke, move on quickly.

  • Avoid jokes about personal characteristics such as gender or race.

When appropriate, using humor can be an effective way of lightening up the atmosphere and making everyone feel more relaxed during interviews. Don't force it though; small jokes here and there can help open up conversations and make people feel more at ease but try not to overdo it either as too much humor could come across as unprofessional or offensive.


Ask Meaningful Questions



Asking meaningful questions when screening candidates is an important part of any hiring process. You want to make sure you get a good understanding of the candidate's values, experience, and overall fit for the job. Here are some tips on how to ask meaningful questions when conducting interviews:

  • Ask questions that focus on their skill set rather than their personal life.

  • Don't be afraid to ask difficult questions that require thought and creativity.

  • Make sure to give the candidate ample time to answer your questions in full.

  • Listen carefully to what they have to say and don't be afraid to ask follow-up questions.

  • Make sure that all your questions are related to the position you are trying to fill - avoid going off on unrelated tangents.

Though general questions such as “tell me a bit about yourself” may seem like an easy way out when interviewing somebody, they do nothing to engage with the candidate and get a sense of what makes them unique or different from other applicants.


Ask meaningful questions that get to the heart of why they think they would be the best choice for the job - this will give you an indication of how passionate they are about working for your company which should help form your decision when hiring somebody new!


Conclusion

Breaking the ice during recruitment interviews doesn't have to be difficult - it simply requires some thoughtfulness from recruiters regarding how they approach conversations with potential hires.


By being attentive listeners, showing enthusiasm towards candidates' stories, employing humor appropriately, and asking meaningful questions during job interviews recruiters can create an environment where both parties feel comfortable while also setting themselves apart from other companies looking for top talent!


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