ERE’s Andrew Kinzer recently wrote on this topic, considering how smooth operator Barry White might have approached candidates if he were a recruiter. In the interest of saving time, recruiters can be a bit forward, proceeding with all the finesse of a fellow approaching a lady at a bar and telling her immediately he’d like to take her home. Kinzer advises cluing candidates in to what your organization has to offer, but with more refined tactics. He offers three tips for expertly wooing top talent:
- “Wink from across the room.” This could be anything from commenting on the prospect’s blog to re-tweeting a comment or liking a LinkedIn post. The goal is to establish a personal connection, and to do it creatively or at least with some evidence of forethought.
- Introduce yourself and make a solid first impression. This means not cutting to the chase, not making a pitch. That comes later, after the prospect has warmed to you. Do a bit of research and start a conversation about something the client has knowledge of or experience in, without being too specific.
- Make a suggestion. Having engaged the potential candidate and established rapport, you can now offer a suggestion for a position that might fit his or her interests and needs and even offer to make introductions to the right team members in the company.
It’s essential to make a human connection with prospects so that you can “naturally and organically make the offer,” as Kinzer writes. Candidates are people, too!