3 Smart Ways to Stand Out as a Recruiter

3 min read

red envelope standing out in sea of grey envelopes

A huge challenge for recruiters is ‘standing out from the crowd’. That’s what a survey by SocialTalent found when they asked recruiters on LinkedIn about their biggest pain points.

And of course it is. Candidates are constantly bombarded with messages from dozens of recruiters offering them the moon and stars. How can you, a single humble recruiter, stand out and actually get a response?

Turns out there are a few ways you can become the one recruiter candidates remember. Here’s how you can catch their attention and double your response rate – even with the most in-demand candidates.

Approach them as a friend

Generic recruitment messages are rubbish. They don’t work and nobody bothers to read them all the way through. The worst part is those are the kinds of messages that candidates get on a daily.

If you truly want to stand out, don’t be like every other recruiter out there. Get personal, compliment them on their work or skills, add in a little humour even. The more human and genuine you seem, the more likely they’ll want to know what you have to say.

Although don’t get too carried away with the friendly banter. There’s still a science to writing effective recruiting messages. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Keep it short and get to the point before they stop caring. They’re only going to give you 3-5 seconds to make your case, so make every sentence count. Check our post on killer email tactics here.
  • What’s in it for them? Make it clear why they should bother taking this seriously (i.e. better salary, more flexibility, career growth, etc.)
  • Always end with a call-to-action, like ‘Can you meet me for a quick coffee at 12pm this Wednesday to discuss?’

It’s also worth noting that messaging through channels other than email is a great way to attract talent. We’re not saying you should start swiping right on candidates on Tinder, but reaching out using social media is a solid way to get noticed. Who wouldn’t remember a recruiter who reached out using Snapchat?

By the way, we strongly recommend you use the Crystal add-on to help you personalise your messages. It’s a free tool that sifts through public data on the person you’re looking at, then reports back with the most effective way you can communicate with them. It’s just one of the many tools you can leverage to nab more candidates. In fact, we wrote a blog post on the top free recruiting tools you should consider using.

Always follow-up

No matter how amazing you think your first email was, there’s a good chance it ended up in a spam folder or was simply forgotten. So if you didn’t get a response, don’t automatically assume they weren’t interested.

Always follow-up with a gentle reminder that you’ve already been in touch and ask again if they’d like to meet. It’s also a good idea to give them the option to opt out of future communications if they’re definitely not interested. Studies have shown that offering a ‘way out’ doubles your chances of getting a positive response – largely due to the lower sense of risk.

However, there’s another reason why you may not have gotten a response and it has nothing to do with forgetfulness or interest. At a SourceCon panel, in-high-demand candidates admitted that they would only engage with recruiters who ‘chased them’. Considering these candidates receive dozens of recruiting emails a week, it makes sense that they’d only pay attention to the ones who showed the most interest. So be prepared to chase that reply.

Bottom line is: never give up on a candidate just because you didn’t get a response on the first try. Follow up every email you send until you get either a positive response or a categorical ‘no thank you’.

If you’re interested in learning a few tactics to pry a response from even long-gone candidates, check out these 4 hacks to warm up stone-cold leads.

Invest in accurate data

Most of us have received a message from a recruiter who was so way off it gave you second-hand embarrassment. That’s what happens when recruiters, a) Don’t do their research, and b) Use bad data.

If you’re sending out messages to whoever remotely fits the job description, you’re likely wasting your targeting efforts on the wrong people. There are much smarter ways to do this, and most of them involve using prospecting software.

Triggr is one prospecting tool you can use to find the best talent using fresh, accurate data. All you have to do is click on what you’re looking for and Triggr will turn around with a list of top candidates complete with contact details. You can filter candidates by skill, work history, or by companies who are currently hiring. You can even set up ‘triggr events’ so if a candidate you like shows interest in changing roles, you’ll be the first to know.

Using the right data from the get-go will make sure you don’t stand out for the wrong reasons. Use Triggr along with the other tips in this post and you’ll be nabbing top talent before the weekend. Sign up for a free plan and start contacting the right candidates before another recruiter does.

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