I was doing some recruitment recently using LinkedIn Recruiter when I suddenly realised how “subtle” the profession had become.
Recruitment back in those days was about picking up the phone and talking to different people every day. I was taught to relate to candidates quickly, make it fun and always leave the candidate in a better position post call. It was about asking the right questions and listening to the candidates (see Martin Warren’s blog). There was constant conversations and engagement.
However, with the Internet, and LinkedIn Recruiter in particular, they have changed the way we recruit. The option to call has decreased significantly as candidates prefer to communicate via emails and messages in the first instance – cold calling is a no no for some candidates these days. In any case, the amount of information I can find online also greatly reduces the need for me to call up a candidate to fill in the blanks. Recruitment is now a much more “subtle” profession, relying on more on your ability to source online and pick out relevant information.
So as I find myself clicking through countless online profiles daily and putting myself at risk of an RSI, I thought I would take some time out to share some tips on how a modern recruiter can engage candidates on a personal and business level more effectively:
Most candidate, when they create their LinkedIn profile, they will carefully draw out their business and sometimes personal accomplishments. I look for these USPs and then use them in my email to demonstrate an understanding of what they have accomplished. This demonstrates that I have done my homework and when I am able correlate their experience and skills to the position on offer, the candidate knows that I am a professional and I mean business.
Do not Ask for too Much in your LinkedIn Email
I reckon you can create personal relationships faster on the phone than using the written approach. For example, I can introduce myself, describe the job in an interesting and exciting way, and find out what are their personal motivations and if they would value and love this chance to grow etc. in a 10-minute conversation.
This does not work as well using email. Asking for referrals via email did not get me one response recently. Yet when I spoke to the candidates I generally get referrals easily.
Quality Over Quantity
Do not get sucked in to blasting emails to the market because you can. I do not do this because of two reasons. Firstly, I would rather focus on what I believe to be the very best candidates to optimise my time and get great results for my client. Secondly and more importantly, candidates run the risk of getting recruiter email fatigue if everyone keeps sending them more emails than they need. Your emails will eventually end up not taken seriously.
Try to Get a Phone Number to Go Deep & Visualise
I do my best, when I get a response, to move to the phone fast as I can. This is always a game changer for me and I can help the candidate understand if they are suitable and also offer some advice that will help their career. I can also gain insights into the candidate to see how good they are. Chatting over the phone also allows me to “paint pictures” and help my candidates visualise the opportunity to gain their buy-in. This is almost impossible if you rely on using only LinkedIn Recruiter.
So there you go – for those recruiters who have almost forgotten the art of engaging your candidates, I strongly recommend that you start picking up the phone and brushing up your conversational skills.
You can be subtle but do not become lazy.
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