The applicant to vacancy ratio is at its lowest in over a year, making it tougher than ever to source talent. Your ability to connect with passive candidates is the key to recruiting success but if your best efforts are failing, here’s our advice to get the response you need:-
Set measurable goals : Change your perspective on what you want to achieve from reaching out to a candidate. Don’t think placement or shortlist; even a cautious response is an achievement because it opens the door to engagement.
Treat candidates like people : Recruiters gain a bad reputation for viewing candidates as commodities first and human beings second. Making an effort to see the person behind the candidate profile will encourage a warmer response. Treat people with respect, regardless of their fit for your vacancy.
Review your approach : 87% of candidates are open to an approach from a recruiter on LinkedIn. The number of superpassive candidates (the ones who are completely happy and won’t consider a move) is in decline - by a reported 55% in the last four years. If your response level is close to zero, review your approach and the tone of your messages.
Do your research : Take the time to research the person behind the profile. Read their LinkedIn posts, review the companies they've worked for and assess their career progression. People will respond to you if you avoid making them feel like another number to tick off your list.
Escape the spam folder : A standard message promoting ‘opportunity’, ‘career’ and 'vacancies' will vanish into the obsurity of the 'recruiter spam’ folder. Experiment with different approaches to see which is the most effective for your sector. Try humour and don’t give up after one message. People are more likely to respond to a second approach – providing you avoid the ‘white noise’ of recruitment.
Find out what they want : Don’t open your call with ‘I’ve got the perfect job for you’. Find out what they want. Talk to your new connection about their achievements, what they’re most proud of, what’s most important to them in their career. Tell them they have an interesting background but you need to find more about before exploring the opportunities on your desk. It will pique interest and encourage prospective candidates to open up the job discussion.
Put yourself in their place : Passive talent in every sector is being pursued by recruiters. Imagine how you would feel as the recipient of relentless calls. You risk alienating an ideal candidate if you insist on calling them constantly or overwhelming them on social media or e-mail. There’s a fine line between perseverance and harassment – tread it carefully.
Be real : As a recruiter, you do a serious job but you don’t have to take yourself too seriously. Show your human side. Be personable. Find some common ground between you and your new contact to build a relationship and encourage a positive response.
Stick to three principles : Build rapport, earn trust, act with integrity. If you work on those three principles when sourcing candidates (and talking to employers) you’ll gain referrals and build a reputation as a recruiter who’s worth working with.
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