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6 Tips For Improving Communication Among Your Recruiting Team

Adrian Dixon

May 15, 2018

Communication among recruiting teams can be a pretty messy situation. Ask 100 recruiters about their least favourite thing about their job. The answers would probably include:

  • Poor or a lack of communication in the workplace
  • Too much task work and top-of-funnel activities

communications among recruiting teams

We’ve already talked several times about reducing task work (e.g., automate the top of funnel activities), so let’s discuss communication.

There are two major issues around communication on teams:

  • The caring aspect: Communication in the workplace drives everything — how can you know what to do if someone isn’t communicating it? — but it’s often viewed as a “soft skill.” As a result, many people ignore communication and focus on tasks or revenue-facing activities.
  • The strategy aspect: When consultants come in preaching better communication in the workplace, they normally argue for an Intranet or an email blast. You know how many employees check the Intranet aside from viewing their time off? Very few. You have to communicate at the 1-on-1 level, not the “scale” level. 

Communication in the workplace: A six-tier approach

There’s a very cool article listing six tools for communicating complex ideas:

  • Data
  • Logic
  • Equations
  • Pictures
  • Stories
  • Participation

I’m a big fan of this six-tier approach, especially stories — storytelling in recruiting is crucial right now — and participation.

The very word “communication” implies a two-way street. You can’t have communication in the workplace if it’s just up-down. So these are the six things you should be focusing on for better communication with your recruiting team.

Communication: The wrong interpretation of the six-tier approach

When a manager is bad, they’re usually bad at communication. Let’s break down the wrong interpretation of the 6 tiers:

  • Data: We are not at scale with this idea yet.
  • Logic: Managers often don’t follow logic so much as process.
  • Equations: This is going to feel to many like a “data person thing.”
  • Pictures: This will feel to many like “a marketing thing.”
  • Stories: Ditto
  • Participation: Participation/feedback are scary. They represent real conversation.

So what we’ve got is six logical ways to have better communication in the workplace — and six ways a typical manager might want to avoid them.

The easiest way would be to promote empathetic, self-aware people. Since many promotions are based on achievement and not empathy per se, we need a new plan. Here are 6 practical tips for improving communication among your recruiting team.

6 tips to improving communication

1. Style: Half of communication in the workplace is about the style in which you deliver it. Former Google and Facebook executive Kim Scott has developed a quadrant system to show managers how best to care“Radical candor”- where you can care and challenge – is what you’re looking to arrive at.

2. Importance: Poor communication usually leads to bad leadership, and that usually leads to money being left on the table — or money going out the door via turnover. Here’s some stuff on that idea. A traditional manager needs this tie back to personal incentives to see the importance.

3. Consistent and organic: Most major workplace technology — i.e. email, collaboration tools, etc. — really just create a mechanism where managers can hide behind those tools instead of really talking to employees. ]Go talk to people and see where they’re at on projects.

4. Blow up the performance review: If you blow up performance reviews, you’ll develop employees faster. Plus: the standard performance appraisal is barely accurate at predicting employee performance.

5. Let your team solve your problems: Bring your team together, explain what your problem is, and ask for solutions. That’s empowering. It’s also effective communication in the workplace.

6. Effective feedback: Research on feedback had one group get harsh, critical feedback and the second group get comforting, more positive feedback. These groups then performed a second task.

For the second task, there was a 4-to-1 ratio of someone who got harsh feedback requesting a new partner. The underlying idea is that we distance ourselves from people who are consistently critical and harsh on us.

In recruiting, effective feedback is important for improving processes and deepening relationships, and finding the balance between critical and “feel good” feedback is key.