The Pros and Cons of Using Recruiting Scripts

One of the most important skills of a recruiter, no matter the industry, is knowing what to say. This can spell the difference between an interested, engaged candidate and a reluctant one. Having a recruiting script is extremely helpful in this regard, simply because it’s easy to forget about talking points when you’re dealing with tens or even hundreds of applications.

Job interview using recruiting script

photo credit: Tima Miroshnichenko / Pexels

However, some recruitment managers shy away from scripts for various reasons. For one they fear sounding monotonous or worse, robotic. Some recruiters also feel like scripts don’t leave room for personalization, which is an aspect that many candidates look for in the hiring experience.

If you’re still on the fence about the issue, here are some pros and cons of using recruiting scripts:

Pro: Clear, Concise Messaging

Recruiting involves a lot of discussions about various facets of both the job opening and the company itself. For example, a real estate recruiter needs to talk about a real estate brokerage’s company culture, compensation plan, available technology, and personnel support, among others. In short, it’s easy to forget crucial details.

By having a script prepared, a recruiter can ensure that they cover all the bases. In the above example, you can click here to see how formulating a script can help a real estate recruiter maintain focused and concise messaging. It helps keep track of all the talking points, allowing you to present a fuller picture that’s consistent for all candidates.

Con: An Inexperienced Recruiter Can Become Dependent on a Script

Admittedly, not everyone has good public speaking and presentation skills. A script can help bridge this skill gap by providing recruiters with a guide on what to say and how to say it. The problem arises when recruiters become overly dependent on scripts. They may end up relying on scripts too much to the point that they can’t do their jobs at all when they don’t have one to follow.

One good way to avoid this problem is to provide relevant training. Public speaking is always a good skill to develop, as is presentation technique. Public speaking is always a good skill to develop, as is the presentation technique, especially when many resources such as Thought Leader are available online. Personality development workshops can also help cultivate confidence.

Pro: A Script Can Help Boost Self-Confidence

While it’s true that a recruiting script can become a crutch for some recruiters, it can also act as a confidence booster for some. How? It’s because a script prevents a recruiter from running out of things to say (and thus prevents awkwardness). From quick but substantial responses to common questions, to ice breakers that help prompt conversations, scripts can help ensure that recruiters won’t miss a beat.

All of these can directly influence a recruiter’s confidence, which can then translate into an image of credibility and expertise. This is definitely something you want to achieve if you want to attract more qualified applicants.

Businsswoman interviews Executive-level job applicant

Con: A Script May Be Hard to Customize

Different candidates have different wants and needs from a company. Meanwhile, a script is structured by nature. As such, it can be difficult to personalize a script and appeal to a larger talent pool.

However, it should also be noted that scripts don’t have to be hard and fast rules that can’t be broken. Rather, they can be set up as guidelines in order to steer interviews and conversations in the right direction. This way, recruiters have more freedom to reconstruct the script to suit different situations and applicants.

Writing skills training, along with public speaking workshops, can help recruiters develop the aptitude in adjusting scripts on the spot.

Pro: Training Newcomers Is Easier

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. More than memorization, practicing something helps make various actions more instinctual and thus more natural.

When it comes to recruiting, practicing is a whole lot easier with a script. For one, new hires will have ready material to familiarize themselves with the company and what certain jobs entail. As a result, they will also have more time to build their confidence and become comfortable with how they deliver their scripts.

In short, scripts can shorten the onboarding time for new recruiters. This ultimately leads to improved efficiency and productivity, not to mention lower costs.

Pro: Scripts Make It Easier to Measure Performance

Recruiting scripts may be predictable in some respects, but that’s also what makes them measurable. For example, your company can use two or even three recruiting scripts at a time. Then, at the end of a certain recruiting period, you can measure which ones are the most effective in terms of people hired and people retained.

You can then retire the underperforming script, make it shorter, or perhaps only have specific recruiters use it. You can also pick up the effective aspects of different scripts to fine-tune the most successful one to adapt to industry changes. All of these can be difficult to do if you don’t have a quantifiable benchmark—like a script—to measure against.

Recruiting new employee

In the end, recruiting with a script or without is all about preference. Some seasoned recruiters might not see the need for one, but there may also be experienced ones who prefer working with a script.

Hopefully, the quick list of pros and cons above has helped you make the decision.


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