It used to be that hiring was all about filling positions. The focus was on your company, and candidates were lucky to land a job with your organization. They may still be lucky to join your team, but today, hiring is all about marketing your firm so they want to choose you.
Competition for top people is tough in many industries, and in some it’s nothing less than fierce. Personalizing your recruiter pitch is one way you can boost your chances of attracting and closing the candidates you want most. Making it personal right from your first contact demonstrates your company is people-oriented, not just a facility with positions to fill.
There are lots of ways you can get personal as a recruiter
Do your homework before making contact. It’s easier than ever today to learn about people via their social profiles. Read and “listen” for clues beyond their basic resume data. Do they have a sense of humor? What do they like, or like to do, outside work? What specific words do they use to describe themselves?
Armed with this information, you can tailor communications just for them. Describe your open position (or your company) as it relates to their interests and preferences, not yours. Use their language. Be friendly. Use their first name. You’ll make an immediate connection, because your message will feel familiar to them. Inviting. That instant rapport greatly increases the chance they will respond. It tells them your company is probably their kind of place to work.
Just as with any other marketing, the more you know about your prospect, the better your chances of attracting their attention and having a meaningful conversation with them.
Formula job postings and canned group emails speak volumes about your company, none of it appealing to candidates who expect to be treated like individual people. Most of today’s candidates are looking for an environment in which they will be accepted – or, better yet, applauded – for who they are as a person as well as their job-specific skills and experience. If your company offers such an environment, you’ll be in great demand. But only if your recruiting efforts communicate the “real you” behind your company name.
Remember that marketing is an ongoing process of nurturing leads. You might get a hit on your first contact, but you may have to make several contacts. Follow the lead of your marketing department pros here – look for relevant reasons to send a communication:
- Email a link to an article you just read you think they might like.
- Send a birthday card.
- Email a reminder that they can apply online.
- Call with your top three reasons why you want them and why they should want you.
Fewer mass presentations, more personal attention
For the same reasons today’s candidates respond best to one-on-one contacts, formal presentations to large groups and similar recruiting tactics are falling flat these days. In the past, the more people you could get in front of at one time, the better. You were a model of efficiency in spreading the word about your company, mass marketing style.
Mass marketing has lost its appeal, in every respect. Candidates don’t have the patience to sit through a rehearsed lecture. They’re looking for a job that suits them, not everyone. And they can learn all that general information about your company online, whenever they want.
What they want to hear from you is what they can do for you and what you can do for them. Personalize your messages by emphasizing you approach and policies that promote creative problem-solving and collaboration. Or the cutting-edge tools, technology and other resources they will have at their fingertips. Their opportunities for training and promotion. And talk about your “people” policies that offer flexible scheduling, remote work options, etc.
Focus on establishing and building personal relationships with the candidates you most want to hire, and your recruiting pitch will be far more successful.