The (Fight) Recruiting Club Rules

Great talent and great hiring are about getting the best candidates to respond to you. It’s our reality as talent acquisition professionals that we have candidates who apply to our jobs, some of which might be great. We also have to go out and find great talent and find ways to get them to respond to our overtures.

It’s the number one job of every talent acquisition professional. I would argue it might be the only job of talent acquisition. Get great talent to interact with you!

The first rule of Flight Recruiting Club is you need to get candidates to respond!

The second rule of Recruiting Club is you need to keep trying to get talent to respond to you until they actually respond. Wait for a second, Tim! Do you mean we have to reach out to a candidate more than once!? I mean, if they don’t respond to me after my first outreach, that’s their loss! No, it’s your loss! You need that talent!

The third rule of Recruiting Club is you need to interact with candidates in the medium they are most comfortable with. I like it when you text me, most people do. It gets a high response rate. Some folks like email, phone calls, Facebook messenger, hand-written notes, etc. Find all the mediums the candidates like, not your favorite!

The fourth rule of Recruiting Club is it’s not about you. It’s about them! “I’ve got a great career opportunity for you!” How do you know what I want? Stop acting as you know me when you don’t. How about you first to get to know me a little. I mean, a girl deserves at least a drink before you ask her to get married!

The fifth rule of Recruiting Club is subject lines matter. Throw away any subject line that is about you. Spend twelve seconds, actually researching your target, and make a subject line that is about them! I like Michigan State University. If you sent me a subject line that says, “Go Green!” I’m way more likely to respond!

The sixth rule of Recruiting Club is don’t spam people you want to respond to. What’s spam? “HI TIM,” is spam! Your crappy ATS mass email where every word of the email is the same accepts that awful capital letter salutation at the beginning! That’s not personalization, that’s spam!

The seventh rule of Recruiting Club is to be a real person in your outreach. Once you let them know that you know who they are, have a personality, and let them know who you are. Of course, this interaction is about your organization, but the top recruiting professionals make personal connections first with great talent and then introduce them to the organization. “Hey Tim, I see you’re a Sparty fan! I’m a Big Ten person myself as I went to…”

The eighth rule of Recruiting Club is you make “all” candidates fall in love with you until you need to dump them. Great recruiting is like dating. I want you. I want you. I want you. Until I don’t want you any longer. Don’t hate the players, hate the game.

The ninth rule of Recruiting Club is new recruiters always find Unicorns! “Oh, that person won’t be interested in what I have, I mean they work at Google! We aren’t Google…” New recruiters don’t have pre-programmed recruiting biases. They just reach out and offer, rinse, repeat. They “stumble” into great talent because they don’t know any better. We have to work constantly to stop knowing better!

The tenth rule of Recruiting Club is you need to be on the edge to get most candidates to respond. If you’re vanilla in your communication, you’ll get a low and steady amount of replies, and no one will ever, ever complain about your style. If your Strawberry, you’ll get more responses, and every once in a while, someone is going to complain about you. Great talent acquisition lives right on the edge. Not over it, on it.

What’s the first rule of Recruiting Club?

One thought on “The (Fight) Recruiting Club Rules

  1. Great list, Tim.

    Had an experience with Rule #4 the other day. A very experienced Recruiter said, and I quote, “I feel your background would align very well for what (Client) is looking for.” Great – I’m an easy placement for the Recruiter – but why would I be interested? I deleted and did not respond.

    The 11th rule of Recruiting Club could be “Give the candidate at least one reason to jump on a call before you ask them to jump on a call.” Goes along with 4th rule, but a personal pet peeve are recruiters/vendors that ask immediately for a 15/20/30 minute call without giving me a single reason why. I don’t want to fill any outreach/call quotas for recruiters/vendors, I only want to jump on a call if there’s a glimmer of hope that it will be productive.

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