Recruiting Intelligence: Presentation Is a Package, Not an Event

Aug 15, 2011

Many recruiters we meet believe that their value to their organization is predominately in identifying and bringing good candidates to the table. Yes, this is certainly your role (it says so in your job description), but it is only a part of your value.

Your value — what you can get done — depends on increasing your influence and strengthening your reputation. And part of that is presentation: not so much what you say but how you say it.

Presentation skills, or a person’s “presentation” is a package; a combination of tangible and intangible behaviors and skills, including:

  • How you perform “on your feet”
  • Appearance
  • Poise
  • Knowledge
  • Preparation
  • Value

How are you known in your organization? Are you known as someone who:

  • Gets things done?
  • Challenges the hiring manager to think about what is needed, what skills are required, what skills are nice to have, and what skills could be important that the hiring manager hasn’t considered?
  • Presents candidates that match the considerations presented above?
  • Is confident and behaves as if the hiring manager was a peer?
  • Is as impressive “off-stage” as “on-stage”?
  • Demonstrates emotional intelligence?

How you are known molds your influence and reputation. And how you establish and reinforce how you are known is through your presentation.

Some recruiters we’ve talked to don’t believe this is possible. They believe their job is only to find and recruit good candidates. Well, there is one thing about beliefs: what you believe is what you are. This is more than pop psychology because we have seen and worked with some very influential and highly successful recruiters.

To further explore and develop your presentation, it is beneficial to understand that it includes four skill domains:

  • Business Skills
  • Leadership Skills
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Intrapersonal Skills

Business Skills include: general knowledge of recruiting, talent management, the industry, and the developing trends. It also includes a knowledge of how business works, both yours and others in the industry. The value is to be able to talk with the hiring manager about business trends, how recruiting fits in, how other firms are handling their recruiting challenges, and how to explain the imbalance in talent availability across different industries.

Leadership Skills include your ability to influence the hiring manager and the organization and the ability to think and present a big-picture, high-impact or more strategic approach to recruiting. Such as, why talent management is important and why such issues as the connection between onboarding and employee satisfaction with their supervisor impact retention. Also, leadership skills include how to deal with a hiring manager who has a poor retention record. Recruiters do not have positional authority, so their leadership skills are developed through and applied in their ability to influence.

Interpersonal Skills include: how you communicate with peers, candidates, vendors, hiring managers, and your boss. It also includes your relationship and social skills. Interpersonal skills are the window through which others see you.

Intrapersonal Skills are basically self-management skills. From how you direct and correct your thinking, to your day-to-day practices in accomplishing tasks to how you run your day and take care of and handle yourself in the process.

Strengthening presentation starts with awareness: being aware that presentation is important and is larger than a one-shot deal and being aware of what constitutes presentation. But change doesn’t happen with awareness alone. Change happens when awareness meets caring (enough to do something about it) and right action.

We can be aware, we can care, but perhaps we may not know what to do, or more importantly, what is preventing us from taking action in the first place. In our work, we have found there are nine common behavioral categories that impact our ability to take action:

  • Fear
  • Relationship-building
  • Responsiveness
  • Overselling
  • Quitting
  • Perfection
  • Personal Beliefs
  • Focus Management
  • Impression Management

These behavior categories are distributed across the four skill domains; however, a lion’s share sits in the intrapersonal domain, which predominantly reflects our personal habits, patterns, and preferences as they converge in our work.

Take a personal inventory. Assess how you believe you are seen in the organization and consider yourself in each of the behavior categories and across the four domains. And understand that improving your presentation skills is a process, not an event. It starts with awareness and a sincere desire (and belief) that your presentation skills can be improved. The benefit will be more influence and a stronger reputation, which will enable greater results and increase your value to others, both inside and outside of your organization.

To learn more, join us at the ERE Fall Expo for our Pre-Conference Workshop, September 7 at 10 a.m.: Strengthening Your Presentation Skills to Increase Your Results.