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Master The Art of Closing Top Talent Within Your Pipeline


Close top talent within your pipeline

OK, so you’ve built a quality pipeline full of perfect-fit candidates, and your on-point employer branding content is keeping them aware of the amazing benefits of your company as an employer.

But there’s still work to be done.

Just because your target candidates love the values of your company, and on some level would love to be a part of what you guys do, it doesn’t mean that they’re automatically going to engage with you once an opportunity arises.

So– to make sure, once the positions you’ve been planning for become open, we’re going to take you through a couple of the candidate closing skills that will make a massive difference to ensuring that candidates you’ve pipelined engage with you and consent to be shortlisted.

1. Choose the Right Medium

Everybody probably has their preferred medium of communication. You may be an email wordsmith like 14% of the recruiters we surveyed, or you could be a savvy phone operator like 5% of your peers. Or you may be in InMail maestro like a massive 41% of recruiters. Or you may, in fact, be a lucky all-rounder. But speaking in the plain terms of response rates, some methods of communication always outperform others. Reaching out to candidates by phone was a clear winner, with 28% of responders rating their response rates via phone as either high or very high, compared to 16% for InMail, 15% for Linkedin connections and 10% for email.

So if you want to see a return for your efforts, pick up the phone and avoid emailing.

Related: Download the Global Recruiting Survey to compare yourself to thousands of recruiters

2. Time it Right

If email is your only option – the time of day that you choose to contact candidates also has a massive effect on your response rates. Everyone probably has their own theory about the optimal timing for emailing candidates but a study undertaken in 2014 by found that the best response rates were to emails sent early in the morning, 6 am – 9 am, and late in the evening 6 pm – 9 pm.

During these times, people have fewer distractions and are less hurried and so your email is much more likely to get their attention.

3. Emotions Drive Actions

Descartes Error by Antonia Demasio

Descartes Error by Antonio Damasio

You could probably be forgiven or assuming that the best way to drive someone to action is to present the most logical and well-built argument, but in 1994, in his book titled “Descartes’ Error”, the renowned neuroscientist Antonio Damasio put forward his discovery that the primary driver of people’s actions are emotions, not logic. So, for you, as a recruiter trying to persuade people away from their current jobs and into the positions you are currently trying to fill, this means that greater success will come from appealing to prospects on an emotional level rather than on a logical level.

So instead of telling candidates about your company’s turnover, or your plans for expansion, try to utilise one or more of the below emotional triggers;

Fear: Don’t get left behind
Belonging: Be a part of an organisation that matters
Competition: Be the envy of your network
Trendsetting: Be among the first to bring your skills into this industry
Guilt: Your skills can help us reach people badly in need of help
Value: We’ll offer the peak salary and benefits for your skill level

4. Ask, Don’t Tell

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

When reaching out to candidates to pitch your job – it’s tempting to say as much about the job as possible, to squeeze in as many selling points as you can. But the best way to make sure you engage your prospects is not about selling the job, it’s about asking questions. In particular, emails that ask 1-3 questions are 50% more likely to get a response than those that don’t.

Furthermore, when we ask someone a question, it switches their mode of thinking to what Daniel Kahneman describes in his book, “Thinking Fast and Slow” as being “System 2” thinking. This is a slower, more purposeful type of thinking, the type of thinking we need to utilize when we undertake tasks that require some mental effort, like parallel parking or weighing up the pros and cons of choosing one product over another. When we’re in this mode of thinking were also more susceptible to persuasion, so when we ask our prospects questions as we pitch the role to them, we switch them into “System 2” thinking and as a result, they become more receptive when we tell them about the role.

5. Measure for Success

As you develop and implement your talent pipelining strategy, it’s important that you gather the metrics around the hires you’ve made from your pipeline. This starts with simply tagging in your ATS system whether a position was filled by a pipelined candidate. Doing so will allow you to demonstrate to your business the advantages of talent pipeline when it comes to some crucial hiring metrics such as

  • Time to fill
  • Time to hire
  • Quality of hire
  • Cost per hire
  • Offer acceptance rate

This will help you to get further buy-in from hiring managers and other stakeholders as you continue with your talent pipelining strategy.

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