In the Recruiting and Talent Acquisition Profession we interview prospective hires daily. However, it is not our job to agree with them, disagree with them or judge them.
Our job is to see the world through their eyes, put ourselves in their shoes and determine what they see as their next career move. We also can’t assume that what they are currently doing is what they want to do in the future. The past few years have caused individuals to step back and re-evaluate their priorities. Candidates want to become more marketable with each career move.
There are fundamental differences between hearing what someone says and listening to their words.
Listening can be harder work than hearing, but it is important to have people in our professional lives who listen to us and in return we need to become great listeners.
Active listening doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but the good news is that it’s a skill that can be improved upon over time. When we’re actively listening, we focus on the person who’s speaking to fully understand what it is they’re communicating. We give them time and don’t interrupt. If we’re unsure of something they’ve said, we ask questions, and we’ll often repeat what the candidate has said in our own words to clarify our understanding and their definition of words used. When you are actively listening, you are involved in the conversation.
Through this understanding, you create meaningful connections with your candidates, hiring managers, and co-workers. By actively listening, you show that you respect the other individual and view what they say as important and worthwhile. This is particularly important when your candidate or hiring manager is revealing something they find difficult to discuss.
Eliminate Barriers to Effective Communication
- Interruptions – This could be as simple as reacting before someone is finished talking.
- Not Paying Attention – To effectively “hear” what someone is “saying” you need 100% focus.
- Selective Hearing – Writing nothing down in your ATS or CRM and choosing what you wish to hear.
- External Distractions – Endless possibilities, especially if you are working remote
If you ever find yourself agreeing, disagreeing or judging, remember that is NOT your job. Your job is to put an opportunity in front of a prospective hire that represents advancement and the type of job they see as their next career move. When you do, you will make better matches and the candidates you hire or place will become engaged and retained employees.
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