March 28, 2017

A People-First Approach to Recruiting

When I was working for a large Silicon Valley software company, our VP of Product Marketing showed me an Inmail that he had received from one of our internal recruiters saying that he was a “perfect fit” for a role on our QA team. He thought it was hilarious, but told me to tell my colleague that he was going to pass….

There are incredible products out there that allow us as recruiter to do “personalized” mass mailings to thousands of potential candidates. We can populate lists of candidates in moments and spread the word with a touch of a button, but….

When we rely too much on technology to choose our candidates, we lose the professionalism of our job. The reason that VP got his infamous Inmail? He had an engineering degree from a top school and had worked for 2 years as a software developer. As good as some tools are, they can’t really tell a VP of IT from a VP of Engineering. Both seem technical, both have similar buzz words, but one is working internally and the other is building sellable products. Neither wants to be contacted about each other’s roles and when candidates start getting too many recruiter emails, they end up ignoring all of them. Even the job -- which could be a perfect fit.

Three Quick Steps for Keeping a People-First Approach to Recruiting

Step One: When using tools like Hiretual, LinkedIn, RecruitEm, and Indeed, first put together a list of potential candidates and then look at the list and find which candidates have the requirements to do the job. This allows you to build a solid, qualified list in order to start the next phase, outreach.

Step Two: You’ve found the qualified group and now it’s time to reach out to each of these candidates. I may send a mail-merged group email that targets each candidate with my opportunity using tools llike Prophet and Rapportive. Both these tools are excellent at obtaining personal email addresses.  So now you’ve built the list and found personal email addresses, now it’s time to stay people-first and reach out to the candidates.

Step Three: My preference is to send a personalized email that shows that I’ve actually looked at the person’s profile and want them and not just a warm body. When that’s not possible, spending the extra time to make sure that your outreach is appropriate and helps build credibility, relationships, and rapport.

Call me old school, but I believe that we are still in the business of getting personal with our clients and our candidates and finding the best fits for both. If we let technology do too much, we lose our value, our credibility and our role as recruiting experts. Next time you’re reaching out to candidates keep it people-first.

      PDF: Recruiting Process for Startups

      PDF: Recruiting Process for Startups

      TribePod: An Interview with Jennifer Thornton

      TribePod: An Interview with Jennifer Thornton


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