Recruiters – how are your influencing skills?

Influencing skills are critical for recruiters, so how can you develop yours?

The ability to persuade or influence others is a key skill in recruitment whether this be influencing a company to use you for their recruitment or persuading a candidate that the job you are recruiting for is right for them.

There are many different ways that you can persuade or influence others. Everyone make decisions for their own reasons, so it is important to consider carefully the person you are dealing with and come from their perspective in order to decide the best method to use.

Here are the most common ways of persuading or influencing others:

Reasoning: Using facts, logic and reasons to put your point of view across. This is best used where you can support your views with good facts, logic and reasons.

Inspiring: Appealing to the other person’s emotions, using energy, passion and conviction. This is best used when you are looking for emotional commitment and when the reasoned view is weak.

Asking: Asking questions to encourage the other person to make up their own mind. This is best used when you want the other person to buy into the outcome and when dealing with someone more senior than you.

Complimenting: Making the other person feel good. This is best used when the other person values your views and with people who look up to you.

Making a deal: Offering the other person something in return for what you want. This is best used when you don’t mind making a deal and have something to offer as your part of the deal.

Calling in a favour: Getting what you want by calling in a favour. This is best used when you have a very good relationship with the other person.

Comparing to others: Persuading the other person by using the views of people they respect to support your argument. This is best used when the other person is easily swayed by the views of others.

Authority: Influencing by using rules or principles or quoting someone in authority. This should really only be used in exceptional circumstances as it will encourage compliance not commitment.

Forcing: Forcing the other person by using assertive behaviour. This is best used in emergency situations only.

To improve your own ability in this area, think about and consider how you persuade and influence others. Observe the methods that other people in recruitment you respect and admire use and how they use them, so that you can identify good practise. Then decide the methods that you want to use and try them out but be prepared to be flexible and afterwards review how it has gone so that you can identify areas for improvement next time.

Liz Makin

Liz Makin provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals and is the author of '50 Stress Management Tips for business owners, directors, managers & professionals'.

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