First Contact:

A candidate’s first conversation with one of your employees, usually a Recruiter, sets the tone, sets expectations, and sets your company’s talent bar. How do you ensure your recruiters are equipped with tools to create an optimal phone interview experience and an impressive first impression?

Setting the Tone:

Your interview process says a lot about your organization. A candidate’s first conversation with someone at your firm speaks volumes. If a recruiter is low energy, sticks to basics, isn’t engaged, doesn’t sound enthusiast – these are all clear signs to a candidate that your company is not a first-choice employer. If your candidate screening process lacks luster and resembles the 4 other phone screens a candidate’s had this week, why would they choose your company?

Setting Expectations:

Your recruiting team is on the front lines for the war on talent and have the opportunity to make or break a candidate’s interview experience.

  • If your recruiters cannot tell a story that resonates with the individual on the phone – you lose.
  • If your recruiters cannot articulate the company’s hiring process, ensure a quick turnaround and that they have a great relationship with the hiring manager – you lose.
  • If your recruiters cannot articulate what’s unique, what’s challenging, what’s fulfilling about a particular role on a team, in a department, within an organization – you lose.

A thorough candidate screen is more than gathering the basics (work authorization, salary range, why a candidate’s looking, where they’re at in the process), it’s an opportunity to sell the candidate on the role, team and vision of a company.

Setting the Talent Bar:

First impressions matter. We often hear A-Players hire A-Players and that B-Players hire C-Players, when we talk about hiring managers. But what about your Recruiters, are they A-Players? If not, it’s going to be difficult to convince candidates that your company does in fact hire A-Players.

Who you put on the phone with an active candidate says a lot about your company’s bar for talent. As recruiters, we are salespeople and we are marketers, but we are not selling widgets. We are pitching an opportunity to change someone’s career trajectory, their life, and help them get one step closer to their dream job. In doing so, we are not just speaking on behalf of ourselves, we are representing the employment brand of a company. The words we say, the way we talk about open roles, and our understanding of the greater industry in which we compete for talent – are all signs clues to whether or not our company hires A-players versus B-players.


What are you doing to ensure your Recruiters resemble A-Players, and that their candidate interactions are optimized to win the war for talent? Do they have the tools they need to quickly build rapport with candidates, asking the right questions and accelerate the phone interview experience?

Prior to co-founding Honeit, Nick was the director of global recruiting at TubeMogul. In 26 months, he built and scaled the talent acquisition team through hyper-growth of 60 to 360 employees through IPO ($TUBE), while concurrently attending business school at Haas. Prior to TubeMogul, Nick was the director of strategic staffing at MTV Networks (Viacom) in New York City, overseeing Global Digital Media and Interactive Technology recruitment. He has worked for two HR technology companies (Taleo, NextSource) and began his career as a technology headhunter. Nick received his MBA from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, and a BS degree in Applied Mathematics. 

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