5 Things Recruiters Need to STOP Doing in 2015

1. Relying on Emails

Stop Relying on EmailsAccording to a survey of over half a million sales emails sent in Q1 2014, Yesware (an email productivity service) found that if an email is ever going to be opened by it’s intended recipient, 91% of the time it’s opened within 24 hours after it’s been sent. But after 24 hours have passed, the likelihood of an email being opened falls dramatically to just 1.7% and decreases further every day thereafter. Futhermore, on average, it takes 7 days for a email to be replied to. One whole week! I think it’s safe to say, email is officially dying out.

Instead, try: Instant Messaging.

Instant messaging apps have exploded as a means of personal communication, particularly on mobile devices but their take up in professional sourcing is still slow.

We discovered from our research when conducting the 2014 Global Sourcing Survey, that Sourcers in the Asia-Pacific region report the highest usage rates of instant messaging technology, dominated by Chinese owned WeChat (which allows employers to host company pages where candidates can apply for jobs and get status updates on their applications). In the rest of the world, iMesssage (from Apple) and WhatsApp (from Facebook) are the strongest contenders for future use, but current usage of such tools is slow. But while they are yet to really embrace and appreciate what instant messaging tools can do for their sourcing efforts, our survey shows, Asia Pacific might be the market from which other global Sourcers start to take their lead! And if these stats surrounding WhatsApp (currently the 3rd most popular instant messaging tool among Sourcers worldwide) are anything to go by, we hope they start to take that lead sooner rather then later!

Logo-WhatsApp copyStill unconvinced? Then why are Facebook in the process of launching an IM product for the workplace, and LinkedIn in the process of developing one? Answer: because both social network giants have recognised the fact that IM is fast becoming the world’s primary method of communication.

Take this example from our own Johnny Campbell for instance:

I received an IM from a friend this morning asking me if I knew if an event we are both speaking at had organised hotels yet.  So I IM’d the organiser and had confirmation in 2 minutes. [My friend] on the other hand, had sent several emails and received no response. [My friend] reached out to me, I reached out to [the organiser] and it was all sorted in 3 minutes because of IM.

So while it may take someone an average of 7 days to reply to your email, the average length of time it takes for someone to respond to your IM is just 37 seconds. You do the math!

2. Using Boolean

Boolean is DeadThe days of traditional Boolean search are over. And although we’ve been one of it’s biggest advocates for 5 years now, we believe 2015 will spell the end of Boolean search as we know it.

Why? Well, in the past, Boolean was something we needed to get to grips with because technology didn’t support our sourcing aims. In order to find the candidates we wanted, we needed to get clever about how we went about searching the databases available to us. Boolean offered us a way of doing this, but it was tricky and many recruiters still struggle to get to grips with the operators involved in using it.

Instead, try: SourceHub

Now, thanks to the likes of ‘Power CV Search‘ by Monster and our own sourcing tool, SourceHub, struggling to get to grips with Boolean’s many operators and usage rules, is no longer the case. Both products have been developed to negate the need to use Boolean, by implementing taxonomies to perform comprehensive searches for you, based on very little data.

SourceHubFor example, all you need to find great candidates on 12 different social sites including LinkedIn, Twitter and About.me on SourceHub is the title of the job you’re looking to fill, the skills the candidate needs to possess, and the location you’re looking for the candidate in. No ANDs, ORs, or NOTs. Just tell it exactly what you’re looking for, in simple terms, and it’ll do the hard work for you.

The challenge with Boolean today (besides having an in-depth knowledge and understanding of how each Boolean operator works), is being sure you’ve included all the possible keywords and synonyms needed to find the perfect candidate. It would be very difficult to manually replicate and find everything a product like SourceHub or ‘Power CV Search‘ does. They take you straight to the results without all the messing around. Much easier and far more practical!

3. Bitching about Job Boards being Dead

recruiter no-nosIt irks us when recruiters try to sound clever by declaring job boards are dead. Job boards are not dead. And the only recruiters who say they are, are the one’s who can’t write decent job ads. Simple as.

If you want the figures on it, 85% of sourcers use paid sources to advertise their jobs online. Yet, only a small minority (23%) of them are filling more than half of their jobs using these applicants. That’s not because job boards aren’t working as well as they used to, it’s because a whopping 32% of sourcers admit to making no effort to optimise their job ads to be found by job seekers.

Instead, try: Writing better job ads

I don’t think we can stress enough the importance of writing good job ads and the difference it can make to your application rates. Think outside the proverbial box. Don’t be afraid to be different and innovative with your job ads. The more creative and intelligent the job ad, the more creative and intelligent a candidate it will attract.

  • Ask yourself, How would I sell it verbally?

We are at our best when we get to sell personally ‚¬€œ so selling in a personable manner is key. Write your job description as you would sell in-person to a candidate. Entice them with your words.

  • Write it down in layman’s language, and be passionate!

Be explicit about why your ideal candidate should move from their current role to yours. And don’t change the type of language you would use in person. There’s no need for jargon, just straight forward language with a passion behind it.

  • Bold your keywords.

Better job adsHighlighting the important keywords and points in your job spec will improve your applications. Why? Because when candidates read the job description in full, they get a feel for what’s really important and they understand the requirements.

  • Use images

When asked if they would be more attracted to a company with job postings that included visual elements (images or videos), than to a company with postings that didn’t, 51% of respondents said they would be more attracted to a company with job postings that incorporated visual elements.

  • Write the boring stuff

The details are important, but you don’t need to put them front and centre. Menu One lists the price alongside the meal. Menu Two gives you the price after it’s gotten your mouth watering about what you could soon be enjoying. Sell your candidates the opportunity first, and reinforce it with the key details later.

4. Using InMails

Stops using InMailsIf you’re still using InMails as your primary means of communication with potential candidates, you have a lot to learn my friend.

According to the 2014 Global Sourcing Survey, 40% of recruiters who said they used InMails as their primary method of candidate communication reported response rates of just 0%-20%. Which, when when compared to phone users (half of whom reported responses rates exceeding 41%) is pretty poor indeed. And it’s even worse when to consider the fact that LinkedIn is now heavily penalising recruiters with an InMail response rate of less than 13%. Yes, if a recruiter’s InMail response rate drops below 13% on 100 or more InMails sent over a 14-day period they will have their InMail privileges significantly reduced. 

Most recruiters know that personalised InMails garner higher response rates. But a handful of Recruiter users (less than 2%) still send thousands of generic InMails per month. 94% are bulk InMails (one InMail to two or more members) that aren’t personalised to each recipient. Since these InMails are impersonal, they garner low response rates, create a bad member experience, and cause some members to be less responsive to other recruiters’ InMails, which can decrease overall InMail response rates. Long story short, everyone loses.  said LinkedIn in a press release about the recent crackdown. And we would have to agree whole-heartedly!

Smart recruiters are NOT using InMails to contact potential candidates. And if they absolutely have to, they’re making them personal, they’re getting to the point fast and they’re following up with the InMails they’ve sent.

Instead, try: Picking the phone

As we mentioned, when we surveyed over 300 recruiters worldwide, and we discovered that the best response rates from passive candidates were reported by recruiters who use the telephone to reach out on a regular basis. 50% of recruiters who said they used the phone to engage with passive candidates on a regular basis, reported response rates of 40% or more. And none of the  recruiters who used the phone to contact potential candidates, reported response rates any lower than 10%.

PhoneIn contrast, of the recruiters who use LinkedIn connection requests as their primary method of communication with passive candidates, just 22% reported response rates of 40% or more. That means that using the phone is over twice as successful as using a connection request when it comes to engaging passive candidates, meaning that recruiters who use the phone, are twice as productive as those who don’t.

So why aren’t you using it? Well, if you’re anything the majority of recruiters out there, the reason why you often fail this crucial step in the recruiting process in favour of emails or InMails, is because of the fear associated with having a spontaneous conversation with a candidate versus a controlled message sent via email. With an email or an InMail, we don’t get caught off guard. We don’t have to use our brains to think quickly and answer any unplanned questions a candidate might have. With an email, we can take our time to mould our pitch perfectly.

So to help you gain confidence in picking up the receiver we’re giving you Access All Areas to the Using the Phone episode of our Engaging Talent module, where you’ll learn how to find anyone’s email address and phone number, how to tackle the dreaded Gatekeeper, how to determine and stick to your objective during the call and how to close the call effectively so that your response rates rise dramatically. Click here and fill out the form to watch the content for FREE now.

5. Procrastinating about Joining Twitter

Twitter ProcastinationEveryone who’s anyone is on Twitter. But I’m afraid, if you’re still humming and hawing about joining Twitter, I have some bad news. That ship is about to sail and you’ve almost missed the boat.

Despite the fact that you may think Twitter is a new-fangled piece of kit (one you’re not quite ready or scared to jump on board with yet), Twitter is now considered old technology.

Instead, try: Instagram

While it is still worth joining Twitter (because it can be used a fantastic candidate database), it is now advisable to start looking into having a presence on more up and coming social sites like Instagram.

Instagram_logo-2Instagram has 300 million active monthly users. 13% of internet users worldwide are using Instagram (18% of Irish internet users use it), 51% of them are male and 49% of them are female. The average user spends 257 minutes every month looking at it. In the U.S. alone, 53% of adults aged 18 – 29 are using Instagram – a very significant portion of young professionals and young job seekers.  And 30% of U.S. teens (aka, the people you’ll be looking to hire in 2-5 years time) consider Instagram to be the most important social network.

So, I think it’s safe to say that the possibilities for social recruiting when it comes to Instagram are huge! Here’s 5 simple steps for how to recruit using Instagram:

1. Build Your Brand:

As you would with your LinkedIn profile and your Twitter feed, it’s important to show that your brand is professional and that you take Instagram seriously. Make sure you use a high quality profile picture on your Instagram account, as well as filling out all the details on your profile including your company name and website URL. Also ensure you have a company page listed under your company name, which all your employees follow (just to start building the important momentum). Instagram has a Following’ tab which, if the user chooses to view it, will show the actions of the users they follow (i.e. likes, comments and follows) ‚¬€œ you may pick up the odd follower from this tab. Make sure your brand is known and is out there and that you are active.

2. Seek Out the Passive Talent:

Once you have built up a brand, start to look for users who may be fans of your brand, or interested in a similar brand. Find the people who are not actively looking for a job ‚¬€œ 80% of the population is not looking for a job ‚¬€œ and this will allow you to reach a larger set of users and build up your followers. Make sure you comment on their photos, thanking them for sharing your brand, like their photos and maybe even follow them. Don’t follow everyone expecting follow backs, this may become spammy and put users off.

3. Search/Hashtags

To find talent, you have to search, and the best way to search is using hashtags (83% of Instagram posts use hashtags). Searches on Instagram are carried out on username or hashtag, so a search for #Recruitment will bring up these results. When uploading photographs, ensure you use hashtags ‚¬€œ but don’t hashtag every element of the photo and be careful.

Some Instagram users will hashtag too many times on their photo with useless tags ‚¬€œ meaning that a search may only bring up 50% useful results ‚¬€œ don’t be one of the users who spams the tags feed.

4. Locations

Instagram have an interesting partnership deal with FourSquare ‚¬€œ when a user posts a photo, they have an option to tag it to a location (powered by FourSquare’s results). Want to find someone locally? Search for #[location] and then through the Location tags provided on that search, or click the blue link on a photo (the location link) and it will bring up all photos tagged to that location (in the photo above, clicking on Trafalgar Square’ will bring up all photos tagged to that location).

5. Be Active

The last and most important tip is to be active. Be on Instagram daily, being the first on photos of your brand, create a hashtag especially for your brand, and also maybe run a few competitions or contests. This will build your fan-base and allow to see whether the people who like your brand are the people you want to employ.

Being active gives you a wider reach of followers and possible recruitment talent. You can then create photos advertising your open jobs and post these on your account, allowing your wide follower base to apply.

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