Tips from top billers...
How to perfect your candidate outreach
Even if you’re an established recruiter, you will constantly be on the lookout for new candidates – regardless of how deep your network is.
Traditional approaches to candidate outreach such as phone calls and emails are great ways of introducing yourself and building that initial relationship, however, to be noticed in a saturated industry you have to get creative!
I’m going to run through how to perfect your candidate outreach using traditional methods first, and then give you 5 other ways to attract candidates and start building a stronger network.
If there’s any tool a recruiter should be using every day – it’s the phone.
It’s one of the core ways to manage the recruitment lifecycle process and should never be disregarded (no matter how fancy your other outreach methods are).
However, there are a lot of recruiters that can use the phone incorrectly, which in the long-run can cause more damage than good when looking at candidate outreach.
Here are three steps to perfecting your phone outreach:
Perfect your introduction
An elevator pitch approach is one of the best ways to perfecting your introduction, which should be no more than 20-30 seconds long.
Naturally, you can adapt your pitch depending on how warm the initial call is (was it a referral call, someone you met from an event, or is it completely cold?) but you should always ensure that your introduction is succinct and sparks interest.
Finally, you need to ensure that your introduction is about your candidate, and not yourself.
Think about how many times a candidate has heard a recruiter pitch to them about a potential opportunity – you want to break that pattern and make it feel personal to them.
Demonstrate credibility in your outreach
Whether it’s talking about clients you’ve recently placed with, market insight, or candidate stories that show your depth of knowledge and relationship building skills – demonstrating credibility should always be front of mind.
It shows that you understand more than just “recruitment jargon” and gives you the opportunity to hone in on your candidates’ pain points as well as their aspirations.
Always have an action at the end of the call
Whether it’s booking in a secondary call in the diary, a meeting, or just an agreed action from both sides, make sure you have this in writing, and a pencilled in date if you are going to meet/speak again on the phone.
This holds both of you accountable and starts the relationship-building process.
Finally, don’t create an action like a call for the sake of it – ensure that there is a reason behind it and demonstrate that to your candidate.
Similar to talking about your credibility, you want to give a valid reason for the action.
If you keep getting rejected by candidates, you need to go back to point #2 and hone in on how you can create a positive experience through credibility and candidate-centric conversation to lock in that next meeting/call/follow-up.
Bonus tip: Tools to consider that can help you acquire candidate contact details from Linkedin:
- Lead IQ
- Seamless AI
The second most popular method of candidate outreach is through sending emails or using LinkedIn.
When used correctly, it can be one of the most effective ways of building a network, especially if you are looking to attract inbound enquiries.
Here are three steps to perfecting your email and LinkedIn outreach:
Create a short and sweet introduction that is no more than “one scroll” on your phone
A common problem with LinkedIn and email outreach is some recruiters write their whole elevator pitch out, which results in too much information and doesn’t capture the attention of a candidate when received in their inbox.
Sticking with basic information such as your specialism, the reason for the outreach and an action point is enough. Less is more! This was supported back in April 2021 when LinkedIn released a report detailing the effectiveness of shorter InMails.
Try this out on your phone to ensure that it is no more than one scroll and can be read with a quick glance.
When using LinkedIn, always follow up with candidates once they have accepted your connection request
A simple follow-up can go a long way, especially on LinkedIn when you’re notified of a new connection. Make this a regular habit, and you will begin to form relationships effortlessly.
Over the next 4 weeks, take the time to drop every relevant new connection a message, some conversation starters could be on the following:
- A mutual connection you both share (who you know well enough to talk about)
- A piece of content related to their job title or industry
- A simple check-in to see if they had the opportunity to look over your last message (you’d be surprised how many people forget to reply)
Don’t be afraid to get creative
It can be so easy to take the ‘standard’ route in recruitment and never think outside the box.
Sure, you want to avoid reinventing the wheel, but the world of recruitment is rapidly changing and becoming more competitive each year.
Trying different things could be testing different subject lines when conducting outreach, or closing your emails/InMails differently.
Finally, personalisation is the future and will set you apart from the rest – don’t be like your competitors who most likely copy and paste the same message to 100+ people.
Find one way to make each message unique!
5 creative ways to attract candidates
Create content on LinkedIn
Whether this is your own video content, re-shared articles, or original pieces written from scratch, the best way to stay visible and expand your candidate network (and encourage outreach) is through making content.
Host a virtual event
A virtual event is a great way to network with new candidates and facilitate outreach differently.
It doesn’t have to be extensive or break the bank – it simply needs to add value to a new pool of candidates! Think about what your vertical needs and create a solution.
Facilitate introductions/do favours
If you want to encourage referrals and warm outreach, make sure that you go above and beyond for current candidates in your network.
Recruitment is all about networking, so the more time you invest in your current candidate network, the more new connections you shall receive!
I recently spoke about this here and explained that the reason I do this is to add value – not because I necessarily want anything in return.
A great way to start is by asking your candidates what they are currently lacking – this could be market knowledge, friends in the industry, or something else.
You won’t be able to give all the answers, but you can use this as leverage to connect them with the right person who can!
Comment on LinkedIn
A great way to stay visible (without seeming pushy) is by interacting with candidates on LinkedIn with whom you would like to strike up a relationship with.
Make a conscious effort to interact with their content on LinkedIn, and this will set you in good stead for inbound messages in the future.
Try and set yourself a target of liking and commenting on 10 candidate posts per day with a minimum of two sentences (not just “I like that” or “this is great”).
Start a conversation and see how it boosts your engagement and network quality within 30 days.
LinkedIn voice notes
Introduced in 2020, LinkedIn voice notes allow for you to send a 60-second voice note to any connection from your mobile device only.
This is a great alternative to a cold call and can be a really effective way to introduce yourself without sending a lengthy message!