Sourcing for great talent can be difficult in today’s job market—where everyone who is employable is already employed.
This can be especially true when it comes to a niche position that’s in high demand. Since too few candidates are actively looking, you’re usually forced to go after prospects who are already employed.
So what does it take to entice those job seekers who are already happy and productive in their current jobs? How do you, at least, get them to respond to your email?
Sending out a large batch of untargeted emails will never entice a prospective candidate to leave his job–and that’s especially true if he’s really talented. Great candidates are constantly inundated with messages, including those from recruiters. If you want to stand out, use a targeted approach when writing your message. It comes off more personal and is effective for catching a candidate’s eye.
Before you write your email, do some research up front. What’s your candidate’s current role and background? Is he facing any potential challenges in his industry? What could your job offer them? Once you have a clear picture of who you’re writing to, include key details into the subject line or body of your message. Candidates will see you’ve actually taken the time to learn a little bit about them, and may be more open to continuing the conversation.
Before pitching your job, try to initiate an open conversation with your prospect. Invite them to speak more about who they are and what their career goals are.
For example: instead of leading with, “Can we talk about a job opportunity?” say, “I want to introduce you to our company. Can we talk more about you and your career goals to see if there’s a potential fit for you here.” People are much more likely to respond when (a) the conversation is about them and (b) you create angst by not including all the details.
Once you get to know the job seeker, be transparent about your job opportunity. If you still believe they’re a good fit, then it’s time to sell the heck out of your job. But, if you discover otherwise you need to be honest. Don’t waste their time or beat around the bush. Not only does that blemish your employer brand, but it also affects the overall perception of recruiters.
Whenever you’re selling a potential opportunity, it can be easy to come off gimmicky or unauthentic. Avoid sounding insincere by keeping your language casual and personable.
Greet the prospect in the same way you would address an acquaintance. Remember and reference personal details you’ve learned about the candidate. Doing so will help reassure the prospect that you recognize them as an individual—not just another requisition.
Being memorable also helps. Add in unique details like a link to your career site or recruiting video. This may encourage prospects to keep you top of mind. When feasible, rely on visual details. They will always trump literary messages when it comes making a lasting impression.
That’s okay! It means they’re genuinely not a fit for your job, which avoids the mishap of hiring the wrong person. When a job seeker does decline, use the opportunity to ask if they know someone who would be a better fit. Referrals are a great resource, and don’t necessarily have to come from your current employees.