I really do enjoy listening to Michael Jackson. His music engages, is all-consuming, and has some dope beats. Show me an empty dance floor when MJ is locked and docked. But enough about MJ.
So my fifth week in and the agency calls are still coming in thick and fast. Some call to congratulate (thanks heaps, really appreciate it), existing suppliers call to introduce themselves (great to speak with you), other suppliers are just doing the rounds and notching up another stat. So lets look at how ‘they make me feel’.
The Thoughtful:– I like you. Usually these are the folks with whom you have relationships with. They appreciate how hectic things are in your first few weeks and leave you be. Typically the conversation is around past and present, a few well wishes and a ‘leave you to it, give us a shout if you need anything otherwise I’ll call in X months’. No sell, just good old relationship building. Some are a little cheeky and ask for a referral back into my previous employer to backfill, and I’m usually happy to oblige. You’re on your game, and I love it.
The I’m Important:– I appreciate their enthusiasm. More often than not, existing suppliers eager to ensure their slice of the pie isn’t given away to the relationships you bring from your former employer. Almost always ensure that you are gently reminded about just how much business they are doing with you and the epic relationship that has lasted longer than the Lord of The Rings Trilogy. You must meet them and you must meet them this very week even though they say “I guess you’re probably very busy…” Somewhere during the conversation I somehow agreed to join a spam list.. oh sorry.. I mean mailing list.
You know the one I’m talking about. The one that is addressed to Undisclosed Recipient, the more savvy catering for a salutation for that little personal touch. The email then goes on to outline their ‘mad skillz’ and super-duper list of highly active candidates….ok this same email applies to The Entroducing (fans of DJ shadow will appreciate that reference). But more about them later. DETOUR
The Candidate Marketing Email. What really is the purpose of this? Recruitment Managers and Owners will say it’s a numbers a game. I say its a relationship game. Why? It’s not personal and makes me feel like a stat. You’re telling me, my company is no different to the rest of our clients. Your telling me, you don’t actually have a clue about how to sell my company over our competitors to candidates. Your telling candidates you don’t actually target, well ok the target is the size of Australia..and you aren’t really interested in tailoring your approach to meet their specific requirements around company values and culture. Yeah yeah yeah I know, it provides organisations an insight into the calibre of people you work with BUT just how specific to my organisation is their calibre beyond technical experience? So for me, the next time you think of sending something like this out to me.. think about the value you are providing me, the service you are providing your candidate and don’t include me on your list. I’m not just another employer.
Now if you were to tailor a more specific email outlining why you thought the candidate/s was better suited to my employer over my competitors, or wanted to work for us, perhaps even discussed their values and how they align with ours… I’d be as excited as dog getting out for a walk.
The Entroducing:– Awkward calls more often than not and last all of 2 maybe 3 minutes. First timers calling in to establish something. Usually have no idea about me, or the organisation and focus on “need any assistance…got any jobs I can fill”. “Cmon, give me a shot”. Here’s a hint, demonstrate your ability to follow-up and provide value through market stats, info, news that I might be interested in. And NO a salary survey does not cut it for me. OH and another secret, some of us have access to REAL Data.. provided by HR departments. Not data obtained from individuals who can and do inflate numbers.
The Leveraged:– aka The Embellished. You know someone in the business who refers you on to recruitment. Somewhere between that call and my call you picked up a few roles and have been doing the biz for sometime now. Not that the hiring manager would admit to it. For whatever reason, there is a sense of right to recruit the role, that permission simply through relationship or should I say referral is granted. Sorry, your job is just as hard now. You’ll need to prove on an on-going basis you have a quality supply, fit for purpose.
I know you are all doing your jobs, and a very hard one at that. I hope that some recruiters read this, challenge their managers the next time they are asked to shove these candidate emails down their clients throats, I mean in boxes and say “No, my relationship with this client is more valuable than this”… if you do, let me know what the reaction is! I hope its positive.
For me, you’ll never get a sale on the first call. Highly unlikely on the second and more than likely on the 5th or 6th call. By then you will have demonstrated tenacity, follow up, quality candidates, market intelligence and I will have remembered you form the hordes of other one offs!