Your heart pounds when you meet new people.
A presentation in front of a large group is a nightmare.
A day spent with people exhausts you.
Sound like you? You’re an introvert, my friend. You probably already know that though. I know that I love to talk to people and share my opinions—sometimes too much—yet it simultaneously makes me stress sweat from anxiety (cute, right?) and that those two things are contradictory.
Like you, I accept my quirks and try my best not to let them hold me back as an introverted recruiter. But then again, I sit behind a computer and research and write about the intricacies of the talent industry. I don’t have to pick up the phone and cold call candidates all day like you, an introverted recruiter.
Since this business is all about people, you might have days when you wonder why you became a recruiter. Your colleagues or peers might think that about you, too. I don’t know you or your life or your career, but I do know that to be a recruiter, one must have the ability to connect with others. Introverts, despite often pegged as “shy,” have a way of connecting with people. The noise that comes with an extrovert is nowhere in sight. People are drawn to your sense of calm.
Here are a few winning strategies to embrace those qualities and help you flourish as an introverted recruiter.
1. Put on a show
I once saw an article titled “Stop Trying so Hard to be Someone You’re Not.” If you’re an introverted recruiter, I encourage you to do the opposite: be someone else.
Some of the most successful recruiters and salespeople that I’ve ever worked with are introverts. All of them admit that initially, their jobs were rough. I’m talking like, visibly sweaty armpits, hives, and abrupt, mid-sentence hang-ups. But now, however, many months or years later, they’re damn good at their jobs—hives and sweat-free.
How’d those folks do it? They put on shows. Calls and interviews became elaborate performances starring their bubbly alter-egos. The pitches and stories they told became premeditated. Nothing is stopping you from doing the same. It just takes practice. Speaking of…
2. Practice before you preach
The worst thing you can do as an introverted recruiter is to dawdle at your desk before a cold call or an interview and hope that a meteor will crash through the building or something.
One of the best ways to ease your anxiety is to practice, practice, practice. Go to a trusted friend, colleague, or family member and pitch your spiel before the big moment. Do it as many times as you need. Will you feel awkward? Yep. But will it be better than the meteor? Totally. Do it enough times that it becomes second-nature; memorize your pitch down to the inflections in your voice. Develop your internal performer.
3. Follow-up after a call, interview, or a meeting
A conversation requires feedback and the exchange and presentation of ideas. However, compared to extroverts, introverts tend to be more calculated when it’s time to make a decision and often require more time to gather their thoughts. The results of a 2012 study by Harvard University might have discovered why: introverts tend to have a thicker gray matter in the prefrontal cortices of their brains. That funky gray matter is the area of the brain that handles abstract thought and decision-making.
All that said, it’s an understatement to say that follow-ups are critical to introverted recruiters.
Don’t be embarrassed or feel that it’s not acceptable to send a follow-up email or meet one-on-one with someone to say “hey, after XYZ, I thought of a couple of new ideas” or “If I didn’t mention this on our call, I’d like to share that…” Your thoughts are always valid, regardless of timing.
4. Be honest with your peers
There’s this social expectation that folks are supposed to engage with others in a new situation, whether a job, networking event or whatever. You know, “go mingle!” “meet new people!” “just go over and say hi!” And don’t get me started on icebreaker activities. Just, no.
Rather than succumb to the dread and discomfort of a social setting or event, just come out with it: tell people that you’re an introvert. Set your expectations. Let others know that, no, you aren’t rude or unapproachable—you just interact with people differently. Say that it takes time for you to adjust. When you share something personal about yourself, it encourages those around you to do the same. I can’t make any promises, but that should soften the whole “engage with others on-the-spot” thing.
5. Use introversion as your superpower
Even though introversion might feel more like a hurdle than a step, your ability to bond with people is exactly why you’re a standup recruiter. Introverts are selective in the way they communicate with others. They would rather participate in meaningful conversation than mindless small talk. Introverts strive to learn others’ passions, motivators, goals, backstories—what makes them tick. This type of relationship-building is referred to as multiplex ties, which means that there are multiple points of context for connections with others.
What’s the key to a strong relationship and building trust? Meaningful connections. So, what
Listen, I don’t hate on extroverts. Most people are a healthy combination of both, but for those who tend to lean more toward introverted, I don’t ever want you to feel discouraged or get too caught up on labels. Everyone has their strengths. Yours isn’t always as valued in traditional society. But oh well. You do you. Kill it and keep this piece in mind next time you feel stress sweat comin’ on strong.
Recruiting at Qualigence International
The recruiters at Qualigence participate in extensive training to learn how to dig deeper into candidates’ psyches–to learn their motivators, goals, and passions. We’re all about the people and thus invest in our people so they can invest in others. To learn more about Qualigence recruiters and how we can help you find top talent, reach out today.