Talent Acquisition

First Interview Is the Only KPI That Matters!

In recruitment, the only thing that really matters is that all-important end result. In short, it isn’t recruitment until your candidate is sat firmly in front of your client – and that’s the final word on the matter!

But You’ve Got the Great Candidates, Right?

You might have an astounding array of tempting vacancies, lined up like shiny pearls on your database. You may well have an endless queue of inspiring, genius-level candidates, tingling at the mere prospect of you finding them the dream job that you’ve just promised them.

However, all of that is pretty useless unless you’re getting your candidates in front of your clients. Interviews are where the magic really happens. Without the first interview, there will never be a second. Without a second, you can guarantee there won’t be a job offer. And, you guessed it, without that offer, there’s no placement. Which means no real results for you, the super recruiter! Yikes!

This is the time where you need to recognise an important fact. The phone is your best friend in recruitment. Unless your client is sat in front of you right now (we’re willing to bet they’re not) it’s the most effective way of reaching out and making contact. Go on, give that phone a pat, it deserves it. After all, it’s about to help you in big ways.

Fast-Tracking to Interview

Your goal as a recruiter is essentially a simple one. Create a situation where your client wants to hire one of your candidates. Simple. However, that can’t happen without an interview. So, what’s the best way to get one arranged?

Firstly, you’ll need to tell your client all about your candidate. Then, shock horror, you’ll need to (wait for it) ask for an interview. And no, we don’t mean by email. Or by mailshot, CV portal submission platform or LinkedIn email. And please, if your fingers are hovering on your smartphone, don’t even think of sending a text. The best way of getting that interview is to ask for it personally, and that means making a phone call.

The Power of a Phone Call

When it comes to arranging interviews, you’ll need to remember the following mantra. Repeat after me:

  • People buy from people. Not emails.
  • You can’t build rapport in an email.
  • An email will never, ever communicate how exciting this candidate is.
  • Writing emails is a bit of a waste of time.
  • Emails can be deleted in the tap of a finger.
  • Emailing CVs without a phone call is LAZY!

Trust me, taking the time to canvas / prospect / spec out your candidates by phone to your potential clients is the speediest route to an interview. However, this great way of getting results is becoming a lost art. We’re spending too much time hiding behind emails, and not enough time doing what we do best – talking to our clients!

Remember, on a phone, you’ve got their complete attention. Which is a lot more than your email will have, whilst they’re also eating their lunch / chatting to someone else / checking the football scores on their phone.

When you’re talking on the phone, they’re your captive audience. You’ve got centre stage, and you can immediately demonstrate your authority and credibility. You’re talking their language and you’re introducing a candidate that’s ideal for their business.

So do not, we repeat, do not just send the CV over by email.

Confident Conversing

If you’ve done your research, and you know this is the perfect candidate for your client’s company, be confident! Also, make sure you specifically state that this particular candidate is working exclusively with you (if they are). This instantly sets you apart from the rest of the recruiting mob.

Remember, you have what nobody else has – this amazing, talented, qualified candidate. This person could add huge value to your client’s business – you need to make sure they know it. Speak to the hiring manager, the MD, the decision maker – get in touch with the right person, and ask outright if they want to meet your candidate. Any other course of action is fairly pointless. We repeat (and we’ll keep saying this until you’re reciting it in your sleep) Do not just email the CV over.

Nailing Client Calls

If you’re already dialling the number – wait one second! We salute your enthusiasm, but this certainly isn’t the time to wing it, you need to prepare first.

Have a plan ready. Rather than thinking like a recruiter, think like your client instead. What’s in it for them? What would make them leap out of their seats with excitement? What do you need to say to convince them? Your client’s time is precious, and if you don’t give them gold, you won’t be taken so seriously the next time you call.

You’ll need to:

  • Plan what you’re going to say
  • Plan the benefit to the client – what value does this candidate offer?
  • Plan what you want from the call
  • Make the aim of the call to learn as much as you can (**listen to the client**)
  • Keep records of your calls and make sure you have great notes
  • Keep your word! If you arrange a call back at a specified time, make sure you follow through

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask!

Remember when you were a child, and you wrote to Santa, desperate for that amazing Lego set at Christmas? You weren’t afraid to ask then, and nor should you be now. Most people don’t get what they want, simply because they’re too nervous to ask. It’s time to lose that mindset, fast.

Remember, this doesn’t just benefit you – this benefits the candidate and your client too. This is a win-win-win situation, and you don’t get many of them in life. Not sure what to ask? Try this.

“If you think your company could benefit from his/her skills, I already have commitment from my candidate to arrange an interview with you, so what date works best for you? When are you free to meet my candidate?”

And please, make sure you’re talking to the right person – the one who makes the decisions. Nigel the receptionist might be a complete legend, but he’s unlikely to be able to help you with this one, trust me.

A Final Top Tip…

  • If you have to send the CV over, the best thing to include is the interview confirmation. Do not be afraid to ask!

As recruiters you will always be judged on your success. Success, quite simply, is a placement, nothing more, nothing less. That new first interview takes you one step closer to a deal!

By Dave Hume

Dave Hume is a specialist recruiter with over 14 years’ experience in the industry. Having founded his own successful independent recruitment consultancy in 2011, he went on to found Seriously Connected which comprehensively supports experienced recruiters who want to take control of their careers, work for themselves from anywhere, full or part time and enjoy the rewards their skills deserve.