The Two-Step Networking Primer to Replace Your Cold Outreach

September 12, 2015 at 9:00 AM by Kathleen de Lara


Creating a plan for going out on the networking field is tough, yet doable. For some recruiters, however, the networking portion itself doesn’t always come as second nature. 

To put candidates at ease to engage with them means emitting that same calm and cool. Do that, and you’ve already taken care of half of the recruiting work. Here’s how.

Treat candidates as thought leaders. 

In a word: flattery. The best candidates stand out to you likely because of their digital footprint. Unlike the static resume, online networks offer hiring teams a real-time update of what candidates (and their teams) are doing. Think salespeople sharing an article about their company’s latest round of funding, or marketers promoting an upcoming conference they’re attending. Think engineers tweeting the launch of a recent product feature, or customer success reps announcing their partnership with a fellow industry leader. 

Doing research on a candidate also means researching their company’s news. Run a search for __company name__ through Google News or AngelList, and even consider setting up a Google Alert to receive the latest updates as they happen. All the homework pays off for personalizing your outreach and learning new tricks to share with your team.

Keeping the open role in mind, ask candidates for help with a problem you’re trying to solve. Let’s say you’re hiring your first Head of Diversity and a candidate you’re interested in wrote a report on the impact of diversity hiring on productivity. Get an understanding of their research, and how they’re tackling their projects. You’ll simultaneously get a feel for their work and culture fit, too. 

Identify which recruiters on your team would make good marketers. 

Establishing your top recruiters as faces of the company familiarizes candidates with your brand and builds the team’s credibility. To stand out from other people vying for the same candidates, recruiters need to separate themselves from the blanket of the company name. Blasting social networks with job openings isn’t recruiting. Recruitment marketing is learning about what your target audience is interested in, building a multi-touch outreach plan to grow candidate relationships.

Find your recruiters who are skilled writers and have them write a blog post. Find your heads of talent who are great public speakers, and have them co-host a webinar. Find your hiring managers with a knack for picking up conversations with strangers and have them rub elbows at a recruiting conference. For each of these, learn what your team is good at and knows about, and you’ll find your key players for discovering new candidates and building connections with people.

What other networking tactics would you recommend to other talent pros who want to get better at the art of the mingle? Share them with us in the comments. If you're ready for the next step, brush up on your candidate outreach and check out our most popular eBook, Effectively Messaging Candidates

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