How Recruiting Managers Can Improve Communication With Body Language

Previously, we discussed how your sales team can use body language to improve performance. This week it’s the managers’ turn to learn how to improve management communication skills, connect with your team and know what they’re really saying, with words and without.

Effective leaders understand how to use body language. When you’re giving your recruiting team a LinkedIn networking training session, explaining a new industry your firm is targeting or going over staffing software statistics about close rates, you want to know if your team members grasp what you’re saying. The body language you employ can strengthen or dilute the effectiveness of your message.

Manager Communication Skills

Use body language to reinforce your message.

Along with using management communication skills to emphasize your meaning, reading the body language of your team can offer insight into their receptivity. Certain physical cues communicate openness, confusion, or reluctance. As you denote cues from your team, you’ll be able to give more details about, for example, why you’re increasing follow-ups with placed candidates. Whatever the message you’re delivering or receiving, there are a number of ways to utilize body language for better communication with your recruiting team.

As you work with your team to develop a performance-driven culture, learn more valuable strategies to help your team grow by downloading the Bond US Sales Selection, Training and Development Report 2014.

Ways to Be a Better Communicator with Body Language

If failure rates are up and job placements are down, you’re going to have to lead a tough conversation with your team. You may spend part of the meeting discussing topics you view as closed — such as requiring recruiters to spend more time connecting with passive candidates. However your body language might become more open when you begin a brainstorming session about strategies for coaching candidates for upcoming interviews.

Any time you are communicating with your team, especially in a tough situation like this one, you can use these body language tactics to give the right message to your team about your expectations, authority and openness:

 Have open space between you and your team

Have open space between you and your team

  • Remove physical barriers if possible. Take away anything that blocks your view or forms a barrier between you and your team, especially if you’re seeking their input about new companies to contact or ways to use LinkedIn to find Java developers. Barriers include larger physical obstructions such as podiums and smaller items such as coffee cups.
  • Think tall. By standing tall and assured, you’ll feel more confident and positive. Carol Kinsey Goman, PhD, Forbes leadership blogger and body language expert says that leaders can send signals of status, authority and power by standing tall and taking up more height and space. Moving around the room also affirms the perception of having influence when you require that every salesperson brings clients a minimum of three candidate resumes.
  • Keep palms down. If you want to look decisive, stand with your palms down — palms up signals openness to negotiation. Palms down on a table signals “no questions asked” as you relay that every salesperson needs to call the managers of your top candidates so your firm will be in a position to offer replacements when the candidate resigns.
  • Stand open to increase collaboration. If recruiting managers stand in a relaxed posture, open with arms uncrossed, you’ll send subconscious cues that you’re open to suggestions and are inclusive. Your team, which unconsciously watches your nonverbal cues, will likely respond with feedback and input about the best ways to get testimonials from repeat clients and placed candidates.

    “Nonverbal signals can also convey empathy, likeability, friendliness and inclusiveness,” says Goman. “These signals include open palm gestures, leaning slightly forward, giving people eye contact when they talk, nodding your head when someone is speaking or tilting your head slightly to encourage them to speak more. When you are trying to engage people or foster collaboration, these are the more important signals.”

A true smile lights up someone’s face.

A true smile lights up someone’s face.


What Others’ Body Language Can Relay

Some of your recruiting staff members are outgoing and readily speak their minds, while others may be more reluctant to voice their opinions. Not only can you use body language to back up what you’re saying, but you can improve your management communication skills by watching team members’ nonverbal cues for hints into what they think. For example, if you’re implementing a new process to follow up on leads and members of your team have a defensive posture, ask if they see obstacles to your plan of which you’re unaware.

  • Watch the eyes. The pupils of someone’s eyes can give you clues into how someone is responding. If you’re near enough to see someone’s eyes up close, dilated pupils show interest. Your team member might be on board with a strategy for pinpointing potential clients. Pupils that are constricted mean that your team member is feeling less receptive to your ideas. Follow up by helping them locate start-up companies in your niche.

    “When someone is disengaged, the amount of eye contact decreases, as we tend to look away from things that distress us or people we don’t like,” says Goman. “Team members who feel bored may avoid eye contact by gazing past you, defocusing or glancing around the room.”

  • Gauge smiles. A genuine smile usually signals agreement, while clenched jaws and pursed lips mean disagreement — even if it’s not being said out loud. A bona fide smile will be reflected in the eyes, not just the lips, and light up your recruiting team member’s entire face when they find their social media training compelling and engaging.
  • Feet can show stress.

    Feet can show stress.

    See the arms. Open arms typically signal openness, as do movements reaching toward you and welcoming gestures. Closed arms or clenched fists indicate defensive or angry feelings, which is not unusual when you’re going over missed placement goals. Doodling, resting their head in their hands or tapping fingers may indicate that your team member is bored. Ask them questions to get them engaged in the conversation.

  • Note feet. Although you shouldn’t be staring at the floor, keeping your eyes on someone’s feet in your peripheral vision can be telling. If someone’s feeling stressed, they may have fidgety feet that shuffle or wind around each other — perhaps your new salesperson fell short on his quota of face-to-face client visits. If your team members have their legs stretched out toward you, they are more likely to be feeling positive.

“Remember, with nonverbal communication, it’s not how the sender feels that matters most, it’s how the observer perceives how the sender feels,” says Goman. “If you frown in a staff meeting, your team will think you don’t like what you just heard, and they’ll keep their opinions to themselves.”

There are a number of insights you can take from nonverbal communication. From being able to better read your recruiting team’s reactions to asserting your authority or conveying openness to ideas, body language can help you improve your management communication skills. You’ll be better at communicating to your team and also better at reading what they’re thinking so you can be a more effective leader.

Learn how to improve your management communication skills further by building a performance-driven culture and developing an outcome-driven sales funnel with our webinar, Discover the Metrics That Will Drive Your Growth and Profitability.


The Top 15 Recruiting Experts to Follow on Twitter

Take the 20 percent of US adults who use Twitter, add in 9,100 tweets per second and that equals one great big pool of people, posts, advice and information. Recruiters hustling between candidate interviews, scouring responses from job board postings and contacting clients about new talent have limited time to check out their Twitter feeds. Those who hop on periodically can get valuable recruiting advice and insight from recruiting experts — if they know whom to follow.

With that in mind, I’ve created this list of the top recruiting experts on Twitter to be a beneficial starting point for recruiters, who can follow recruiting experts, tweet them questions and use that input and advice to grow their careers. From tips on recruiting passive talent to strategies on using high-tech solutions and recruiting software, these experts do the research and pass along their best practices so recruiters everywhere can benefit. Here’s my list!

Active Recruiting Experts on Twitter

1. @greg_savage | Greg Savage

Tweets about: Recruiting strategies, KPIs, challenges and tips — such as how to manage candidates’ salary expectations.
Followers: 34,500

 2. @Blogging4jobs | Jessica Miller-Merrell

Tweets about: Recruiting and HR tactics, how to stay resilient and tips for staying organized while recruiting.
Followers: 111,000

 3. @LouA | Lou Adler

Tweets about: Avoiding hiring mistakes, pinpointing a candidate’s motivation and recruiting passive talent, including, “Recruiters, find out how to make better hires more quickly.”
Followers: 5,960

 4. @jimstroud | Jim Stroud

Tweets about: Social recruiting and finding top performers, including through internal recruitment and by seeking diversity on your team.
Followers: 21,600

 5. @shally | Shally Steckerl

Tweets about: Recruitment best practices, improving recruiting processes and how to become better at making judgments about talent.
Followers: 19,900

 6. @TheRecruiterGuy | Chris Hoyt

Tweets about: Lessons from what other companies are doing to improve their recruiting, industry news and how to recruit elusive “top talent.”
Followers: 22,800

 7. @FishDogs | Craig Fisher

Tweets about: Recruitment sales advice, insight into dealing with professional challenges and statistics such as, “80% of job seekers expect to be able to apply to a job from their phone.”
Followers: 67,500

 8. @LevyRecruits | Steve Levy

Tweets about: Using social media to recruit, the latest technologies, and recruiting for high-tech areas. He also answers questions from job seekers and recruiters.
Followers: 15.3k

 9.  @MeghanMBiro | Meghan M. Biro

Tweets about: Using Twitter to boost your business, specific social tips such as how to get the most out of your LinkedIn photos and the best use of blogs.
Followers: 78,400

 10. @bryanchaney | Bryan Chaney

Tweets about: Creating candidate pipelines, utilizing social engagement, thinking creatively to be a more effective recruiter and topics such as “Startup companies hate recruiting, how can we make it better?”
Followers: 7,994

 11. @WinningImpress | Katrina Collier

Tweets about: Specific ways to use social media to recruit, including advice about using Twitter tools, LinkedIn and other social tactics.
Followers: 2,507

 12. @Work_GR | Miles Alters

Tweets about: Insightful questions to ask candidates, how to find top talent and tactics for growing careers in recruiting.
Followers: 2209

 13. @SIADailyNews | Staffing Industry Analysts

Tweets about: The contingent workforce in North America and around the world, economic trends that affect the staffing industry and recruitment markets.
Followers: 719

 14. @mattcharney | Matt Charney

Tweets about: Conducting more insightful interviews, tightening up job descriptions, mobile job seekers and topics such as, “Why Candidate Experience is More Than Another BS Buzzword.”
Followers: 8,850

 15. @Josh_Bersin | Josh Bersin

Tweets about: Mobile recruiting, workplace culture, building a Twitter following and talent management recruiting software.
Followers: 20,200

These recruiting experts have valuable insight to share, from big picture encouragement to pinpointed tactics for using LinkedIn to find STEM candidates. By following them on Twitter, recruiters can adopt what’s relevant and stay on top of industry trends to grow their careers and their business.

Learn strategies for integrating Twitter and other social platforms into your staffing growth strategies by downloading 6 Ways Staffing Agencies Can Engage Their Social Channels

Recruitment Rates Increase – Taking Advantage of Recruitment Technology

CRMsystemsIn this blog Toby Conibear, European Business Development Director, discusses the latest employment rate figures and the impact on the recruitment industry.

It was recently reported that employment rates have matched the record high seen almost a decade ago in 2005. With now more than 30.6 million people in work and unemployment rates seeing the biggest annual fall for nearly two decades – recruiters are having to fight harder than ever to beat the competition to the finish line.

On the latest figures Esther McVey, Minister for Employment, commented: “An important milestone has been reached in our country’s recovery. With one of the highest employment rates ever, it’s clear that the Government’s long-term economic plan to help businesses to create jobs and get people working again is the right one.”

Job vacancies in the UK economy are currently in the region of 650,000, so the future looks promising for those recruiters looking to match the perfect candidate to a role – but what tools are there to help make this happen?

Today we live in a society that is 24/7. Responses and actions are expected in real-time and the recruitment industry is no different. Luckily for recruiters, this is where technology can step-in.

With the vast amount of candidate information available online through social media, jobs boards and more, having the technology to connect all of your information and documents to a customer relationship management (CRM) system is only the first step.  More important than ever before is having the right tools to effectively manage your recruitment processes.  Smartly finding the best candidates, quickly making placements and earning the highest revenues – with top priorities being efficiency and taking the lead over competitors.

The recruitment industry is rapidly becoming more mobile enabled.  Mobile can streamline the candidate experience, improve client relationships and transform the productivity of consultants – all beneficial when you have deadlines to meet.  Timing is of the essence and utilising mobile technology to move candidates through the recruitment process in real time can be the difference between winning and losing the business.

So, with a busy remainder of 2014 ahead for recruiters as more candidates are matched with roles, is your business performing at its best?

Top 5 Reasons to Join Us at the SIA Healthcare Staffing Summit

d6bd40b3-c35e-476a-a32a-6c41e5d7fe51The Staffing Industry Analysts annual Healthcare Staffing Summit is right around the corner. The conference will be held in Dallas, Texas from September 8-10.

Read more

Killer First Impressions: Body Language Advice for Your Staffing Sales Team

The newest member of your sales team has been working hard and networking with hiring managers on LinkedIn. It’s paid off — he’s got his first face-to-face, solo sales visit with a client whose company is expected to grow by 20 percent this year. You’re anxious to see how he does and give him some last-minute insight. Have you thought about offering advice on body language so he can make a killer first impression?

If you want the client to hear about your firm’s proven expertise in their industry or to look over your top candidates’ resumes, first impressions are critical. No matter how many emails, phone calls or text messages have been exchanged, there’s still an initial face-to-face meeting and your salesperson needs to incorporate body language to rock the interview. In fact, one study found that although we only have five seconds to make a positive first impression, if that initial impression is negative it takes an additional eight positive encounters to overcome and change that opinion.

“Once someone mentally labels you as ‘likeable’ or ‘unlikeable,’ everything else you do will be viewed through that filter,” says Carol Kinsey Goman, PhD, Forbes leadership blogger and an expert on body language. “If someone likes you, she’ll look for the best in you. If she doesn’t like you or mistrusts you, she’ll suspect devious motives in all your actions.”

Because of the power of body language, you may want to include the topic within your onboarding process, which we delve into in our whitepaper, Conquering the Recruiting Sales Team Process.

Research on body language continues to grow, and for people in sales, nonverbal communication can have a big effect on success. Here is some actionable advice that sales management can offer your team so they can communicate effectively with what they say out loud — and inaudibly.

Focused eyes

Good eye contact conveys interest.

Good eye contact conveys interest.

I remember talking to a salesperson who, upon meeting a potential client, was first asked, “What makes you different from all of the other losers?” Being insulted to your face isn’t easy! But your new salesperson should stay focused and show that he’s actively listening and truly understands the client’s frustration at being unable to find quality mechanical engineers.

“Looking at someone’s eyes transmits energy and indicates interest and openness,” says Goman. “Your sales team can improve their eye contact by noticing the eye color of every person they meet.”

During sales conversations, your sales team needs to attentively listen to the client and relay via body language that they understand what the client is saying. They should never check their phone or multitask. They can occasionally jot down notes about specific candidate experience a client is looking for or future openings they’ll want filled, but should mostly be focused on the speaker while making eye contact.

Sit uncrossed

Sit openly to help your memory.

Sit openly to help your memory.

Your sales team will see two benefits from positioning themselves with unfolded arms and legs in a non-defensive posture. First, it will encourage clients to share information, perhaps discussing a hiring freeze that’s ending soon or a former employee who was not a good fit. Second, sitting with open body language improves memory so your sales team will be better at retaining insight gathered about the client. One study found that volunteers remembered 38 percent more information when they sat with their bodies in a more open posture.

“It’s important to convey confidence when leading a meeting,” says Amy Bingham, sales effectiveness trainer and coach. “Strong eye contact, good posture, attention to managing fidgetiness and other distracting habits are important.”

Engaged posture

Mirror body language to convey agreement.

Mirror body language to convey agreement.

When your salesperson is meeting with a manager who’s new to his or her position, perfect! New leaders are often dealing with employee turnover and need to make new hires, placing your staffing firm in a position of being extremely valuable.Your salespeople should know that they can signal agreement and likeability by noting how their clients are positioned and subtly mirroring their body language.

“Leaning forward shows that you’re engaged and interested,” says Goman. “But be respect of the other person’s space. That means, in most business situations, staying about two feet away.”

Emotive Speaking

Natural gestures can augment your message.

Natural gestures can augment your message.

It’s OK for your team members to use their hands naturally when they talk, according to Goman. She says that using hands can actually improve someone’s own speech. If your sales team is discussing your staffing agency’s rates or what to charge for projects, they should know that using gestures — naturally — may help them form clearer thoughts and speak more succinctly.

“In this industry everybody sells, therefore everybody must learn to practice conveying confidence and competence,” says Bingham. “Your body language gives you away and it must be actively managed to achieve these goals.”

When it comes to how your recruiting sales team performs, you want them to have all of the information necessary to succeed, build your client base and grow your business. Body language may seem unimportant, but it has a proven effect on how people are perceived. Insight about body language can give your sales team an edge and help them better connect with clients to make a killer first impression.

Learn more concrete tips to help grow your sales team by downloading our whitepaper, Conquering the Recruiting Sales Team Process.

Getting a Mobile Enabled Recruitment Experience

MobilePenToby Conibear, European Business Development Director, discusses streamlining the recruitment experience, working out best practice for your agency and keeping consultants mobile.

Mobile provides the chance to create a far more automated and streamlined recruitment experience, particularly with temporary staff. Benefits include automatic confirmation of job information to both candidates and employers, and automated submission of timesheets. These streamlined processes free up consultants to undertake the value added roles of client and candidate acquisition.

Providing a mobile enabled recruitment experience for clients and candidates is just the beginning of a transformation in recruitment practices. With web-based data, most agencies are working with very similar sets of candidates; competitive success is all about getting the candidate in front of the client first. 

In this market timing is now critical, and consultancies need to take a hard look at processes and working practices to exploit mobile technologies and enable rapid responses to new business opportunities.

Recruitment CRM applications already offer mobile diary management, contact management and the ability to process data through the relevant workflows. The next generation of CRM will work on smart devices and will increasingly improve usability by using intelligent ways of representing data on a small screen. Moving forwards, mobile CRM will increasingly dominate consultancy activities.

Real time access to all CRM data anytime, anywhere via mobile provides significant opportunities to transform client interactions – from using a client company hyperlink to get a map and directions, to enabling a full candidate database via mobile when in client meetings.

That said, the adoption of mobile technology raises a number of questions, from the introduction of new working hours to the challenges of managing and incentivising staff that will often be working remotely.  It is certainly essential for a mobile environment to provide a strong audit trail to ensure consultancies have the same level of control, and visibility, of consultant activity. This continuous evolution means consultancies will need to constantly review their recruiters’ work/life balance to maximise performance.

In the saturated UK market, first mover advantage is key and for entrepreneurial recruitment agencies, going mobile can be the next step in their business evolution. Being able to meet client demands within hours can help agencies compete where there are several pitching for the same role.

Tackling the Software as a Service Security Hurdle

SAAS2With security remaining a concern for businesses considering the deployment of Software as a Service based solutions, it is essential to address this potential hurdle head on.

One of the questions we usually hear when discussing Software as a Service (SaaS) with current and potential customers is a necessity for data security. Although the technology available today is both mature and robust, with enhanced security, this hasn’t stemmed the concerns shown by businesses around protecting sensitive customer data – nor should it.

In a recent survey, more than 70% of the respondents cited security concerns as their biggest barrier in deploying Cloud-based strategies within the business. In addition, 45% highlighted concerns about information governance and 42% flagged the ability to meet enterprise standards as the top hurdles for Cloud deployments.

Factors such as security breaches, data centre security and third party data access are also front of mind for many companies considering SaaS. With data protection laws increasing in complexity and importance, businesses need to both understand what is required to ensure data is safe and how this will be achieved.

Security is part of the wider business infrastructure and where data is concerned, should take precedence, without burdening the IT department. With SaaS, the major security and privacy responsibility is shouldered by the vendor and the range of sophisticated solutions available today allow the IT department to address the business specific security requirements ahead of deployment, then resume business as usual.

The rise of multi-global data centres has meant businesses need to be aware that some countries/geographies’ laws prohibit the storage or transfer of data beyond a certain geographical boundary. The European Union and US are very specific about privacy and security of certain types of data – so learn more about US-EU Safe Harbour and EU model clauses and never take it for granted that the data will be stored in the same country.

Four key things to keep in mind when assessing your business’ SaaS security needs are: how is the application hosted, how is the data centre secured, how are users’ interactions monitored with the system and does the provider frequently penetration test both software and infrastructure? These questions can act as a decent base for initial conversations with vendors.

Organisations are right to keep security as a top concern – especially given the rise of data privacy rules and regulations. This said, security shouldn’t act as a burden on the business and the potential of SaaS to increase efficiencies and improve the business far outweigh any initial concern. Being aware of the risks and addressing them head on are best in the long run.

Embracing the Benefits of Recruitment Technology

BondTechIn this blog Carrie Roberts, Training Team Leader at Bond International Software, looks at team training to get the most value from your recruitment technology.

Although companies are now looking at a brighter economic future and market activity is increasing on a regular basis, there is still a drive to remain as efficient as possible. With budgets still being scrutinised and every piece of the office workflow being analysed for efficiency, it is important that you are getting the most out of your technology and it is really meeting your business needs.

One way of achieving this is to ensure your employees are fully trained to use the relevant technology or software required for their role. It may seem a simple task but getting the training right can make a big difference as there are a variety of online and offline training methods available – such as webinars, classroom based sessions and one-to-one training sessions.

There are many different learning styles, the most popular seven being; visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social and solitary. From the outset it is important to consider both the information content of each training session and an employee’s learning personality type.

Online technology has opened up new ways of training, making it much more accessible for many people. This said, the majority of learning styles can be met using traditional face-to-face offline training methods. For us, when we train team members from recruitment consultancies across the globe, we find that using face-to-face training has its benefits when conducting our Adapt training sessions.

Particularly where technology – whether a new product or system – is being used, going through the steps required by a user manually, in an offline environment, can transform the speed with which an employee becomes really productive. No doubt we have all been in a situation where we need to contact technology support teams to help us with various pieces of software or programs, and ensuring all employees who are using a specific piece of technology are fully up-to-speed and confident can drive down time spent trying to source answers to questions.

In the constantly evolving and moving world of recruitment, can you really afford for a team member not to be fully engaged, effective or productive? Timing is often of the essence and getting the right candidate matched with the right role before the competition is becoming an increasing challenge, with many recruiters exploiting mobile devices to work outside standard working hours and office environments. Technology is a great enabler for the recruitment industry and can increase efficiencies, streamline workflows and decrease costs. But it is essential to ensure that the people who are using it are fully trained and comfortable with any new tool or technique.

Click here if you would like to find out more on how Bond International Software can provide support and training.