In my last post, I discussed types of recruiting contact campaign approaches; this week, I’ll discuss turning that initial approach into real recruiting action, along with some tips and tricks for turning contacts into candidates. Like any campaign, it’s important to have a defined timeline against which to execute. Here’s an example of a formula I’ve used, although it’s important to feel free to experiment to see which recruiting contact campaign timeline works best for you, since the optimal timeline can vary from recruiter to recruiter, and even project to project.
Recruiting Contact Campaign: Sample Timeline
Day 1: E-Mail
Day 2: Phone Call
Day 3: Do Not Contact
Day 4: SMS or social media message
Day 5: E-Mail Follow Up
This process can be repeated up to three times before you should consider ceasing contact campaigns – but remember to cease immediately (for the time being at least) if the candidate requests you do so.
4 Basic Messages for Successful Recruiting Contact Campaigns
If your campaign approach succeeds in its goal of establishing contact, it’s imperative to have a well-crafted message that clearly presents your employer value proposition or the benefits the opportunity offers. Here are 4 basic messages you should try to convey after contacting a candidate:
1. What We Need: This is the standard approach connecting with a candidate who looks like they might be a fit for an open position. Make sure you clearly convey why you feel their background, skills or experience align with the opportunity for which you’re recruiting.
2. What We Offer: It’s important to highlight what’s in it for them, particularly when trying to convert potential candidates. Your company culture, opportunities for growth and development, compensation, benefits or brand are all potential selling points. If they aren’t, focus on the opportunities for new experiences, career or personal growth that the position may offer that their current role may not.
3. Who You Know: When engaging a potential candidate around their expertise or professional experience, shared connections count – and networking conversations often uncover referrals, elicit introductions and gauge candidate interest without ever explicitly talking about a job opportunity. This kind of trust building conversation can turn contacts into connections, and, combined with other approaches, has yielded returns as high as 65%.
4. What You Should Do: Make sure you’re clear on any next steps and provide clear action items or set expectations for what candidates need to do or when they will hear from you next. A call to action should be the final outcome of any campaign – whether that’s calling them into an interview, inviting them to an event or sending them additional information on your company and how they can stay connected with you and informed about positions that might be coming down the pipeline.
By definition, every campaign must have a goal or intended outcome – and as we’ve seen, the end plays a huge factor in determining the means. Here are some of the most common outcomes created by effective contact campaigns:
Achieving any of these results means your contact campaign has succeeded. At best, you’re able to contact a qualified, interested and available candidate directly. At worst, you’ve at least created a new connection – and gotten connections to their connections. On professional networks, that generally means that they’re connected to at least a few people with the same kinds of experience and qualifications that made you reach out to begin with. A good Java developer has probably worked with or knows good Java developers, for example – and a successful contact campaign can open the door for referral success.