One of the biggest upsides of social and professional networks is that it is now easier than ever before to find and approach potential candidates. Unfortunately, this ability to find and approach so many people can be as much of a liability as it is an opportunity. While some recruiters are carefully putting emails together and working to make sure that everyone they approach is treated like a person rather than a number, other recruiters are spamming dozens of people at a time with cut-and-paste messages about needing a “<insert skill-base here> Jedi/Ninja/Rockstar”. Such mass mailings end up being so tone deaf, so devoid of a personal touch, that they turn entire groups of potential hires off to the idea of being recruited for a new job.

Spam is killing recruiting. Just look at what happens when you type “Recruiters are” into Google.

As an example of the problem spam from recruiters is causing consider LinkedIn. It’s a great network that offers users the ability to stay connected and put themselves out there, but it has started suffering from recruiters who don’t know how to approach candidates the right way. Software developers, a demographic that is constantly in demand, often stop viewing their InMails or even leave the network entirely because of how many bad experiences they have with recruiters and spam.

Other talented candidates outside of software development face similar issues. They have a great skillset, but are tired of being bombarded by thoughtless emails. Consider this: A spam message will likely be ignored by the majority of recipients, with some of them being annoyed enough to block you and even post your spam online. While you might get a few positive responses, the negative repercussions from spamming large groups of people are not worth it. Personalized messaging, on the other hand, is far superior. It might limit the amount of candidates you are able to reach out to, but is far more likely to create a situation where a prospective candidate wants to talk to you.

Rather than spam prospects here are three simple things everyone, even new recruiters and entrepreneurs who haven’t ever recruited before, can take to improve their approach to candidates:

Review a candidate’s online profile before messaging them.

By considering who a candidate is, what they do, and what their interests are you put yourself in a better position to know how they would fit with the job and how you can best approach them. A great way to build your knowledge about a candidate is to search for them on multiple networks. This will give you more information and a broader view. One tip: Make sure you develop a solid understanding of someone’s current job and skillset before you message them. One of the worst things you can do is write an email that makes it look like you don’t know or care about what someone does for work.

Make your message personal

Using your newfound knowledge about a candidate you’ll be able to craft a message tailored specifically to them. Rather than use cut and paste you can instead write an email that recognizes their skills and interests in an appropriate way. Also, be sure to consider whether or not you should talk about a job opportunity right away, or wait until a relationship has been built first.

Make it your goal to get a positive response from everyone

You should write every email with the goal of getting a response – even if that response is “no thanks.” Such a response is still positive because even though someone isn’t interested now they could very easily be interested later. Personalized emails allow you to build up a pipeline for future hires. Spam doesn’t.

Some people, particularly those who are new to recruiting, might say they don’t have time to take these steps. For instance, if you’re running a startup and you’ve just entered the growth phase it can be hard to find time to recruit people in general, much less do it right. That said, if you make the time to tailor your messaging for each candidate you’ll be in a position to better pitch your vision and have people who are fully invested in helping you realize it.

When you move away from spamming candidates you’ll find that you generate a higher volume of quality candidates in the long run. You might technically be reaching out to a lower number of people, but you’ll be getting better responses for jobs you’re trying to fill now as well as building up a pipeline with candidates who will be interested in a switch in the future.

Spam might be killing recruiting, but personalized messaging is the way to save it.

How Hello Talent can help:

With Hello Talent you can improve your messaging to candidates by aggregating information about them in one easy to organize place. Include links to blogs and social networks, leave tags and comments, and store contact information to make sure you are able to communicate with candidates the right way.

In addition to helping you build better profiles of prospective candidates Hello Talent also makes it easy for you to store and organize their profiles in talent pools. This allows you to work on your pipeline for jobs you need to fill now, and in the event a candidate says “no thanks”, put them in pipelines you want to work on later.

Finally, if you haven’t added our browser extension for Google Chrome you can use this link here. This tool will allow you to add profiles to your talent pools from any website you might find them online.


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