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Recruiting Skills: 4 Ways to Listen

May 18, 2011

During a recent conversation with an experienced franchisee recruiter (who had just had a monumental breakthrough by doubling results over a 90-day period), we discussed what “excellent listening” looks like.  We came up with  four different levels of listening.  As this franchise recruiter moved up in levels, he dramatically increased his effectiveness and results.  Those four levels are as follows:


Let’s assume you are a franchisee recruiter in a conversation with a franchise candidate, and you ask the candidate “Why do you want to start a business?”  The candidate replies, “I want to be more independent and make my own hours.”

This is all the average listener will hear and then they will move on in the conversation.

The good listener will pause and probe more than the average listener.  They will ask more follow up questions such as, “What would ‘more independence’ look like to you?” and “If you had more independence, what would you do?”  They may also ask about what they didn’t hear.  “I noticed that your financial objectives are similar to what you earned before you were downsized.  Does that mean that quality of life right now is more important to you than an increase in earnings?” Then they too would move on.

The excellent listener will still keep probing. “Why is having more independence so important to you right now?  What happened that this is so high in your priority list?”  They seek the opportunity to get into the franchise candidate’s world and try to see it through their eyes. Then they too will move on.

The masterful listener takes the conversation one step further.  They repeat what they heard to communicate to the candidate, “I hear you clearly and I get you.”  This leaves the candidate with the experience, “I get that you get me,” and they create a bond.

Why is this important?

Think of how many conversations you have during the day. When was the last time you felt so completely understood, you said to yourself, “Wow! They get me!”

Michael Mudd, the recruiter who doubled his results, told me, “I love to playback what candidates tell me.  Something magical happens to our relationship when I do.  It’s like sprinkling pixie dust on our conversation.”

If you were a franchise candidate, which of these four listeners would you trust with your family’s financial future?  Who would you want to do business with? Who get’s you?  Who’s got your back?