Even though they may not ask outright, I think your hiring manager “clients” crave your expertise in helping them to hire the best people for their positions. The more they trust you as the expert in their corner, the more input and impact you will have on their hiring process. In short, the more consultative you’ll be.
So here are five things you can do when you interact with hiring managers to build and reinforce your image as a Consultative Recruiter.
- Build trust by keeping small promises
When was the last time someone did what they said they would do—and did it when they said they would do it?
I learned the power of this simple trust-building technique when I met a sales exec who had become a millionaire selling office cleaning supplies. I asked him what was his secret to success, and it was this simple strategy. It made him a trusted business partner to his customers.
So next time you say you’ll call first thing on Tuesday, do it. And of course, be careful of making a promise that you aren’t absolutely sure you can meet.
Each of these interactions builds upon one another. Maybe you won’t be a millionaire, but you’ll be building their trust in you, and that’s always a good start.
- Ask the tough questions
It may be difficult, but when you are willing to broach the elephant in the room, you are absolutely demonstrating your consultative role. Sometimes asking the question on everyone’s mind is exactly what builds the most trust—especially if you do so with a genuine desire to help others meet their goals.
- Let your passion and excitement show
It’s reassuring to hiring managers when you express (genuine) excitement about recruiting for their position. The bonus? When you can generate genuine excitement, it will also help you write powerful postings to effectively market the role to the best candidates.
Avoid under-promising and over-delivering A lot of recruiters have reported trying to build a business relationship by promising the moon. Often, this is because recruiters genuinely want to deliver all that they promise. However, soon the realities kick in—like those other 70 reqs on your desk.
Despite your good intentions, you quickly teach people to distrust what you say. Delivering more than you promised and/or delivering it earlier is not actually keeping your word. (Remember point #1 above?) This soon results in hiring managers not trusting your word. Don’t let this happen.
You will actually build trust faster when you focus on what you can reasonably deliver, give a realistic deadline and do exactly what you promised.
The “fake it until you make it” approach never worked for me. I found it difficult to come across as confident when I’m feeling like a fake—maybe it’s just me. To create genuine confidence, remind yourself that YOU are the recruiting expert. I know everyone in the company may think they can do your job, but you and I know that they could not.
Therefore, trust yourself and your skills. Share your knowledge, perspective and experience by asking insightful questions. Remind yourself that you know what you are doing so you can start acting like their consultative recruiter even before they ask for your help.
To hear more from Katherine and how to be The Consultative Recruiter, watch her on-demand Webinar
Katherine Moody is the author of The Consultative Recruiter and How to Do Small Talk Fearlessly. For the past 27 years, she has been helping companies find great talent and job seekers to find their ideal roles. In addition to managing large virtual recruiting teams, she has worked with companies such as The Cheesecake Factory, The Walt Disney Company, St. Joseph Healthcare, P.F. Changs, Fox Entertainment, and Yahoo.
She has an MBA from the University of Southern California and an Executive MBA from the Peter Drucker Management Center of Claremont University