In my last letter, I spoke about the importance of engagement. That what really matters is making a meaningful connection on a human level. And I contrasted that with taking the easy way out by simply broadcasting on any conceivable channel, on- or off-line.
Again, in today’s job market if you want to reach your prospects you gotta stop interrupting them. Instead, aim to be useful. So, let’s take a look at what an engagement-based approach to recruiting looks like.
The short answer: it’s a process. This may be a hard fact to swallow, but there is no shortcut. You (or someone entrusted to represent you) must do the work.
When I talk about doing the work of engagement, I can break it down into 5 key steps that I view as vital to the process of recruiting top talent:
1. Be present and engaging across multiple channels. The most successful companies I work with succeed in doing this with both customers and prospective talent. And they do it on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, their company website, and other key social media outlets. And one more time: it is not about shouting at the masses, it is about adding value.
2. Reach out on a person-to-person/peer-to-peer level. Whether it’s an email or a phone call, personalize the reason why you are reaching out. Remember that it is about making a human connection. Demonstrate a few benefits of why this particular person might want to interrupt her life to talk to you. Directly ask if she would be open to talk about her career and possibly, your opportunity.
3. It’s about them first. While you may reveal a few initial details about your opportunity in the first conversation with a candidate, you should focus on that person’s situation and what interests him or her. This establishes a level of engagement that allows you to ask permission to present in detail an opportunity that could genuinely benefit their career. You want the candidate to feel that you´re solving her problem, not just yours.
4. One step at a time. Too many hiring authorities and recruiters go straight from presenting an opportunity to screening mode, when the job of engagement isn’t done yet (if ever!). Very few people decide they are seriously interested in an opportunity after a 15-minute phone call. The next step is, you guessed it: ask permission again! Send additional information, schedule a follow up call, and engage further.
5. Follow Up. The need to follow up at every stage of this process is one of the most critical drivers of success. It’s too easy for people to disengage at any point without a steady flow of follow up communication and engagement.
If this five-point process of engagement in recruiting looks like more work than simply posting job openings, that´s because it is. But believe me, going through these steps is worth every bit of your time and resources. The payoffs are so much better.
This is something I experience every day. And, frankly, it makes me happy to see engagement recruiting do its magic by connecting the right candidates with the right companies. Because, after all, what could be more important than finding the right people?
Are We Connected?