How Can Recruiters REALLY Connect?

That voice in your head: “Here we go, another inspirational blog post that’s supposed to get me to be better in one way or another.  I’ve read ’em all.  They’re all the same.  Self-help is self-bull—-…  I have to pick up the kids at 4, run to the store ’cause we’re low on groceries, try and make it to the gym ’cause last week was a total failure.  I really do want to be the best recruiter on the planet, ’cause well I want to make more money, be in a better financial place for my family.  Oh crap, I shouldn’t even be reading this right now ’cause I have an interview in 40 minutes.  Those candidates just aren’t good enough…wait a minute, did I?  I did.  Maybe I didn’t…phew I did.  Where was I in this dang blog post?…” Just a little play by play in any moment in our lives.  We’re all there, trying to make the best of our situation and deal with our day-to-day.  Two things to acknowledge: 1.  Everyone’s in the same boat. So really every genuine or authentic interaction/relationship is just two people sharing experiences.  Stories.  A Sales Guy Recruiting is about finding our candidate’s story.  Why?  Because when we do that, we find proof of who the candidate really is, and really capable of.  We want to know whether our “A” Player can get the job done for our clients.  We don’t know that for sure until we get the story from the candidate.  They can tell us all day ’til they’re blue in the face that they can do this or that.  But until we get the story that proves it, we aren’t convinced.  Here’s a story from Robye:

“One of my favorite candidate stories is from a sales person on how he won one of his biggest and most complex deals and beat his biggest competitor at the same time. The sales cycle lasted 9 months, he had approximately 20 meetings with 15 people in 5 different departments from the client and he had a team of 10 people to assist him. He carefully planned each and every meeting he had with the client. He knew in advance when the technical folks from the client were going to be in the meetings, so he always brought a technical person from his team too, just to make sure he could answer any questions on the spot. He was very resourceful and this helped him in more than one meeting. He got to know everything he could about the key people on the team. He learned that the VP of Marketing loved sushi, so one day when they had a meeting late afternoon, he had her favorite local sushi place deliver sushi for the meeting. That was just one of the “extras” he used in his approach during the process. He was creative and willing to do whatever it took to make this deal work. The deal was worth over $1M and 115% of his quota, so he reached out to the best people in his company to help represent them. Since the deal was so big, he also made sure the financial and legal people were involved in the deal from early on. He wanted to make sure all the t’s were crossed and i’s were dotted.  He out executed his competition by understanding his client’s needs and making sure they were met.”

Here’s what this story told Robye:

“What this story told me about my candidate was that he met a very important criteria that my client was looking for – knowing how to deal with a complex sale. He was extremely focused, he had a plan and he was good at the details. He didn’t let anything fall through the cracks and he got the client to say yes. Instead of just asking the question, are you good at the complex sale? Which everyone will say yes to, I now had a real “story” to share with the client to prove he’s good at complex selling.  I was confident he would be a good candidate for my client and he could do the job! By the way, he did get an offer from my client.” Read the rest of her post here: What Is Your Story?

Case in point;  Robye was able to strip it down to two people sharing experiences.  Get past all the inhibitions, judgements, and frankly inauthenticity of “candidate” and “interviewer”.  Once you boil it down to two people talking, the candidate is more free to share his experiences that pertain to getting the job he is interviewing for.  Now Robye and the candidate can get past the barriers of the candidate telling her he can get the job done, and to the core of what matters, does he really have what it takes?   2.  Are you really in the moment of what you are doing?  If you are really honest with yourself, can you really say you’re in the moment of every interaction you have?  Or are you responding to that little voice in your head?  It’s hard, but when we can get out of the stands and get in the game of every interaction/relationship, we can be more authentic.  And people respond to authenticity.  The connection is real.  It’s not two people pretending to be better than they think they are, it’s a mom and a dad with all the stresses and problems that come with being a mom and a dad.  As a recruiter, it’s your job to make these real connections.  If you don’t find out what a candidate is really about, you can’t with certainty recommend a candidate to a client as “A” Player material. What does it all boil down to?  BE AUTHENTIC.  People are people are people.  And you can’t make a real connection without being authentic.  Boom!  Thank you very much!  I’ll see ya next week, same bat-time, same bat-place.  Now go be real.  Badasses!  🙂


Keenan is A Sales Guy Inc’s CEO/President and Chief Antagonist. He’s been selling something to someone for his entire life. He’s been teaching and coaching almost as long. With over 20 years of sales experience, which he’ll tell you he doesn’t give a shit about, Keenan has been influencing, learning from and shaping the world of sales for a long time. Finder of the elephant in the room, Keenan calls it as he sees it and lets nothing or no one go unnoticed.