In the day to day world of sourcing (or any line of work, really), we’re often inundated with a “to-do” list that is overwhelming and stressful. Seeing as we’re all human and prone to mistakes when we’re overloaded, we can often make mistakes in our messaging that can derail any candidate engagement before it even has a chance to blossom.
Attention to detail matters in our world, and small mistakes can have not-so-small consequences downstream. So here are some things you can start immediately implementing in your processes to ensure you stand out.
What’s in a Name?
This is the easiest one to control. We’ve found the person we want to reach out to, and have identified a plethora of platforms where they have a profile for us to gather information from. Yet, too often, names get misspelled or the wrong name is put in the message altogether. Those messages are often discarded before they are even read, and that effort is wasted. Take the extra second to make sure you’ve spelled the name right. Additionally, if someone uses a nickname on all their profiles, you should have a reasonable level of comfort using that name. For example, if a candidate uses “Steve” on all their profiles, it doesn’t make a ton of sense for one to approach that person with “Hi Steven”.
Just a Preview
While not everyone has their phone set to alert them whenever they get an email, many people do have emails pop up in their notification center (particularly if they are an iPhone user). Apple will preview up to ~110 characters in the lock screen. Here, you have the opportunity to have the most critical information show up even before the person unlocks the phone and opens their mail app. Use this space wisely to get the most of your first few words to them.
Mail Merge Mania
Mail Merges can undoubtedly save us time, while still having some semblance of being personalized to that individual. However, there’s a great amount of data that goes into mail merges and it’s easy to make a mistake. If you decide to stick with mail merges, (which, in full disclosure, is not my favorite method) be cautious. Investigate to see what types of options are available to you in your CRM or ATS as an alternative.
Keep the Reservation
Too often, we leave candidates in the dust, because they ask us to follow up in “X” months, as they are not ready to move yet. We mention we’ll follow up, and then don’t which can leave some candidates with a bad taste in their mouth. We can TAKE the reservation, but we can’t keep the reservation. When you’re going to follow up, communicate this to the candidate AND make a note of your intent to follow up at aspecific date. This can be done in the way that will best work for you. Maybe that’s in Outlook, or as a task within your CRM system, but there are options you have to keep your word and build trust. Q1/Q2 is usually the end of bonus season, so this is prime time to rekindle that conversation.
Ensure Smooth Handoffs
For many sourcers, we’re tasked with outreach and initial engagement. Beyond that initial engagement, there may be a hand-off to a lead recruiter who will shepherd the candidate through the rest of the process. While we can’t control what other do, we can ensure we’re covering all of our bases. Be sure to talk with the person receiving the hand-off to collaborate on how that will go, so you’re both on the same page. Then when you message the candidate, explain what they can expect with this new person as their point of contact. Always leave a lifeline for both sides, so that they can reach out to you if they need help along the way. That extra touch and security blanket builds trust for you both internally and externally.
Much of how we’re perceived is well within our bounds of control. We just need to make sure we’re conscious of it in our day to day.