What are the secrets to successful recruiting?
Despite the talent shortage in tech and the very precise job market, we’re having our most successful year recruiting outstanding executives and teams for our clients. We’re often asked, usually in a whisper or over lunch, “how do you do it?” “How did you get that person at Google interested in us, how did you find not one but three candidates that we loved for the role?”
I’m happy to tell you all of our secrets to successful recruiting but you might not like the storyline.
The truth is, being a great talent scout and understanding what the team needs is pretty heavy lifting. It takes a deep understanding of business, tremendous tenacity, a thick skin, courage, and a passion for people and making connections.
It may seem unbelievable, but the top people get several recruiting pings per week. Expert marketing of the opportunity, and an ability to credibly talk about the company strategy, executive team, and role—as a peer—is definitely part of our ‘secret sauce’.
You have 30 seconds or less, while a prospect reads your email in line at the Safeway or in a meeting—recruiters have to project credibility, a passion for the company, the space and have an understanding of the strategy and the competitive landscape. Without that, it’s pretty hard to get people interested in talking to you about a given opportunity.
Momentum is huge; it takes a lot of energy to keep things moving despite travel, other interviews, product deadlines and other distractions.
And contrary to the myth, if you want a perfect fit, there are never enough people in your network–every great recruiter has to network and reach out to people cold. Lots of them– because only about 30%, best case, are going to be interested in what you have to say. And of those interested in you, only a small percentage will ultimately be interesting for the role. It’s rare to fill a role reaching out to less than 50 people, and in some cases, tech roles, relocations, it may require reaching out to hundreds of people.
Great headhunters are wired to make connections. It’s both about who you know and who you can meet to further your network, whether it’s the couple next to me at a wine tasting or the person I called up out of the blue about the CTO role. You are always “on”, connecting people, identifying linkages and commonalities.
If you are having trouble recruiting or you just want to assess your ‘game’ vs. the competition, give us a call, we’ll be happy to share what we know.