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Mistakes in approaching candidates in IT recruiting #2

Trying to sell from the very beginning

 – what  you want  to get with the initial message  is just a reaction – 

              I had the opportunity  to  see dozens, maybe hundreds of  messages  sent  by  recruiters from different countries  and  cultures. I wasn’t  surprised  to  see striking similarities.   Not only  did they contain too much information, for a first message,  but  most of all, they were trying from the very beginning  to  convince the developer  to  take the job. And I think that is  wrong.

Let’s be clear  from the start: recruitment is sales, and sales means serving your customer through decision building process! What works in sales should work in IT recruiting.

By selling, if I would  like  to  reduce  the definition to the essence, I mean the construction  of a decision-making process for customer, towards a product or a service that  must  necessarily address a need, problem or a goal. Without this direct relationship between the product  and the  customer’s need, the sales process is next to a scam.

What does it mean when I try  to  sell from the first stage with the approaching message? It means I am cluttering my candidates with information that they should process so that I can obtain from them a positive decision. Thus I try to  to  convince  the developers that my job is  what  they looking for and  is right for them at this point in his career. To  make  sure I am compelling, I throw away all the information in the first place. How do I do that? I try to them  in a very positive light.   In such situation I would think this  will get me a positive decision from my candidates. In reality we believe only in the things we conclude, and not in the things  we  are told. I repeat: we believe  what  we conclude, not  what  we are told!

We believe only in the things we conclude, and not in the things  we  are told

For those who already have good solid sales experience  and  know  what it means  to  help a customer take a positive decision about their product,  it is  already clear how such an approach, trying  to  sell  with the first  message,  is  wrong.

              Convincing a customer is talking 20%,  and listening,  80%.

I cannot stress enough the importance of the second: listening 80% of the whole conversation. If I try to sell with the  first message,  I would make a fundamental  mistake  of talking too much about the job I want  to promote, regardless  of my candidates’ interests, goals  and problems.

Thus, I would fall into the fallacy of having unrealistic expectation from my first touch point with my candidates. Many recruiters think it is a good strategy to say almost everything from the very beginning and not probe the interest of the developer towards the conversation and the presented job. This is  due to the fact that  the closing a job is  considered a matter of  statistics of large numbers. You should contact enough candidates so that, probabilistically, you will get enough positive answers that you can rely on that will lead to a recruitment. The worst part is that such a strategy, from the point of view of the recruiter, can sometimes work. The basic condition:  hard work! After all, anything is possible with enough perseverance.

Why do I say that when it works, it’s a bad thing?  Because it  hides  from the recruiter the  very  high  costs that this strategy has: to  count the candidates not as a  community  (in which you evolve  professionally, you develop, to which you come back), but as a database. I would obtain  by  aggressive  approach type „sale from the first message”  10 developers who are willing to talk to  me, and through the process I managed  to  alienate  and  make myself  ignored by 10 times  more  of them, to which I will hardly  manage  to  come back  later on and get a response.

What’s to be done? Count the first message as just a touch point, an introduction by which under no circumstances do you want to make a sale or to close the project with that developer, but only to get a reaction, a minimum interest by which your candidates will tell you that they want to know more of your offer. Even if it seems to you that the whole process will be extended, and that you will find it harder to reach out to a sufficient number of candidates, you will see that out of fewer candidates contacted you will manage to have many more discussions that will give you a better conversion.

On top of that, you will be perceived as being more polite, with respect to your candidates and you will succeed and have more relationships with more developers and by doing so you will gain trust their eyes.

Don’t rush, build  your introduction, ask for permission to interrupt, be curious and listen, gain trust from your candidates one step at a time.

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