July 18, 2018

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The Secret to Effective Voicemail Messages

If technology were as good as we hoped, then the war for talent would be over.

Three years ago, an IT staffing firm owner hired me to teach his recruiters, both the ones in Newark and those in India over Skype, basic people skills and sales skills over the phone. Now, this might seem like a simple request for training on a basic topic. But this owner knew that every IT recruiter from every IT staffing firm was using the same technology resources to get the attention from the same pool of candidates. The owner was ahead of his time and he saw that this skill would serve as a differentiating force and would give his recruiters a competitive edge. If everyone else is using the same tech tools that offer the same tech reach-out to candidates, then what is the difference between recruiters? How can we separate ourselves from all the rest and get candidates to engage with us?

Emotion. Emotion is what drives all sales and all career decisions. Candidates would like to think that it is logic that drives their decision, but at the end of the day it is the emotion they feel that will determine which company they join, and which recruiter they trust.

Your voice is that catalyst which gets a call back from a prospective candidate. Itís what gets that candidate to begin to trust you. Itís that personal connection with your voice that causes them to think, ďThis is a person, not just some random Linkedin request. I should consider this.Ē

When you leave that voice mail message, consider these three tips to increase the odds of getting a call back:

1.Understand your first goal. Your first goal is not to get a call back, but to get them to make a decision that they want to begin to bring the wall down between the two of you. Itís the first critical inflection point in the process of recruiting. Itís what I call The First Decision. Thatís the essence of sales and the essence of recruiting. This business is about connections and conversions, and in each interaction there is an inflection point with the other party when that person makes a decision to trust you. Itís the point that they say to themselves, I need to listen to this recruiter. I need to open my mind up to what she has to say.

2.Be specific. Years ago I heard my speaking coach Patricia Fripp say that specific stories would always impact an audience. ďSpecificity builds credibility,Ē she told me. Itís the same with your presentation in their voice mail. ďWhat got my attention in reading your profile on Linkedin was that you have the XYZ skill and worked for Acme Corporation.Ē Mention something about their career experience in your voice mail. This will help them get to that point of The First Decision quickly. They might be number forty-five on a list of two hundred people, but your voice mail message to them makes them see that they are unique and that you see this uniqueness as well.

3.Empathize. I believe that empathy can solve most of the problems in the world because it serves as a bonding agent. Honest empathy brings walls down between us and gets prospective candidates to get to that point of The First Decision as well. My good friend Art Sobczak, ( author of Smart Calling: Eliminate the Fear, Failure and Rejection from Cold Calling (Iíve read that book three times and highly recommend it) says that this line of empathy has a way to diffuse the stress between a sales person and his prospect. ďIím sure you get calls from sales people all the time.Ē You can say this in your voice mail: ďIím sure you get calls from other recruiters all the time.Ē

If you follow these three tips, youíll begin to see an improvement in your connections with candidates and better ratios with your conversions. Focus on this first step, The First Decision with candidates, and youíll be amazed at how much easier it will be to win the war for talent.

Scott Love

Visit his free training site to access his blog, the "Staffing and Recruiting Podcast," and download ten free tools that will help you bill more: