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Outbound Recruiting 101 (Part 1 of 7): Go Custom

June 15, 2012 at 5:17 AM Jon Bischke

This is the first post in a seven-part series entitled "Outbound Recruiting 101". It focuses on best practices when reaching out to passive candidates during recruiting. Reaching out to passive candidates is something that almost every fast-growth company does as part of their recruiting efforts. That being said, it can be done respectfully or disrespectfully. We strongly encourage the former. :) Please keep in mind throughout this series of posts that your company's brand is at stake when you are contacting candidates and treat the person you're contacting as you would like to be treated (we call this the Outbound Golden Rule!).

What’s your strategy for proactive recruiting? Are you in the “spray and pray” camp? Spending upwards of an hour crafting that perfect email only to find that it gets no response? Or do you simply not do any outbound contacting of candidates, thinking it too difficult or time-consuming?

If you don’t have a proactive recruiting strategy that involves outbound contacting of potential candidates you aren’t recruiting as effectively as you could be. Very few of the best candidates are not going to find your company through a job board post or company website. You have to go to them. And while that’s not necessarily easy, it can be easier.

Tip #1: Go custom.” If you’re sending form emails to people the odds of success are low. It might even reflect poorly on your company’s brand. Engineers, designers and other in-demand people get dozens or even hundreds of these form emails every month. Guess what? They don’t love them. Many people are ignoring InMails because LinkedIn has become somewhat overrun with people using the LinkedIn Recruiter service to mass message dozens of people at the same time with the same or nearly identical messaging. There’s nothing wrong with templates but there is a better way.

Going custom involves crafting an email that makes it looks as though you spent more than 30 seconds checking out the person who you’re contacting. One of the reasons we built Entelo the way we did was to make these custom emails easier. Quickly checking someone’s recent Tweets or Github projects gives you an opportunity to comment on something that 95% of messages won’t. That will help you stand above the noise.

You have to be efficient with your custom messaging. If you’re spending more than 5-10 minutes on a single email you won’t be able to achieve the volume necessary to land the best candidates. So make sure to use a text expander tool like TypeIt4Me to handle the more mundane parts of the email (e.g., a quick blurb about your company) and free up your valuable time to focus on a hook or two that will tell the recipient that you see them as a human being, not just a resume.

Stay tuned for more Outbound Recruiting tips and please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!