By Dan Nuroo, Recruitment Manager IMA
Sourcing Rocks… there I said it! I am a sourcing groupie, yes I am. I have a T-Shirt at home signed by Bill Boorman, Glen Cathey and Jim Stroud… yes I am that sad. But with all this cool amazing stuff that these guys do, and their kinsmen and women across the world, there seems to be a missing link of sorts.
You will/can read blog after blog about Sourcing techniques, and how to guide on digging up rocks a world away to uncover that irresistible gem. The talk of data mining, money-ball and every one of those cool little apps, toys, tools, whatever you want to call them is kind of exciting for me.
However, I feel one topic is missed a lot in this space. Talking to someone.
It’s all well and good to have found the lair of the purple squirrel, but you still have to be able to “seduce” or convince them that the lair you have in mind is a better lair than theirs. These purple squirrels may be quite happy with their lair, the benefits that that affords them and they may well be sick and tired of people knocking on their door, or at least looking in their windows and dropping the Google pin on their location.
Having the knowledge of where people are without the skills and ability to talk to them is akin to “having 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife” (Sorry bad 90s music flashback)
This isn’t a sexy topic for the Recruitment Geeks out there. Sorry. But it is an essential part. You can write the best algorithms in the world, universe… whatever! But if you can’t bring that damn horse to water and make him drink the cool aide you have prepared, then it means diddly squat! (Did I use enough cliches there?)
There is one part of the Recruiting process that, no matter what you do or how you do it, it just cannot be ignored. Talking to someone! whether it be via an email, an InMail, a tweet, a message on an IP3 player sent to their home, a hand written letter sent to their house or “god forbid” a phone call. Somewhere in the process communication, one on one must happen.
I wasn’t a big believer in scripts in the early part of my career, I thought it was too “tele-marketingy”, just as I didn’t believe in practicing for an interview before hand. Yes I was young and dumb. It’s not that I want you to have a word for word script, but II want you to have an idea of what you are going to say before you pick up the phone. I want you to have a written down, hot button pushing, objection handling, document you can refer to if/when the conversation gets awkward. Some well thought out crafted phrases that you know are almost guaranteed to pique the interest of most warm blooded humans.
“If I could show you that this move would be a step ahead (a positive career step, or other words to that affect) in your career, would you be interested in exploring this further?”
One of the tricks or things to remember here, is whilst you may well be calling about a particular job, and you may be in the situation where you REALLY need this person, you need to start the relationship off on an equal playing field. Too often you see Recruiters, diving straight into the “I”ve seen your profile on LinkedIn and I know you will be perfect for this job, can we meet so I can get you in front of my client? please/? pretty please??” (OK so I may have added the pretty please for effect. Sue me)
Use phrases and utilise you confidence to ensure the prospect knows you are on the same level as them and effectively you are doing them a favour by calling them. REMEMBER you aren’t offering them a job. You’re calling to explore if there would be any synergies between their career aspirations are and what you could possibly offer them in the job/role you’re working on. It’s more like a blind date to set up a first date. You qualify! The much loved phrase of salespeople across the world (ABC “Always Be Closing”) doesn’t work here. It takes time and trust to build relationships. Don’t rush, and don’t be afraid to walk away.
This phrase, however you put it, at least gets a conversation started. And that my friends is what Recruiting is all about. “It’s all about the conversation” The tools will only get you so far. Somehow you have to manufacture a dialog. Twenty seconds of bravery to start a conversation with a stranger you’ve never met, I know it can be scary, but the rewards can definitely be worth it.
The tools and tricks, Boolean strings, new apps, bright new shiny objects etc are all awesome. But to be honest, if I tried every single one of them, or bought everything on offer a) I wouldn’t get anything done and b) I’d have no budget but c) I would have a bucket load of fun!
MY 3 C’s for success in talking to people you have unearthed in your Sourcing fun.
Remember these and more importantly use them and your life as a Sourcer or a Recruiter will be way more fulfilling. Promise