The Key to Researching Your Top Candidates

It takes a lot of time and effort to craft the perfect recruiting message, especially since top candidates are regularly bombarded with emails and social-networking notes from recruiters. Everybody knows that research into a candidate plays a big part in crafting the message—but what kinds of research are most effective? Here are some tips:

Research Their Current Employer

Where does the candidate work? Is their company in trouble, or is it ruling the industry? Do they offer a competitive salary and perks, or is word on the street that all employees there are underpaid? If the candidate is working for a company on the rise, with generous compensation, it may be difficult to persuade them to give serious consideration to a new job.

Research How They’ve Moved

Everybody’s career follows a particular pattern. Is your candidate someone who’s stayed in positions for years and years, only moving when their latest company goes out of business? Or do they jump frequently, obviously hungry for the next big opportunity? How they’ve progressed through the market can give you good clues as to whether they’ll be interested in what you’re offering at that moment.

Research Who They Know

If you have a mutual friend or colleague, it can give you an “in” toward starting the recruiting conversation.

Research What They Want

Many candidates are very public about what they want, whether on social media or their personal blog. Take some time to dig into their wants and needs, and you might find some effective ways to tailor your message. You can also uncover the skills and programming languages they prefer, and the big projects they might be working on, as a possible conversation starter.

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