Happy New Year everyone! As we enter into 2019, I felt it was appropriate to make a list of what the best and worst recruiting tactics of 2018. All of these practices I have either witnessed first hand or are overarching industry trends most recruiters are familiar with. I attribute the success of this past year to implementing the following tips into my candidate search and placement. To learn more about these tactics and make 2019 your most fruitful year yet, read on!
When interviewing candidates, I’ll often ask them how many recruiters have reached out to them in the past year. Usually this number is fairly high given they are a quality candidate! I then ask them how many of those recruiters they actually responded to. Unfortunately, that number is very low. You may expect this to be surprising, but sadly it isn’t. Because many competing recruiters reach out with extremely similar messages, people can feel extremely overwhelmed and annoyed. Just imagine a mailbox full of the same message over and over again!
To avoid becoming lost in a star candidate’s LinkedIn inbox, I recommend a few tactics! First thing first, be proactive and think outside of the box. For example, I like to keep my network wide and varied. This way, I already have a decent sized candidate pool to connect with if I have an opening. This also allows me to reach out to connections I’ve already made to further develop our relationship. It may sound like a very small and inconsequential step, but it really makes a difference! You become the person who they already have a connection with, reaching out to them in an opportunity. Not the recruiter reaching out to them blindly with what feels like a sales pitch.
Furthermore, I recommend keeping messages more personable and out of the box! This is inherently make you more noticeable. Keep in mind, this does not mean being unprofessional. I like to open with a genuine compliment, for example, a candidate I approached had written a couple of pieces that I had really enjoyed reading. I mentioned this in my opening message to start a conversation, and then presented the job opportunity I thought she would be a great fit for. I will almost always get responses back with this tactic, and even if they’re not interested they will often pass along the contact information of a friend or colleague they think would be interested.
Keeping the sales out of recruiting is a surefire way for you to stand out in a sea of similarly phrased messages.
As I mentioned earlier, when you are sending out your ‘stand out’ message, it can often lead to referrals to quality candidates. This is great- and exactly what we’re looking for for my next tactic.
Use those referrals, as soon as you get them.
This may sound very simple, but it is surprising how many recruiters will put those great referrals to the bottom of their contact list or even ignore them completely.
I often consider that colleague who recommended them will, most likely, reach out to the referral candidate to let them know that they expect your call or email. This is ideal! Why? The referral candidate will not only be expecting your call, but also has an idea of the position you are looking to fill. On the other hand if you put these candidates to the bottom of your contact list, these leads will starts to stale.
If I was the referral candidate I would be thinking, “Why hasn’t this recruiter reached out yet? My colleague said to expect a call or email by now.” In the worse case scenario, that candidate may actually inquire with their contact that referred them! This may not seem like a big deal, but this can easily ruin your image in not only one candidates eyes- but two.
Sending an introductory message to that referral is a simple way to keep both relationships fresh, positive, and hopefully lead to you filling your position faster!
Culture to Candidate, not the other way around
After you’ve applied tips #1 and #2 to your recruiting philosophy, make way for #3. When you get a new position to fill, your knee jerk reaction may be to start matching candidate qualifications to the position. While this is a great place to start, it will only give a list of candidates that may meet the qualifications, it won’t necessarily give you a list of candidates that fit the culture.
I personally like to swap these around. If I’m doing my networking and referral system correctly, I should have a good general idea of what kind of culture many of my connections would fit into. This doesn’t have to be super specific either. I might know Paul is generally a more formal person, who likes structure. I wouldn’t recommend him for a position at a super casual startup with lots of freeform movement, because I know he wouldn’t be a culture fit. Candidates that are a good cultural fit for an organization are more likely to be happy in there jobs. They also ultimately end up staying at the company for a long time. This should be your philosophy for all of the positions you are trying to fill
I encourage you to take these tips and implement them into your recruiting process for 2019, let me know what you think!
John Schneider is the founder of Recruiterie and is an Executive Recruiter in Phoenix, AZ. For nearly two decades he has focused his career on one purpose: helping people find the right talent to build and grow their businesses. With over two decades of experience, he has worked with hundreds of clients from coast to coast, placing executives in their dream roles.