The recruiting game is a highly competitive one. The more specialized the job, the more you will have to fight for every qualified candidate. While there is something to be said for it being a numbers game, you don’t have to choose between contacting several people and contacting them effectively. For that you need hyper personalization.
Hyper personalization is the way that you stand out from the dozens of other companies trying to recruit your candidates. And it only takes a few extra minutes of effort to really break the mold and win over more contenders to your company.
What is Hyper Personalization?
When you are reaching out to an applicant or sending a cold email to somebody that would be perfect for a given position, keep in mind that you’re not the only person who has reached out to them. In fact, it’s recommended that job seekers apply to 10-15 jobs per week, meaning that they are likely seeing similar form emails several times before they even get to your communication.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you’re going to have to make it more apparent that you’ve taken the time to get to know who they are as a person. Making somebody feel special goes a long way toward making them more receptive to what you’re suggesting.
Let’s look at a template from workable.com as an example, since rarely will a recruiter go further than filling out something like this.
Subject line: [Company_name] is looking for a [job_title] / Interested in joining our team at [Company_name]?
I am [your name], [your job_title] at [company_name]. I saw your profile on [e.g. LinkedIn or GitHub] and I was really impressed by your experience in [add specific field or an achievement that caught your eye].
We are currently looking for a [job_title – add link to the job description] to join our team. I’d love to tell you a little more about this position and learn a few things about you, as well. Are you available [include date and time or a period of time, e.g. ‘sometime this week’]? If so, I’d be happy to set up a call. I’m also happy to coordinate via email or LinkedIn, if you prefer.
I hope you have a great day,
What does this tell the candidate? Not too much. It shows that you read their LinkedIn profile and picked something random to mention. Just like another half dozen people that week, in all likelihood. Then it immediately goes into what they can do for you.
In all fairness to Workable, they do make it clear that this should be the beginning of your communications, not the final product, but the fact of the matter is that you need to go to a little more effort in your recruiting than simply offering the job.
Doing Your Research
We live in a world that encourages us to share every aspect of our lives with the public. If anything, the same impulse that gets people posting selfies and pictures of food is the one that you need to tap into in order to win over the candidates you most want.
That impulse serves you well as a recruiter. Before you even think of writing an email to a potential applicant, search their name on Google. Look for other social media platforms like Twitter where people will share information about their interests, hobbies, and non-job related skills.
The objective here is not to stalk the person, but rather to learn more about who they are as a person. When you focus exclusively on their job skills and history, you reduce them to an object that does for others. By taking the time to get more information about them, you’ve recognized that they are more than simply what they can do for your company or client.
Mike Orrantia on sourcecon.com talks about his experience in hyper personalization and gives some great examples of ways that he stood out from other recruiters. Frequently, this extra effort took no more than five minutes of his time, but it yielded great results.
Keeping Them Engaged
Hyper personalization doesn’t just work for cold reachouts or responding to applications. It can also help to keep a candidate engaged.
Everybody has heard the saying, “Time kills all deals.” That applies to recruiting as much as anything else. Part of the problem is that you are not always in control of how quickly the hiring process moves, and your recruiting efforts might end up falling apart just because it’s impossible to get everybody in a room together for several weeks.
The trick to this is keeping the client engaged. We talked about this in more detail before, but to summarize, you need to have active, well-trained recruiters who know how to speak with clients. Part of that training needs to be in connecting with candidates on a personal level.
For example, if the hiring process is taking a while, writing a quick, personal email apologizing for the delay is a great idea. An even better idea is to touch on something you’ve already discussed. For example, if they mentioned that they like a particular band, recommend them something similar (e.g. “You mentioned that you really liked Deep Purple. Have you heard of Blackmore’s Night, Ritchie Blackmore’s other band?”). Showing that you take their interests seriously is a great way to ensure that you stay at the forefront of their mind during a delay in the hiring process.
It’s Worth the Effort, John
I’m going to be straight with you: if you’re not willing to put in just a little more effort, you’re going to miss out to the people who will. Even if you don’t end up landing a candidate, you’ll be remembered the next time they’re looking for a job. Or their friend is.
Sending form emails is the recruiting equivalent of “spray and pray.” Instead, think strategically, do your research, & treat candidates as people instead of just another contact, and you’ll see your success numbers soar.