While in Boston for Bullhorn’s Engage 2017, I attended a speaker session with Glen Cathey, SVP of Global Digital Strategy and Innovation at Randstad. His talk centered on Social Engineering and how it applies to the Recruiting Industry. As a result of attending his session, I took on a new reading assignment, Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking. I’m pretty excited about this new book, and eager to learn new techniques to apply to recruitment and talent acquisition. Below are a few takeaways that Glen provided, and some thoughts on each.

Engineer great first impressions.

Consider the big picture. A great first impression always pays dividends. Your candidate could be a client one day. They might be your next internal employee. They might know someone who could benefit from services and products that your company offers, which could result in a referral for your business. Ask people / candidates about their personal interests and hobbies, in addition to screening them for a role at your company or with a client.

Be specific about why you’re reaching out to them, and what interests you about their experience.

Find one or two bullets on their resume or LinkedIn profile, and tie that back to the job description for the job you are recruiting for. “I’m very interested in your experience as a developer with Bullhorn. I see you were part of the team that built a new module for the sales team to use. Our client is looking for a developer with experience building a module from the ground up. Tell me about your experience on that assignment.” Make sure the candidate knows you took time to research them.

Show genuine interest.

Do not sound like you are ready to hang up the phone as soon as you picked it up. If the candidate feels you are genuinely interested, they will open up to you. You may know right off the bat they are not a good immediate fit, but make it your goal to find out something about them that you can use to your benefit. How was their experience at a former company?

Make it all about them. Discover their needs.

Who doesn’t like talking about themselves and their accomplishments? Think about the last time someone asked you what you did for a living or about a recent accomplishment. Were you excited to tell them about yourself and/or that accomplishment?

Anticipate and preempt or address objections.

Prepare yourself before talking with a candidate. Look them up on LinkedIn, and do some light research on past and present employers. Have a firm grasp on ALL benefits (small or large) offered for the position you are recruiting for. If they have an objection during your conversation, talk about those additional benefits (free coffee, flexible hours, option to work from home, short drive to work, money they will save in gas, or that long drive to the office that affords you time to plan the day ahead). Shift focus away from the objection.

Ask intelligent questions.

“What is the square root of 1,356,293?”. Not quite. If you’re interviewing a high-level (Director, VP, C-level) candidate, “What size budget are you accustomed to working with? If your budget is approved below what you planned for, how would you respond?” For sales, “How much have you helped grow company revenue in your current role? What are your sales goals for the year?”

Establish urgency or scarcity.

“The position just opened on Monday, and we only have this week for candidate interviews. They need to hire someone quickly, and your name was at the top of my list.”

Appeal to emotion and curiosity.

Curiosity shows intelligence. Let the candidate know you appreciate their curiosity about the position, and encourage them to ask questions about details of the position. Emotional intelligence is very important when working with people. This is one thing that AI cannot replace, so it’s important for recruiters and HR professionals to be emotionally intelligent.

Assume a positive outcome.

Keep a positive tone throughout the conversation with a candidate. Talk about their skills and abilities that match well with the opening you are working to fill. This will give them confidence, which leads to a better chance of their success during an interview. If things do not turn out as hoped, assure them that another great opportunity awaits them!

People are drawn to confidence.

There is a difference between being cocky and confident. “Confidence with humility” is a great way to approach interviewing, and conversation in general.

Have fun and make them smile.

Have you ever watched Jimmy Fallon? Everyone likes people that make them smile/laugh. He makes them feel very comfortable and at ease, and constantly has his guests laughing! His celebrity interviews often reveal a much different side of what we typically see.  Even though his schedule is busy and he works at breakneck speeds, he slows down to connect with people and lives in the moment.