I’ve Been Meaning to Call You

“Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck, your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.” 
― 
Vincent van Gogh

After so many years in this business, the strangest phenomenon I have seen and heard is the fear of the phone with recruiting and sourcing. People are generally afraid of human contact to be it vocal or physical it seems, and I cannot fathom the reasoning in the recruiting world. This phenomenon is not just centered on recruiting though it appears to have seeped its way into everyday life now. There is a portion of the society that is almost becoming hermits or recluses. These folks are now ordering EVERYTHING online from Amazon, Zappos, eBay, and yes even groceries can be purchased online and delivered to your doorstep. We have “online conversations” and “virtual happy hours” through Facebook and Twitter.

Human Interaction Matters

I know that the introverts of the world unite on this subject and probably have never been happier than they are now with the current state of affairs however this is an unfortunate trend for recruiters and sourcers who do the first contact reach out. I was recently at SourceCon in Atlanta and was asked to run a topic table during one of the breakout sessions. I was happy to oblige as the topic was one near and dear to my heart and sharing is caring as they say. I wanted to extoll the information that I had added to my databanks over the years to the up and coming people out there. I was not to be disappointed as the crowd grew and grew to the point I thought I was running a session in one of the halls. The Socratic method way of holding an open forum was and is brilliant as the conversation flowed. There was no arguing a brilliant exchange of ideas, processes, and procedures that some of the OG have used in the past successfully engage with candidates and get them to respond to requests for communication.

We have grown to a new era where, quite frankly, we have come to the age where it is honestly easy to get someone’s contact information online now. There is a multitude of tools, tricks, tips, etc. that can get your information into someone’s inbox but why would they want to chat with you? What are you offering other than what YOU need, not them? Let’s face reality here, with the RPO’s and sourcers out there spamming away the noise becomes just that, noise. There is no real definition of who or what it is that is needed other than the need to fill a roll or be axed. That should change, and I would like to think that it started at that table at SourceCon seeing people writing down feverishly the ideas that were being espoused that afternoon. I have to say at the end of the session it was a great feeling that maybe we all were able to lift each other a little more.

What was Shared That Day?

1)    Subject lines matter – make them fun, exciting, something you would open to see what the message is.

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2)    The subject of what you are looking for issues – Do NOT (-), speak at a potential candidate be inclusive to make it about them and determine the potential of why, based on the information you have, the reason they would be interested in the role.

3)    Instead of pasting a complete job description put in three or four bullet points of what not only what the position entails but also what they would be doing day in and out. There should never be a mystery here I mean why hide what the role is?

4)    Lastly, your signature should be both concise and relatable to the person you are trying to contact. Put in a fun quote or adage that would show you are not a bot or some spammer. Also, add your LinkedIn page URL so they can look you up and determine that you are, in actuality, a real person. This last one goes a long way.

So there you have it, some quick and fun tips for you to chew on in the future if you were unable to make the last conference. Never fear though another SourceCon is just around the corner in March of 2019 and yes I will be there with the usual gang of amazing people who attend every year. I hope to see you there, and if I do, I am expecting, if I do not know you to be human and say hello. I may look gruff, but I am just a big teddy bear. #truestory.

Derek Zeller draws from over 20 years in the recruiting industry. The last 16 years he has been involved with federal government recruiting specializing in the cleared IT space under OFCCP compliance. Currently, he is the Director of Recruiting Solutions for Engage Talent. He has experience with both third-party agency and in-house recruiting for multiple disciplines. Using out-of-the-box tactics and strategies to identify and engage talent, he has had significant experience in building referral and social media programs, the implementation of Applicant Tracking Systems, technology evaluation, and the development of sourcing, employment branding, and military and college recruiting strategies. Derek currently lives in the Portland area. Now, he is the Director of Recruiting Solutions and Channels with Engage.

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