The Art of Conversation: On what platforms will potential candidates respond.

How often do you say to yourself, “Why can’t I get this candidate on the phone? They are perfect for this position!”  Well, let me ask this question. Apart from your friends or relatives, when was the last time you had a meaningful conversation on the phone with a stranger?  If you are anything like me than it has been quite a while. The new age of workers rarely answers their phone on the first call from a number that they are not familiar with. This means you must call, leave a voice message, hope they listen to it, hope they want to respond to you, call you back, hope you’re available to take the return call, etc. Again, if you are anything like me than this really irritates you because the telephone is how you have always communicated in your personal and professional life. WE MUST ADAPT!  Recently, I attended a very interesting seminar on sourcing for candidates and one of the keynote speakers made a statement that has stuck with me since.  He said, “It is not up to us how candidates communicate.  It is up to the candidate.”  Well, where do we connect with these candidates?  Below are 5 different places you can try where candidates may connect with you.

  • Text Message: Believe it or not, this is not as effective as it has once been. You would think it would be a top way to connect. Yes, most candidates do not answer a phone call, but most do have a phone with text message capabilities. Just like answering calls, if a text pops up from a number that is unrecognizable it may still be ignored. With all its negatives, a text message is still worth a try and is sure to be more effective than a phone call.
  • Email: Even an older method than text messaging yet could be a little more effective with the proper subject line. Most candidates would probably have their emails attached to their phones so instant notifications are a probability. This is still not the best method but always worth a try.
  • Facebook Message: At one time this was an untouchable format to reach out to candidates as It was mostly used for social interactions. Now, Facebook is used for EVERYTHING! If you can find a potential candidate’s Facebook page, give it a try. The only issue with Facebook is that the format is kind of a “Been there, done that” thing. Still worth a try for a reach out.
  • Instagram: Much like Facebook, it could be a stretch however worth a try. This format is mostly used for pictures however if you can find a candidate’s Instagram, give it a try. If a picture of something somewhat professional is posted, comment on the contents of the picture. Try and start a dialogue. This may seem farfetched, but worth a try.
  • Snapchat: When I first heard that this is how people are communicating, I laughed. When it was suggested to me that this is a source to be explored when reaching out to candidates, I was in disbelief and completely rejected the idea at first, but then I thought about that quote. “It is not up to us how candidates communicate.” If you stumble on a candidate’s profile, give them a Snap. I am sure at least a few may find it refreshing to see that a recruiter is willing to reach out through this method.

These 5 platforms are not the “End All, Be All” of platforms as I am sure there are more than a dozen that I don’t even know about. The basic idea is that a simple phone call is no longer the obvious way to communicate. At the end of the day, we need that first reach out to be as successful as possible. It is the first step to the building block of filling positions. Good Luck!

By Zack Goldberg | People Science Talent Advisor II


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