Script Fallacies

Many trainers who traverse the country lecturing on recruiting methods generally profess strict adherence to a carefully crafted script. This is great if you’re a complete novice in the recruiting profession and are CLUELESS as to what to say or when. This is also helpful for the true pro that can read a script while sounding completely natural in speech and tonality.

The trouble lies with the middle 60% of the recruiting population who can not read a script while sounding natural. After all, if you were really good at this … you would be on the evening news or radio (I’ve been in several radio studios and programs and it’s not quite that easy as they make it seem.

A structured script is helpful … but it may often require rapid adjustment and deviation from the script depending on the questions we encounter mid-stream during a real life client or candidate dialogue.

I was once invited by a trainer to attend what would normally be a pricey two-day seminar as a friendly guest “observer.’ The invitation was sent to me with the belief that I was going to be so impressed at the end of two days … I’d write an article on this person’s methods for one of the major recruiting newsletter publications to which I often contribute. The truth was I was having a hard time staying awake past lunch on Day One despite drinking an entire pot of coffee to keep me propped up in my chair.

At one point, when describing two offices this trainer once managed … he insisted that he required every recruiter in each specific office to use two distinct versions of precisely written script and to not deviate.

He then claimed he had carefully changed the script from one office, cutting out words and editing verbiage with such precision so as to measure which script worked better! He wanted me and the audience to believe the differences measured in subsequent monthly send-outs from one office versus the other were a direct result of one script being superior to the other!

I’m sorry to say … this is nonsense!

There is no way you can connect send-out results as resulting from a particular script’s success so long as the script itself is being read by two separate and distinctly unique individuals!!

What the guru completely overlooked was the human factor and that one script read by any two individuals would sound and come across completely differently. This is why they have auditions when choosing actors for a play, TV Series, or a movie role.

If you have ten unique individuals reading one version and ten other unique individuals reading another … creating a reliable metric is impossible and the process is flawed due to the fact that while the SCRIPT may be identical for both groups, the human personalities behind it are distinct and unique.

The only way you can measure a script being more successful versus less successful is if you had CLONES, all reading the same script using the same tone, same inflection, same voice, same temperament, decibel range, same octave, personality, energy level, emotion, etc. etc. … anything less than such a perfect scientific air-tight test cannot possibly measure script performance!

Humans are each uniquely individual. No two humans are alike. And as long as no two people are alike, the script measuring system this trainer tried to get me to believe he had developed was completely unreliable.

It is this principal of individuality that causes one actor to get a job for a part in a film while three other equally qualified actors with the same experience WILL NOT get the PART!

This may be the case even though each are Academy award winning actors having played in similar roles!

Amazingly, there were a dozen or so recruiters in the audience who actually believed that the script alone could accomplish the differing results.


What I prefer is a more generic script … that instead … provides LOTS of room for mid-conversation adjustments and tweaking. Ours is more formula based, designed to permit free flowing dialogue to be inserted so long as each few sentences accomplishes a certain facet of the overall goal. We then leave it to the individual recruiter to inject different methods of accomplishing the same goal along the way.

This approach will permit a seasoned recruiter to sound more informed and CONNECT quicker while the former will TURN SOMEONE OFF FASTER!

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I’m not saying you should not use a script. I am saying it should follow certain goals and permit for some “ad-libbing” along the way.

Allow yourself to make mid-stream, fine-tuned adjustments and you will cruise along like a fine-tuned Ferrari while the more inexperienced individual who puts his/her faith in script recitation stumbles and fumbles.

The above script theory also raises another serious question:

How intelligent can each hired recruiter be … if they can not be trusted to think for themselves?

Hire intelligent people … and let them use their own smarts. That’s my philosophy. If they can’t think on their feet … they should not be on the phone.

Try to ease back from demanding too strict adherence to verbiage … and you may find each individual’s unique creativity will sparkle and enhance their success.

Then again … if you have the right candidate or network … your script can be even lousy and you will still remain successful.

Having a written script, just as you would have a written business plan, is certainly important in terms of having an “infrastructure.” But I believe in the ability to “ad lib” and “improvise” as the dialogue permits.

What many gurus would have us believe is that a few changes of words here and there is all you need to derive significantly different results.

While words themselves are indeed VERY POWERFUL … the manner someone enunciates, vocalizes, and speaks those words is equally as powerful … yet often overlooked.

Written by Frank G. Risalvato – (973) 300-1010

**The preceding article is a partial excerpt from Frank’s soon to be released training kit; “The Kentucky Fried Secret Recipe to Recruiting Millions.” Check soon for announcements on the training kit’s availability.

Frank Risalvato made the plunge into the search industry in 1987. Within two years he was earning fees on a monthly basis that were comparable to his entire previous annual salary. Today he specializes in the low to mid-six figure hires and manages multiple openings each month. Although he didn't invent recruiter training, he views himself as someone that improves, perfects, and enhances pre-existing techniques. His new book is "A Manager's Guide To Maximizing Search Firm Success."