Let’s dive into Part II shall we?
For context, I’m sitting in my local Applebee’s in Tooele, Utah. There are a lot of happy people around me, people celebrating birthdays, people with kids, and lots of #Human activity. It’s healthy, and I’m feeling grateful to my #TalentAcquisition friends that helped me land where I am today: The Source and Recruit Company. You see what inspired this in the first place was the knowledge that many of our own were displaced – talented Tech Recruiters, Sourcers, and so many others. Shout out to Matt Burzon, my boss at the Source and Recruit Company who said in essence: “There are economic times that affect the industry but there are still places in need of hiring. Move to where the need is”. He was speaking about business development but it’s applicable to all of us.
Which leads me to that critical moment of understanding – I landed in my present role BECAUSE I used my sourcing skills, my network and my focus to secure my path in less than one month. Seven interviews, about 50 conversations with my trusted network led to my newest role. That’s right, it was less than one month between the two companies all because of my goals, a clear message about my value proposition, and my path.
I reached out to those who I knew had a reputation for paying it forward AND who also had enough clout and power in their networks to help me with my own search. I also have added value to them along my path. A professional network is a MIGHTY thing. Each of these people would give me advice and keep me on the path to my success. I recruited my own PERSONAL Army to advocate on my behalf, opening doors across the spectrum and you can too!
It’s been two months since writing the first part of this series, see here. And I’m weeks removed from a moving, inspiring, and opportune SourceCon in Dallas, Texas. Prior to that, was speaking virtually at this webinar alongside Katrina Kibben, Greg Hawkes, and Glenn Gutmacher. Paul DeBettignies the legendary Recruiter from Minnesota and a master of his market joined us part of the way through. Josh Jones, emcee for our webinar, pulled him up on the virtual stage when he was making powerful comments in the chat that proved to be incredibly valuable. Essentially this was the focus for attendees: “Tell your story and share your accomplishments”. Sound advice in a job search.
I suggest capturing this list from your first level LinkedIn contacts. Seriously – you have over your time as a Talent Acquisition professional built a viable and powerful 1st connection list. Does it make sense to start your search with the black hole of the internet? Or is it much more powerful to connect with those you already have access to? Whose contact information is readily available? People who will pick up the phone? Who will immediately have a conversation. This is sourcing folks. Take that list of first connections and put them in a spreadsheet. That’s Tab #1 for effective contacts. This is a viable and opportune place to start with your value proposition.
What is the value proposition?
- The number of placements in your career
- Your hiring time to fill
- How you found that hard to find candidates AND convinced them to take action in your search.
- A critical staffing initiative that launched a key product
- Tying your sourcing to key $$ initiatives and value in your past company
- What if scenarios? What if that key role you filled wasn’t filled
- The type and difficulty of the searches you have worked on
Now let me share some ideas that are practical about capturing and researching decision making leads at the companies you want to work for. Now that you’ve exhausted your first level contact list, applied to roles within 24 hours of opening – it’s time to find the hiring manager OR a senior enough leader that you can depend on.
Here’s how I do that. Say I wanted to get key contacts at a target company. I would research the following key contacts that could help me land a job: Talent Acquisition Managers, Talent Acquisition Directors, Talent Sourcing Managers, and so on. For peer level contacts with the job I am targeting, I’d reach out to one or two for intelligence gathering of what’s going on in their world and key initiatives in the news.
You should also consider researching:
- Find a target COMPANY website then look at “About COMPANY”
- Look specifically at the “Leadership” link.
- Find the contact who is leading the organization’s talent acquisition team such as Chief Human Resources Office (CHRO), Head of People, Chief People Officer to name a few
- Find their LinkedIn profile and see if you have any mutual connections we have (these would be powerful contacts with first or second degree of separation between yourself and the decision makers.
- If you are bold enough you could find that person’s email configuration. First.Lastname@company.com is common. There are also FREE chrome extensions such as Kendo and Swordfish that you may download to your Google Chrome browser. These tools uncover contact information for the person you are looking to connect with.
You could also visit the Twitter handle if any of your target contact, and note what key hashtags they follow, their interests, etc. Now imagine building lists like this one with key senior contacts for your prospect list. Now, also search for peer level contacts. Get two to five of those senior contacts within the Talent Acquisition and/or Human Resources departments.
As you build these lists you are actually Talent Mapping. Not familiar with talent mapping? I highly recommend the Wizard Sourcer Johnathan Kidder’s book on this! You may use the same approach to get yourself lists of contacts, put them in a spreadsheet and voila! You are flipping the talent acquisition script to put yourself in contact with decision makers and connecting dots of future potential colleagues who could be allies in getting an interview. Depending on company size scale this approach (smaller companies two to three contacts including the CEO could be enough).
Now here’s a sample string you could use that may help you in that research:
Site:LinkedIn.com/in (“Talent Acquisition” OR Recruiter OR Sourcer OR “TA Manager” OR “TA Director” OR “Talent Acquisition Director” OR “Talent Acquisition Manager” OR “Other Title” OR “other title”) “target company”
An example using a target company like ADP:
Site:LinkedIn.com/in (“talent acquisition” OR Recruiter OR Sourcer OR “Director TA” OR “TA Director” OR “TA Manager” OR “Talent Acquisition Manager” OR “Talent Acquisition Director”) ADP
This little string gave me several contacts via Google – look:
You’re able to navigate a job search by gathering contact information from your target company that will benefit you beyond applying for a job and hoping for a response. In the final part of this series, I will explore how to use your research skills to create targeted messaging campaigns to convince those targets not immediately in your network to take a serious look at your value proposition and craft a powerful job search message that has a higher response rate.
Today, I want to encourage you to use creativity, harness those steps, make powerful winning outcomes, and add value to other recruiters. Present at local events (in person and virtual) and get involved. Let your voice be found. Your job search skills are so much more powerful than you realize. You’ve been trained, honed, and focused on this moment. You just have to flip the talent acquisition script. Connect with me on LinkedIn – let’s help each other. You got this!
And a parting shot. If you are in Salt Lake City – connect with me to attend our Salt Lake City SourceCon Chapter meetup going on at the end of May 2023. Chances are there’s a peer group you can connect with in your local vicinity – SourceCon Chapters are around the country, and there are also Talent Acquisition Recruiter Meetups as well across the country who have a regional focus. Get involved in your local SHRM chapter. You are in a role closely related to human resources – I see them as cousins of Talent Acquisition professionals. There are many HR Pros who could be an important part of your extended network. Make sure you aren’t discounting how important they are to your job search outside of the Talent Acquisition specialty function.