I started writing this post as “How to Stalk a Candidate for 24 Hours” which came off quite a bit creepier than intended. This is not that post.
You already know how to source candidate prospects for 8 hours (or more) a day. The good news? This is not about sleep deprivation. Because I’m talking about 24 hours in their day, not yours.
We all have 24 hours in our days. But recruiters and sourcers tend to focus on the typical 8 hour work life when targeting prospects. That’s 16 hours of neglected time. I call them prospects by the way, because if they don’t know why they should care about you or your company, they’re prospective talent.
Once you persuade them to apply, they’re applicants. And only when they’re deemed to have the necessary requirements for a role by the hiring manager, are they really “candidates.”
Let’s break down a prospect’s day.
8 Hours of Work
Challenges, projects, certifications, degrees, associations, job titles, software packages, company names, zip code radii, ad infinitum. It’s the keyword-searching, resume reviewing research that we all do to make sure that the talent meets our hiring manager’s expectations. Most of this should be in the job description, but descriptions are rarely all-encompassing.
Which is coincidentally ironic, since not all of the prospect’s qualifications will be on their resume. But you knew that already.
8 Hours of “Sleep”
As much as we’d like to think so, prospects don’t really dream about most of the jobs we’re trying to fill. Unless you really are recruiting for firemen, astronauts or movie stars. This includes actual dreaming with their eyes closed.
The word sleep is in quotation marks, because not all of us get 8 hours. Or even 6 hours. Not only that, but it’s at different times of the day. So you may want to schedule outreach to prospects at unconventional hours, especially when you see patterns of online activity.
You can use Outlook to deliver email at a specific time or install this helpful Gmail extension. I use Hootsuite to plan my social posts when they’ll have the most impact, and there’s a free version. But there are many other free options out there.
Who knew Monday evenings were the most popular time for job search? Lots of recruiters. But who knew that java developers were more responsive on Wednesdays between 6pm and 10pm? This guy.You can source hundreds of prospects. But nothing happens until you get one of them engaged. Click To Tweet
8 Hours of Personal Time
This is the biggest area where most of us can improve our sourcing efforts. Creating the actual persona that makes up the prospect’s personal time. One of the most helpful tools I’ve used to scale this approach is Open Web, made by Dice. Dice may be known best as a technical job board, but their latest product allows searching for tech and non-tech roles alike.
Are you sourcing for these factors?
- What is the tone of their conversations online? (i.e., friendly, helpful, professional, serious)
How comfortable are your prospects sharing personal information online? Do the tone of their conversations differ online vs offline?
- Who is their favorite author, speaker or “personality”?
Are they inspired by quotes of leaders, meaning do they share them? If yes, who are they? Who among their geographically local peers do they emulate?
- What are their hobbies? (movies, gaming, gadgets, sports, weight-lifting, P90x, collectibles, boating, crafts, travel, causes)
- What medium do they prefer for communicating with peers? (SnapChat, Twitter, Facebook, GitHub, Reddit, MeetUp) Do they blog, tweet or share public updates?
This helps me gather prospect lists when I’m starting a project. I also found I can use Open Web when I’m narrowing down a short list, to see where else a specific person may have online presences. Example: you can find a developer posting on GitHub, verify their work history on Linkedin, and send them a message on Facebook.
When I’m reaching out to prospects, or creating a campaign for a client, I verify the intel that I’ve found with the recruiting team. Then we determine whether making public or private contact is appropriate. This helps us craft a compelling message that will stand out from the noise. It’s the same noise that people with the most in-demand skills have learned to ignore.
Image credit: Ryan Bren Illustration
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