1. Let candidates earn an interview.
Keep your best cards close to your chest and don’t offer any great benefits of working for your company until a candidate both qualifies and has
sound reasons for changing employers.
How do you do this? Start your cold call to a potential candidate this way, “Hi John, my name is Jenna and this is a recruiting call. Can you talk privately? Your name has come to me on a confidential basis (if it did) as someone who has a strong reputation and is well liked in the industry. In order to make a move a feel like you’re moving your career forward what would have to be in place?”
The average loan officer gets one or two recruiting calls a month. Candidates can be testy if a recruiter was not savvy and wasted their time. You are in a position to be selective so watch for red flags and eliminate people who do not match your criteria.
Ask your qualifying questions and get a feel for a candidate’s expertise before offering a morsel of information about your company or opportunity.
2. Control the process.
Here’s a secret: Candidates like being sought after and know it’s worthwhile to cooperate with a recruiter who makes them work for information and possibly an interview. When you open your conversation as stated above, your demeanor and phrasing tells them you mean business. As you encourage candidates to talk about themselves they quickly get engrossed in a good conversation. Not many people in a month ask them about themselves the way you will during a ten – 15 minute call.
Don’t let a candidate control of the process. Loan officers are sales people and used to asking questions. Don’t reveal your company name or the fact you’re a branch or regional manager until they qualify. Maintain control by guarding your information as if it were gold.
When asked a question, answer briefly and ask a new question from your qualifying list. Keep them thinking and answering so you can evaluate whether or not you wish to proceed to an interview.
3. Your initial conversation provides the information you need to close successfully.
When you take the time to ask about a candidate personally, including their career goals and personal aspirations, you establish rapport. When you understand what a candidate cares about you can talk directly to those issues and concerns. Listen carefully.
Don’t treat people like commodities. Over and over I hear branch managers tell me they are great at recruiting if they can get a candidate to sit down and are able to present their offer. The way to get ideal loan officers in front of you is to reject (kindly) ones who don’t meet your criteria and only interview those who’ve told you what you want to hear.
Close on the key motivators they’ve expressed. “John, you said you want a financially stable company, with stable management seeing as you’ve been through 2 mergers in five years. We offer that. Our history is….” Then, "How do you feel about our stability?"
Generally there are only a few factors that will make a candidate move and move now. Find out what motivates the candidate you’re after and keep asking the question, “In order to make a move and feel like you’re improving your situation, what would have to be in place?”
You must ask this question three or four times during the week you approach, meet and interview a candidate. The reason you ask multiple times is because more truthful and thoughtful answers surface as the possibility of a move becomes real. As candidates' let their guard down, answers become more genuine. Knowledge is power.
Follow these 3 tips and your recruiting conversations will be substantial and rewarding. Let recruiting be fun. After you use these 3 tips successfully, feel free to send me a tip! My tin cup could use a few extra coins. Ha!
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