One of the biggest mistakes recruiters make in their candidate outreach is taking on the “Set it and forget it” mindset – sending out messages, writing off anyone who doesn’t express interest.
As tempting as it may be to move on to the next batch of qualified candidates who may be the right fit, people need multiple touch points to be encouraged to take action.
Here’s why should recruiters always be connecting:
- Continued engagement with candidates helps recruiters line up a potential hire who may be a better fit for a future open req.
- Recruiters represent one of the “faces” of a business. Building relationships with candidates not only establishes rapport for the company as an employer, but can enhance the company brand.
- Networking with candidates opens up their networks to your network. Candidates know other candidates who may be equally happy to share your opportunity with others, too.
- Recruiters can figure out which communication channel is the most effective for connecting with talent to improve their outreach strategy.
Browse their LinkedIn profile and make sure they know about it.
No more anonymous LinkedIn browsing. One subtle way to let candidates know you’re interested in them is by leaving behind a few digital footprints on their online profiles. If your LinkedIn account is currently set to appear as ‘Anonymous’ when browsing through others’ accounts, consider allowing the network to share your public profile information. That way, candidates have somewhere to click back to to learn more about you as a recruiter and about the open opportunities at your company.
To make these changes, go to Privacy & Settings in your LinkedIn account. Click ‘Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile,” and choose "Your name and headline," which also happens to be the recommended setting, according to LinkedIn. And for all the right reasons. How else are candidates able to identify and contact you?
Did you know that only 2% of online shoppers make a purchase the first time they visit an online store? To engage with the remaining 98%, business look to retargeting. Retargeting is a marketing technique that “follows” online users who don’t convert right away with the goal of encouraging some sort of action through continued engagement.
What does this mean for recruiters? Let’s say you’ve followed through with Step 1. It’s likely that the candidate would want to learn more about your company, visit the site, find out about what products or services the company provides, exit the site and move on with the rest of their day. Stirring up a candidate’s interest in your company is the first step in engagement. Retargeting is one way to maintain it. (Repetition plants the seed. Remember HeadOn?) Companies can connect with both prospective employees and customers by using tools like AdRoll and ReTargeter that specialize in optimizing ads to reach your targeted audience.
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Connect with them online, but don’t stop there – interact with them, too.
So you’ve decided you’re ready to commit to adding a candidate as a friend, following them, including them in one of your Circles, or subscribing to their blog. And hallelujah, they accept your request and/or don’t immediately block you on their network. Setting the automatic “Thanks for accepting my request!” message can make you look like a bot. Scan through the candidate’s profile and learn about their work experiences and projects. Read through a few blog posts to figure out their interests and to get a feel for their work process and communication style. Monitor what they’re posting as their status updates. In the middle of all this observation, don’t forget to add your voice into the mix and comment on their activity. Getting their online “approval” is the tip of the iceberg. How recruiters choose to follow-up is what sparks and sustains the relationship.
Send a personalized email.
An email isn’t all that out of the ordinary from most recruiter’s standard outreach, although it’s worth noting one way to break any trust or credibility you’ve built with a candidate is by inciting insult through inaccuracy. Be it by inviting them to discuss a more junior role (translated: demotion) or an opportunity outside of their field, recruiters should be sure to thoroughly review a candidate’s profile and background before crafting their message. Personalize your outreach by mentioning a mutual connection or complimenting them on one of their recent projects.
Cold call them.
Amid the masses of talent acquisition pros who stand by social recruiting and virtual outreach, there are veteran and modern recruiters who opt for going in for the dial. For some candidates, a phone call may be a preferred form of connecting, but as we’ve stated before, consider timing your call until right after business hours, pre-schedule the call through another medium, and treat the conversation as you would an email – personalize it and keep it concise.
What techniques does your company implement in its outreach strategy? Share them in the comments! Don’t forget to check out our social recruiting webinar series to learn more about building your relationship with online talent. You can register here.