Want To Reach The Best Candidates? Don't Become A Recruitment Stalker

I read with interest Andy Headworth’s article advising recruiters to “stop replying on LinkedIn InMails and use other methods to reach potential candidates”.

Andy was responding to the fact that for every 100 InMails you send to people on LinkedIn, only 25 of them click on the email to open it, and this does not necessarily mean they read it.

“Not brilliant is it”, states Andy, “when you know that your efforts are failing 75% of the time. What about the other 75 people in your search? How can you reach them? Do you even bother?”

Now while I completely agree with Andy when he says the best way to contact people is to approach them personally, and I also agree with the alternative solutions to LinkedIn InMails he offers in his suggestions numbered 1 to 5, our recent Candidate Voice research tells us that contacting your future talent via their social network – as he suggests in his following points – is rapidly becoming viewed as ‘recruiter stalking’.

In July we surveyed over 200 candidates (and a further 1,533 since this original piece of research) who had been identified and approached for suitable roles via our big data services. We discovered – contrary to popular belief that email is dead – people much prefer to receive a personal email (74%), or a telephone call (18%) directly from an employer with details of roles specifically tailored to suit their qualifications and experience. Less than 6% wanted an approach from a recruiter or through LinkedIn.

Mark*, a senior manager at a large global engineering company, told us he was completely fed up of being contacted by recruiters via his LinkedIn account.

He explained: “This is the only social site I use and at one time held it in high regard as a useful professional networking channel.

“Yes, my settings do state that I want people to contact me with job opportunities, but this has resulted in numerous recruiters sending me invitations to connect and I have no idea who they are.

“I’d prefer not to alter my settings, as there are colleagues in the industry who I would welcome getting in touch. However, I now receive so many emails via LinkedIn that I automatically delete them; sadly this means that if there are any relevant ones these just get lost in the ether.

“And it’s not just the fact they are getting in touch; they quite obviously haven’t taken the time to read my profile in any detail because many of the roles they approach me with are irrelevant.

“I know my colleagues in the industry are beginning to feel the same way and I am sure that if this continues it’s only a matter of time before people abandon the site altogether and find an alternative way to keep in touch.

And the independent comments made by the readers of Andy’s article are also telling:

There are currently 300 million users of Linkedin in the world, it’s a lot but their goal is 3 billion and that’ll tell you there’s a lot of people who don’t use it.”
– David Etherington

A friend of mine who runs his own digital business referred to receiving an Inmail as the same as when you get another candy crush request. It’s just ignored if it’s not tailored.”
– Chris Raw

We do however have this wonderful tool called a phone; if they are truly a good match for your role then it is surely worth making a phone call to talk to them personally isn’t it?”
– Adam Napper

Now I know what you are thinking, this is what we are bound to say here at JobsTheWord, after all we are the only service in the UK that negates the need to contact people via their social channels, even though this is where some of them reside when our location intelligence algorithms discover them.

The fact that our big data algorithms can instantly connect relevant, quality people directly with employers and tempt them to apply for their roles with a personal message via their email address, means that this really is the future beyond the latest social recruitment trend. If the perfect candidate for an employer’s role exists out there, we can find them fast, which means a huge saving in both time and expense.

We are about to release the corresponding survey to the ‘Candidate Voice’, the ‘Employer Voice’, which reveals that a third of respondents reported losing candidates due to delays in the hiring process.

So I believe there are two takeaways from this:

One is from Andy’s article. You want to reach the best candidates so in the short term you could say that even though you have spent a great deal of time searching and filtering down a list to 100 LinkedIn members you want to contact, the fact that 25 open the InMail is a good result. But the fact that recruiters are polluting these channels is bad, and the fact you are having to search and contact individuals by this process is fundamentally flawed. The answer: Try sending them a personal email.

The other relates to our latest research – that is if you spend too much time searching and sifting out people suitable for your roles, and then do not act swiftly, you are going to lose them to the competition. The answer: Do pick up the phone; they’d love to hear from you!

You can read Andy Headsworth’s original article online here.

* Mark’s full contact details are available on request.

Mike Sandiford
Head of Partnerships
0207 193 9931

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