In this edition, social recruiting expert Stacy Zapar provides insights that can help put you on the road to a successful relationship with top tech candidates.
Stay tuned twice a month as we deliver expert advice and actionable tips from industry experts on social sourcing, assessments and engagements.
After your initial search, the perfect candidate has risen to the top. Now it’s time to approach him or her. Just remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. TenFold founder Stacy Zapar offers up some key advice in crafting communications that break the ice and lead to lasting relationships.
Personalize your greeting.
What’s in a name? Proof that you cared enough to use it (and spelled it correctly). Avoid form greetings and letters like the plague.
Better yet, even take the extra step of personalizing your subject line.
Customize the content.
If you’ve done your homework, and leveraged Open Web to quickly unlock data from the 130 hangouts preferred by tech pros, you undoubtedly know something unique about your coveted candidate. Use this insight. Incorporate content in your message that speaks to a particular technical prowess your candidate possesses. You noticed that their code was roundly forked on GitHub? Commend them for it. Tell them that’s why you couldn’t wait to reach out to them. It’s a good conversation starter, and will greatly increase your response rate.
Make it about them, not you.
Flattery will get you everywhere. Don’t get off to a bad start by telling a candidate what you, as a recruiter, need from them. Talk them up, making sure to appeal to their needs. What have you learned about them that might lend itself to a compelling overture? Is it about location or the opportunity to telecommute? Maybe they have a family and more flexible hours would resonate with them? Perhaps they desire a greater technical challenge like new development over maintenance. Whatever floats their boat, seek to make your opening communication all about that.
Maybe you don’t need a specific candidate right now. But you will soon enough. Stacy Zapar refers to “digging a well before you’re thirsty.” She recommends that recruiters engage first so that they’re more likely to hear back when they actually have a position to fill. To that end, be active in the communities you typically recruit in. If it’s cloud engineering, be consistent in retweeting articles relative to cloud development. Building relationships by engaging first will payoff with favorable responses later.
A few more advanced tips.
- Warm Leads. Why start cold when you can leverage the network connections your team has already made? Look at companies you’ve hired for in the past. You may find candidates receptive to a change.
- Leverage Peers. Techs are for more likely to engage other techs. So use your contacts (hiring managers) in the tech world to help make sure your communication is on-point. Then benefit further by having your acquaintance send your email out to candidates for you.
- Timing is everything. The disgruntled tech pro is often receptive to a Sunday evening or Monday morning missive related to their present employment. Take advantage of this.
- Short and Sweet. Less is more. Don’t try and say too much in the beginning and give the candidate a reason to not like the job. Start by simply piquing their interest and curiosity. There will be time enough to tell all when you get them on the phone.
For a walk through of how to get started in social recruiting, check out our Social Recruiting Toolkit.