Friday, May 4, 2007

How to screw up your sourcing - 101

I decided to change the name of the current series of journal entries. It just seemed more appropriate. Anyway, continuing the thought of the barriers to sourcing success or “how to screw up your sourcing efforts - 101".

Your prospective candidates are all about their job or career, they aren't bad people, to get their interest in what you have to say you don’t have to watch your words as much as the assumptions behind them. It's the assumptions that undermine what you are doing.

Let me explain... I love the miracle of telephones. I love talking to anyone, anytime and anywhere. I love the feeling of being connected, of being able to connect with people in the other end of the world in just seconds without having to leave home. I love negotiating and closing deals on the phone. I also love the interaction between technology and people exploring it and taking it to the limits. Like I said, I am fully appreciative of the joys of modern technology but then again technology can invade our private space unlike nothing else.

I have come to tolerate telemarketing calls to a degree but there is nothing worse that being called in the middle of a meeting or even worse finally finding a moment to focus on the task at hand only to hear it the shriek of a telephone ring piercing through your quiet time like finger nails on a chalk board. Just yesterday, after a day of meetings and all the other stuff we are faced with; as I began to work on my spreadsheets (being a people person I really need to focus on number crunches, so I save it for a time when I can focus). Enough said the phone rings, okay, I pick it up, setting aside my work - already annoyed because I lost my concentration. When I pick up the phone, there is this person trying to “warm up” the call with chit chat. I tried to listen but I felt a burning sensation working up my spine and my face reddening. What does this person want – I began to wonder - can’t he get to the point. After a couple of minutes I understand it is a recruitment call. I make any excuse and quickly hang up.

The first thing this recruiter did wrong was he spent far too much time in conversation about trivial matters, like sports, the weather etc.. you get the picture. He assumed that because I answered the phone I was interested in what he was saying. The other crucial thing this recruiter did wrong (and what many recruiters do when they call prospects at work) was that he launched right into his spiel without thinking that I might be in the middle of something important. He assumed that because I answered the phone I had the time to talke. You have to understand that If your call is taking your prospect away from something they're involved in, whether it's important or not, they will not give you their attention, even if they stay on the line.

Do let let your assumptions control your call. Show respect for your prospects time; always remember when you call at their place of employment that they are in the middle of doing a job that feeds their family and are expected to produce results. Good business relationships develop slowly based upon mutual respect. Keep initial sourcing calls cordial but professional. Instead of going straight to the point try asking for permission to speak; being attentive to a prospects needs so that they see you as a dependable problem solver is one of the best ways to develop a long term business relationship. Nothing will derail your sourcing efforts quicker than perceived disrespect by your prospective candidate. The third barrier to sourcing success it disrespect to your prospective candidate.

1 comment:

Matt Kerr said...

Good post and right on. An important reminder when approaching passive candidates.

Matt Kerr