Become a Talent Whisperer

Talent is hard to find, to be sure, but talking to talent effectively is even harder to do.  Not only must we convince superior performers of our organization’s value proposition, but in today’s Web-centric world, we have to accomplish that feat in writing and in the blink of an eye.  The key to success, therefore, is to learn and practice the art of “talent whispering.”

A whisperer has been defined as “someone who possesses an extraordinary – highly developed – skill at being able to read and understand communication at a deep ‘unspoken’ level.”  They are empathetic people who know how to interact with others in order to catch their attention, engage their interest and influence their behavior.

Now, some will tell you that whispering is an inherent trait.  You’re either born with it or you aren’t.  While there are undoubtedly natural born whisperers, however, the fact that whispering is a skill means that it can be learned.  In other words, all of us have the potential to be a whisperer, and every recruiter is a talent whisperer waiting to happen.

Why bother?  Because mediocre talent will listen to anybody.  The best talent will not.  Top performers are much more discriminating in their listening habits.

A talent whisperer, therefore, is a recruiter who can quickly and effectively connect with candidates who typically shut out everyone else.  They know what to say and how to say it so that these high value prospects can’t help themselves; they are compelled to take note of the message.

A Recruiter With an Extraordinary Point of View


To become a talent whisperer, a recruiter must first adopt an extraordinary point of view.  While they work for their employer and always serve its best interests, they must re-imagine themselves as “a healer of candidates.”  They must believe that their job is to help working men and women succeed.

Adopting that perspective differentiates them among the legions of recruiters who contact top talent, but more importantly, it reassures each candidate that they will be treated honestly, fairly and respectfully.  They know that the recruiter works for his or her employer, but they sense that the recruiter’s allegiance is to them.

That’s not as wild a notion as it might at first seem.  Admittedly, it contradicts the conventional view that an employer is best served by doing what’s best for the employer.  That contradiction, however, makes sense because talented people are peak performers.

Their contribution exceeds the norm and, frequently, also raises the performance of everyone else in the organization.  So, by serving the best interests of top talent, a recruiter can bring more of that kind of performer into the organization, and that outcome, in turn, serves the best interests of the employer.

How do you convince talented people that you are there for them?  With empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.  

A talent whisperer puts every word, every phrase, every bit of information through a single, pass-fail test to determine if it is appropriate for use in emailing a candidate.  That test is composed of a single axiom we all learn as kids, but all too often, forget as adults: the Golden Rule.  A talent whisperer is a recruiter who puts him or herself into candidates’ shoes and speaks to them as they would like to be spoken to in such circumstances.

So, if you want passive, high caliber talent to pay attention to you, whisper to them.  Empathize with them.  Speak to them as if you were speaking to yourself.  And, then, be even kinder.

Thanks for reading,
Peter
Visit me at Weddles.com

Described by The Washington Post as “a man filled with ingenious ideas, Peter Weddle has been a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and CNN.com.  He is also the author or editor of over two dozen books.  Get his blockbuster guide to job search and career success, Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System, as Amazon.com today.

© Copyright 2012 WEDDLE’s LLC.  All Rights Reserved.

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Submitted by otavio on January 19, 2012 - 09:21.

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