This is the million-dollar question for recruiters, isn’t it? 

For seven years now I’ve been approaching people on daily basis to try to recruit them. 

I’ve done everything a recruiter can do; from cold calling to LinkedIn in-mails, connection messages, personal emails, and even in person! I’ve made a lot of mistakes, mainly during my first years in the field but these helped me to learn and become a much better recruiter.

In today’s blog, I share how I successfully approach and connect with people (and I have around a 45% response rate!). 

My favorite way to approach people is via email to their personal email address (never the work one!). I use Lever Nurture campaigns to create a sequence of 3 emails, the first is sent immediately, the second a week after, and the last one a month after the first one was sent out. 

For those who do not know, some Applicant Tracking Systems like Lever, for example, allow you to handle also the sourcing strategy, this is a great functionality if you have a heavy sourcing activity. However, if you are using a less sophisticated ATS, you can find specific software to get this done, such as, 

In these emails, I try to personalize as much as I can, including; their current company, previous workplaces, universities they attended, specific training/certificates, and specific blogs they wrote. For engineers, it is great if you mention a repo they published or contributed to on GitHub and the number of stars and forks of that repo. At least I include 4/5 personalization fields. 

Besides, make sure there are links to; your workplace, a specific project/job description, the LinkedIn or GitHub profile of the people they will work closely with or even the founders, and a link to book you in! (I use a Calendly one). 

The tone of voice must be super friendly and respectful. Think that that person is most probably happily employed and not looking for anything new. 

Investigate a bit their current workplaces and try to see what they could be missing (remote-friendly workplace, fewer herarchies, more autonomy, smaller teams, more opportunities to promote faster, more quality of life, etc.). Think about something: no workplace is perfect! People can always be happier, so try to find those pain points and focus on how your company improves them. 

If there is no response after the last email. I wait 3 months, and then I send them a reminder that we’d love to connect with them. If they reply saying that it is not the moment for a change, I thank them, ask them to connect on Linkedin and Twitter, and subscribe to the company’s blog and I schedule a new email 6-10 months later, just to see how things are going and if there’s been any change since we spoke. 

Nurturing is really important, build rapport with the people you speak with!

Another way to approach people when their personal email is not findable is through Linkedin inmails. This is my least favorite way as it has not worked that well for me in the past. Unless you use Linkedin Recruiter, inmails are very expensive, and I found they just work ok for junior candidates, or mid-level, in the sales and marketing field. 

There is one way I use very often on Linkedin, and it works pretty well with almost any kind of audience. Connecting with people with a nice note. 

You can invite relevant potential candidates to connect with you with a nice message (trying to personalize a bit), and once they accept your connection request, then you can tell them more about the opportunities you had in mind. 

I like this approach when approaching an audience that will be always relevant to me (for example, if I work in the tech industry, I’d like to grow my network with software engineers, digital marketers, customer success, etc. 

And voilà! Those are the tips I wanted to share with you today. 

Recruitment is a science, and nothing works for everyone forever. Every day I experiment, try new things, look at data, and this helps me improve little by little.