For awhile now I have been thinking about this post, how I would write what I am thinking, how to share with my fellow recruiters exactly what I mean by Linkedin is like a bar. So I will write simply, I feel like every time one of our candidates logs into LI to do a bit of professional networking on ideas, thoughts that they are having, we are all lingering with a drink or in this case a job in hand telling them why they need to come and talk with us, why is our company the best one for them.
Think about it this way, when was the last time that you wrote a personal, not form letter email to a candidate that truly focused on them and their needs? We all know that to be successful on grabbing talent that is passive it's going to take a strong EVP ( Employee Value Proposition) and a true understanding of who they are, what they want and translate that into the why they need to talk to us. I bring all of this up because I have some close friends, who happen to be in my firms primary candidate demographic tell me that they have completely stopped looking at linked in! Why, because too many recruiters were sending them inmails for jobs that had nothing to do with their skill set, and also every time they apply for a job on LI they get zero acknowledgement or response.
When I heard this feedback, I was not surprised, but instead disappointed that these great engineers didn't see the value of a tool that I know a lot of us really value. They told me they felt like they are at a bar, and people are just flinging themselves at them, big turn off. May be with a few guidelines we can get back to whats important, I have listed out a few I think can make a difference.
1. Analyze your sourcing strategy.
What I mean by this is understand who your target candidates are, and than try and build meaningful contact with a select group of candidates instead of posting and praying as they say, or even just sending a bulk email across the line from your ATS hoping that the "guy or girl" will respond and be the one!
2. Stop spamming people.
No one likes impersonal email, only use email for candidates you can't reach by phone and just as in our other business objectives, if the response goes back and forth beyond 2-3 times, pick up the phone. That's how the great recruiters built this business before social media existed.
3. Don't be afraid to partner or do splits!!!!
I had a meeting this week with someone who is fairly new to our industry and I asked him for his impression of recruiters, and he said everyone is afraid to share their people!! We are in this business yes to make money, but I know with our firm it's about helping great people find great opportunities. If I have a contact within an organization that has the job for your candidate, I want to share that success and make a placement. Now I agree doing 100% independent is awesome, but sometimes you need to know what's best for your candidates, they depend on you to help them get that next best opportunity, and hoarding their resume all to yourself is not always the best thing for the candidate.
4. Follow Up.
Be sure you keep that meaningful conversation with that target candidate meaningful, follow up and tell them what's going on, even if you go with someone else.
5. Use Linked In wisely.
Make meaningful connections, lend advice and participate in conversations, and you'll get more out of the tool than just spam emails, and candidates expressing disinterest.
I hope that we as recruiters and HR professionals can truly understand what's important to our candidates out there, too many times have I heard recently that people see no value in what we do, that we are horrible communicators, and they prefer not to partner with recruiters. I know that we are valuable assets to many, stop treating our social media like a big pick up line, and start courting the right person.