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4 Ways to Become A Better Startup Recruiter

It’s 2017. And as recruiters, let’s collectively face the truth – cold calls, spammy emails and faded black suits just don’t cut it anymore.

Instead of receiving a spammy or templated reach out message from a LinkedIn Premium account, candidates are looking for recruiters that stand out to them. After all, in today’s tech world the startup talent is in the driver’s seat.

What does all this mean

It means that jobs are being created faster than new candidates are joining the job seekers talent pools. This lets existing talent be increasingly selective about not just which jobs to take, but even which to apply or interview for. And that ties into the fact that it is ridiculously hard for a person to assess how nice/cool/fitting/pleasant/awesome a Startup is just by looking at a vacancy, so details matter. A lot.

That means recruiters need to step up their game. Candidates are in charge these days and recruiters need to stand out.

Here are our tips to do just that! Simple recruiting techniques and how to make them better. 🙂

Start by running your candidate outreach like a targeted marketing campaign — be analytical and look at your response rate (if the numbers are too low, adjust accordingly or try something completely different—and see what happens). Make sure you personalize your message. It takes a lot more time, but is pivotal to your conversion. Especially for the rightprofiles. Pairing your digital sourcing strategy with competitive intelligence methodologies will help you source those candidates that others won’t reach with traditional methods!

If you want potential candidates to reach out to you, the richness of your online presence matters. Be where your audience is. It means that your specialists create a presence & content in their relevant fields: growthhackers.com, dribbble, github, your local (Amsterdam) startup scene. Combined with more fun/emo channels: Insta, Snapchat. It can be managed by an employee with a sense of humor. Think about the last time you dated someone, I bet you researched the shit out of him/her online before you met them. Talent is doing the same thing, before they even contact you.
Ensure you have and respond to various comm channels: mail/message, chat, phone. Make sure all channels fork into your Slack so you respond quickly.

Think outside the box and beyond your website! Next step is to meet them, get a feel. It’s sometimes still scary to apply or accept an invite for a one-on-one. Sometime the best candidates can be attracted through personal relations and where better to start these than physical events. Sponsor or set up a local conference in your area. Also why not help set up a user-group, with regular meetings, for candidates with particular skills. Candidates are much more likely to engage with you if they’ve met you in person! Especially if you know your shit.

Cookie cutter job ads show clearly to the candidate. If you want a candidate to believe your company and your role is truly different, then the posting needs to reflect that. Use examples of happy employees, show cool parts of the startup’s product and use whatever means to bring your posting alive.

To wrap up

Candidates are looking for great companies… Founders & recruiters should be aware how little of their company and the job is visible to the outside world. And what a young generation of startup millennials actually needs to see in a recruiter before they get (back) in touch. It’s a ridiculous time-intensive thing to do; but the only way to safeguard your access to talent. The talent that will make the difference in scaling your company to the next level…