One of the things I love about my gig at Kinetix is that in addition to HR stuff, marketing and more, I also get to keep my hand in the recruiting game every once in a while. Case in point: I'm working on a great high level HR search for one of my favorite customers.
I'm on the phone with a candidate over the last couple of weeks. I do some intro stuff, get them to interact with me related to what another recruiter told them related to the position, the company, the opportunity. Standard stuff.
Then I told them I was going to speaker phone so I could be hands-free and take notes like a historian, because they were about ready to do 95% of the talking. Once they were on speaker, I asked them how it sounded and if they could hear me.
Here's one way you tell a candidate probably isn't going to be a finalist. The response was as follows:
Candidate: "How do you sound? You're really clear. But you're also really loud. Can you turn it down for me?"
It took me about 5 seconds to actually process that. I put him on speaker, and asked him how I sounded. He wanted me to turn it down.
Mind blown. Wait, what?
I politely said, "I can try?" (question mark in the voice) and moved the speaker phone away from me and looked at it like had a contagious disease. I asked him if that was better. He said, "kind of, but let's do it."
We've all been there, right? You ask a question that's so awkward, your only course of action is to fall on the sword and say, "Hey, did I actually just tell you turn the volume of your voice down? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that's probably my responsibility, right? I turn the volume down on my end if you're coming across too loud. I'm smart-phone challenged. Hahahahahaha."
But the falling on the sword never came. And the candidate never really broke the formality barrier.
Disposition: "We love your background, but we've found someone who's a better match for our specific need. Good luck in your search!"