13 Jul

In the previous 2 parts, we’ve shown you some of the techniques to copy from expert marketers and employer branding gurs and how you can apply that to attract great candidates. But what about those you find on Linkedin or other business networks you approach directly? You might not have a vacancy right now but there are probably some jobs that you know you’re likely to have to hire at some stage in the next 6-9 months, so it’s a good idea to nurture relationships with relevant people as early as you can. 

To convert them from a prospect on Linkedin to someone who’s added a profile into your talent pool you’ll need to wow them. Frankly you’ll need to give them a reason to want to be in your talent pool so that means not only creating a fantastic, content rich careers site (see last week’s article) but also a landing page that tells them why it’s a great idea to add their profile to your talent pool. With these so called passive or at best ‘luke warm’ candidates you need a way of grabbing their attention immediately. So step forward…...landing pages.

Landing pages - track what works and what doesn’t

So you’re keen to keep your talent funnel stuffed with hot prospects even if you don’t have jobs for them right now. You’ve done a Linkedin search or maybe someone internally has suggested someone they know and you’ve decided to send someone on Linkedin a message. You’ve had no contact with them so it’s about as cold a prospect as you can get. But don’t worry, even the coldest prospect can be warmed up with a well designed landing page which is a great opportunity for you to let your employer branding skills go wild.

In marketing speak, a landing page is a web page that someone will typically come to after they click on an advert, usually with some kind of call to action. If you want to be even more sophisticated as a recruitment marketeer, we’d recommend you create multiple different landing pages. This is exactly what marketers do when advertising. They advertise the product on a website and direct interested consumers to a landing page, rotating the landing page they land on regularly to see which one works best i.e. which one yields the most purchases, sign ups, downloads or whatever it is you want the person to do.  Just make sure the landing page is relevant to who you are targeting. So if you are targeting .net developers the content they spot on this landing page should be related to that field. If you are responsible for hiring across multiple departments you may well have to create 10,15, 20 different landing pages as each different department/job role will require you to trial 2 or 3 different styles. So whereas your main careers site is about employer branding in aggregate (the whole company), your landing page for a potential applicant to join your talent pool should be as specific to that job area as possible.

Again, we’d recommend you work with marketing to create those different landing pages for each different type of person you are trying to attract then message your hot prospects on Linkedin (i.e those you want to get in to your talent pool) and direct them to 1 of your landing pages, making sure each landing page has an easy way for your hot prospect to add their details into your talent pool and make sure it doesn’t take them more than 20 seconds to do so. Ask them to complete any thing more than a few fields and they’ll quickly give up. We would also recommend you don’t force them to send you a cv/resume. If they are not an active candidate they might not have one, so just let them put a link to their Linkedin profile instead. We would recommend little more than a name, email, upload cv/resume tool or field for Linkedin profile, location and type of job. Your landing pages (remember …...you’ll be trialling multiple different ones) should explain to your prospect why it’s a great idea to join the talent pool and should wow them with 2 or 3 killer stats, should have a link back to your careers site and have that easy to use form so they can drop their details into your talent pool. In addition, a 30 second video message from the head of department explaining why you’re a great place to work and what the department does is an absolute must plus a few nice quotations from current team members is really good. That way they can get a feel for who their boss will be, who they might be working with and more insight in to the projects they are likely to be involved with. Remember: don’t send all your different types of candidates to 1 very generic landing page. You must make it at least reasonably bespoke to their area of interest. Employer branding is a flexible thing !

Update a simple excel spreadsheet so you can remember which landing page you sent them to and then you can track the results: i.e  which landing page is working best. So for example if you have messaged 500 sales prospects over the last 3 months and landing page A is yielding twice as many sign ups to your talent pool compared to landing page B you know to work with landing page A in the future. A really modern ATS built around recruitment marketing will have all this built in but if you don’t have that functionality in yours yet, the above will work fine, albeit generating a little more work for you to do.

So they’ve added in their details - now what do you do?

Well first thing you should do is acknowledge it. Send them an email within 24 hours and say ‘thanks for adding your details’. Then, every 6-8 weeks send them something interesting to look at. It could be a profile of a new starter in that job area, it could be an article on the type of projects that department is currently doing or perhaps something on the company as a whole…..’new VC funding / just purchased another company / we’re doing an IPO’...…..it’s up to you, just create stuff that will appeal to them (announcing an IPO should interest quite a few). If you haven’t sent them any jobs to look at, make sure you keep in contact and send them something like...…….’We haven’t had any matching vacancies recently but we haven’t forgotten about you and will send you a suitable opportunity the moment it arises’.

If you can (a good ATS will do this), track who clicks on the links you put in your email so you can see who in your talent pool is actually interested in what you’re sending them. If you send them jobs or general content and they’re not opening them, just remove them and save yourself and them the bother as they are clearly not interested. Clean that talent pool regularly !

What you definitely don’t want to do is capture their details and then just leave them in the dark.

What about a direct, cold approach for a specific job you’re hiring?

If you’ve found someone on a network that you think is right for a role you are hiring right now here’s a 2 stage process to massively increase your hit rate. I’m guessing, like many recruiters you’re regularly on Linkedin pinging out messages……”Saw your profile, wondered if you’d be interested in this role”......with about a 1 in 100 application rate. It’s tough but there are things you can do to stack the odds in your favour.

Firstly when you find someone don’t just ping them an email straight away. Instead you add their name into the prospect section of your ATS ( a decent one will provide you with a specific tracking url), copy the url it gives you into your message on Linkedin and send it out. 

The tracking url will tell you if they opened the link (i.e. looked at the job). If you know they opened the message (Linkedin will tell you that) and you know they clicked through on link but didn’t apply, you know they are at least luke warm. If you know they opened the message and didn’t bother to view the job then cross them off. They are obviously not interested so don’t waste your time or their time messaging them again. But for those that did open but didn’t reply, it’s time to hit them with message 2 and this is where you need to try a little harder. You need to make a personalised video message to them outlining specifically what in their profile you thought was relevant and encouraging them book a 10 minute introductory chat with you. The video you can record through your desktop, add it to your Vimeo account, copy the link and put it in a follow up message to them……’hi….don’t know if you saw my message from last week but we’d love to explore this with you…..I’ve put together a quick video message  so click here, take a look and if you’re interested book a time directly into my diary for a quick, no obligation chat.’  Then make sure you put a link to a system like Calendly into the email so they can book themselves into your diary. If you’re a proactive recruiter you definitely want to get a Calendly account or equivalent system to make it easy to schedule informal chats with those hot prospects.

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