The Recruiter's Moment


The duties of the recruiter are varied. As I write this I know that even “varied” does not do the role of the recruiter justice. A recruiter must be project manager, sales expert, and emotional support, a voice of reason, creator of dreams, super sleuth, gambler, and best friend. Usually all of these in the span of an hour.

Because of the many hats a recruiter must wear, there are as many books, seminar, webinars and trainers who focus on each nuanced aspect, and that is great. I think that personal development is paramount to success and because each aspect of the recruiter’s role is so varied, the training must be as well.

But there is one moment, one 30 second span, that I believe defines each recruiter across all levels and focus areas. All the other actions and moments are for not if the recruiter cannot master this moment.

So what is the moment? It starts when you dial the phone to call a candidate and ends when you hang the phone up. That’s it! But as with everything in life, it is so much more. In this moment the recruiter must introduce themselves, define the call, share the opportunity, build trust, and get the candidate to the next step, a deeper interaction about the role.

In his training “The Art of Attraction Based Recruiting”, Greg Doershing calls this moment the Attraction Phase. And he has named it well, the job of the recruiter is to attract the candidate to the open role. I encourage you to look at the talks Greg has given about the nuanced Attraction Phase, he does a great job.

What I want to share in this blog post are three main areas that are paramount to success during the Recruiter’s Moment. These areas can be filled with anything that helps you motivate the candidate. The content is not as important as being as professional as possible during the moment. Success in each of these areas will lead to a successful Recruiter’s Moment.

Prepare for the moment– Preparation is so important for a recruiter and is a must if a recruiter wants to be successful in the moment. Never, ever pick up the phone without:

  • A written and practiced script in front of you
  • A complete and detailed position dossier
  • An understanding of the growth the role and firm provide
  • An outline of the community where the job is located

Be present in the moment- The second area is the action of the call. As you dial the phone, listen to the ring, hear the candidate’s hello, and start to speak, be in the moment. Let all else fall away.

  • Shut down email, turn off your cell phone, focus on the task at hand
  • Be bright, concise, and friendly. Say what you need to quickly, but don’t be rushed, then let the candidate speak
  • Have prepared rebuttals at hand. It is rare that the candidate says “just today I was hoping to get a call like this, let’s talk.” More often there is some resistance. While you cannot be prepared for everything, practice fielding rejections and how to overcome them. This will help you be quick on your feet
  • Respect the candidate. Don’t be too pushy! This is just a battle and you may need this candidate at some other point to win the war.

Follow up on the moment– This is the easiest and most overlooked aspect of the Recruiter Moment! I have talked to recruiters across all industries who employ the one and done rule. Just because the candidate is not ready now it does not mean they will never be ready. Start to see rejected candidates as pipeline.

  • Set a calendar reminder to touch base again. I usually make it in the next quarter
  • Send them an email after that call, thanking them for their time. This gives them your contact info and is another touch point about the job. You never know…
  • Ask for a referral. While the candidate may not be interested, they may know someone who is.

While the outcomes of calls can vary, if you consider and prepare in each of these three areas of your recruiting call, your moment, you are hedging your bets for a positive outcome. You only get one moment on each dial. Be ready for it, your livelihood depends on it.