Instead of going through a mishmash of resumes when hiring, your time can be better spent prospecting. That means exploring online – and to some extent the real world – so you can connect with great candidates and convince them you have their next career opportunity.
Job prospecting isn’t easy but the payoff is huge. Taking a proactive approach to recruiting gets the attention of the elusive passive candidate who doesn’t bother looking at job boards or company careers pages. In this blog post, we’ll outline the different sources you can prospect candidates from and provide tips for starting a conversation.
With so many people on LinkedIn, it’s important to use the profile search functionality to its full potential. You can search by location, industry, past company, years of experience and a handful of other filters. If you use “LinkedIn Recruiter,” you can save candidate profiles in specific folders, note when they’ve been contacted and share them with other team members. It’s an effective tool for keeping track of candidates before they apply for a job and are added to your ATS.
How to contact candidates via LinkedIn
Reaching out to candidates you find on LinkedIn is easy using their messaging feature. You can use templated messages but we recommend referencing impressive skills or experience to make a connection with the candidate.
For Twitter to be a fruitful prospecting tool, you as individual recruiter need to personally invest in it. Create a profile, include your company and job title in your bio and start following others and joining conversations.
Once you start tweeting, your number of followers will increase. Some people will be interested in your company news and others will want to hear your thoughts on the recruiting profession. But a few people will hit the follow button because they’re interested in joining your team and see you’re the person who can make it happen. You’ll get a pretty good idea of people’s motivations and can engage them when it’s appropriate.
You can also use tools like FollowerWonk to search for Twitter users with certain words in their bio. You’ll uncover passive candidates and can find out if they’ll bring that passion to your team.
How to contact candidates via Twitter
Twitter allows for private, direct messages but it can come across as invasive if the person doesn’t personally know you. The better move is to prospects candidates on Twitter, then reach out to them through LinkedIn, phone or personal email.
Almost every profession has an online community where passionate professionals share thoughts and ideas. Many allow people to create a profile that includes their professional background, work samples or even a complete portfolio.
These communities are too often overlooked when job prospecting. Unlike social networks, people are open to engaging with others they’ve never met. That means you can find candidates, learn about their skillset and say hello without coming across as creepy.
The major downside of prospecting on online professional communities is there may be few, if any, local candidates. However, if you allow employees to work remotely or your office is located in a big city, prospecting on the right online communities will likely pay off.
How to contact candidates via professional communities
There’s no need to overthink candidate outreach on online communities. You should be able to find the candidate’s email on their profile or send a message through the website, if it has the functionality. And of course, the candidate’s LinkedIn profile is only a quick search away.
Professional Networking Events
Even though prospecting is mostly now done online, attending networking events is still a great way to meet talented people.
Check out sites like Meetup and Eventbrite to see what local networking events are going on and try to attend the big industry conferences. These events give you the chance to talk with professionals in a casual setting and discover if they’re interested in new opportunities. Even if you meet someone who is happy with their current job, you can still exchange business cards, connect on LinkedIn and keep in touch in case things change.
How to contact candidates you meet at professional networking events
It depends on the nature of the conversation you had at the event. If the candidate is interested in a specific opening, send them the job description. If they’re more interested in learning about your company in general, send them links to your careers website and employer branding content.
Job Board Database
Job boards are primarily used to connect with active candidates. But these sites also allow candidates to sign up for accounts and make their resumes available to recruiters. Many have built large databases hiring companies pay to access.
Prospecting using job board databases can be hit or miss. Most people create their profile when they’re in full-on job search mode then forget about it when they get hired somewhere. You can end up contacting candidates who are happy to hear from you, as well as people who have recently started a new job and aren’t ready to leave yet.
How to contact candidates via job board databases
The great part of prospecting through job board databases is you get access to the candidate’s complete resume. That means you can reach out via phone or email without having to chase down those contact details.
Be proactive when hiring
Talented professionals who work in high-demand roles won’t apply to your company on their own. It’s up to you as a recruiter to search far and wide for great candidates, gauge their job satisfaction and pitch your company.
Source: Erin Engstrom
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