When Checking a Reference, Don’t Just Check a Box — Use Data, Too

By Veronica Scrimshaw

Javid_color3Today’s guest blogger is Javid Muhammedali, Vice President, Product Management Technologies for Monster. Since 2008, Javid has led the team responsible for Monster’s search and match products on the global platform and has led Monster’s Semantic Search product management team to launch multiple products in the US and around the globe. 

A good recruiter uses references as part of the hiring process. Seems simple enough. But, paired with the right technology, the reference can become so much more than a form-filling phone call.

The purpose of contacting a job candidate’s references is to further get to know them, their past accomplishments, strengths, areas to improve, and previous employers. This way, if and when further conversations with that candidate are had, there can be a rapport and a truer level of understanding. A better connection.

There are inherent problems with this model. First of all, a recruiter may not be familiar with the candidate’s prior industry or space. Second, without enough background information, the recruiter can only ask rudimentary questions — Did he meet his deadlines? How would you rate this candidate on a scale of one to seven?

So why not couple this with relevant data?

With predictive analytics and the new semantic tools we have at our disposal, the guesswork, the fumbling for answers, and then having those answers miss the target are mitigated if not eliminated completely.

For example, in one scenario let’s say the candidate and reference worked at Acme Healthcare. With analytics, a recruiter can find out more relevant information about the company — titles, skills, top locations broken out by skill-set, etc. — to help give context to the call, and have a more natural conversation, rather than reading from a script.

In a second scenario: The candidate is being hired for “capture management,” a specific skill-set which involves increasing the probability of earning business opportunities — analytics would help a recruiter ask about contract management, RFPs, and get a good sense of how they helped win the deal.

In any pool of candidates there will be candidates who don’t fit, people who do, and then a group in the middle. A recruiter’s job is to work his way toward the group of best fits as efficiently as they can. Reaching out to a reference short of accompanying data and analysis is a huge opportunity lost.

Instead of allowing this portion of the life cycle to be a waste of your time, let the reference work for you. This aspect of recruiting can and should be an important tool in the toolkit, not just a checklist item or something upon which a recruiter relies solely on feel.

Inherently, recruiting is an inexact science. And a final nod from a trusted third party — who does have real working knowledge of this candidate — feels safe, and carries a lot of value. Often, the reference is someone in a more senior or supervisory role, who has a more strategic perspective on business needs and can provide added assurance to the hiring manager.

Will you end up with a good fit through a reference without data? Sure, it’s possible. But why fly blind if you don’t have to. During that data-less conversation with a reference — Does the candidate work well with others? — and following that pre-ordained yes, of course he does answer, think about all the information you’re not getting. After all, if you have a knowledgeable call with a reference, it could well become a warm lead for next time!

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Recruitment Reading Round-Up

By Veronica Scrimshaw

airport-readingToday I’d like to share two blog posts and a magazine article in a recruitment reading round-up:

Agency recruitment is not dying. It’s growing!
Greg Savage doesn’t mince words when it comes to naysayers, pooh-poohers, and others who cheerfully proclaim the imminent demise of agency recruitment. Sales, profits, temp staffing, and direct placements are all up significantly in Australia/New Zealand. Similar stats have also been reported throughout the UK. Temp staffing in the US has reached a new all-time high. Heck, even the results of our own business barometer indicate improved business conditions for recruiters across our global network. Yes, recruiting will continue to change and recruiters who wish to remain successful will need to evolve and adapt. BUT, it’s a great time to be in recruitment. Don’t let anyone tell you differently!

Mobile Technology for Busy Recruiters
New recruitment technology crops up on an almost-daily basis. This blog from Social Hire offers a good rundown of the kinds of recruitment tech you should be incorporating into your business. They focus on just five areas: mobile-friendly websites, candidate-friendly Facebook pages, video interviewing, online feedback tools, and recruiting apps. Google will be releasing a major update to its mobile algorithm about a week from now, which is widely expected to have a significant impact on search rankings for sites that are NOT mobile-friendly. If your site includes Flash video (not supported on many mobile devices), difficult-to-tap links, and can’t easily be read or used without a lot of pinching and zooming, expect to see a drop-off in your search rankings. The most interesting quote I’ve heard about mobile is “Mobile is a behavior, not a device.” People behave differently on a mobile device than they do in a desktop environment. Make sure you’re catering to those needs.

Asked to Lower Your Prices? Try These 5 Answers
While this article from Inc. magazine definitely has a product focus, as opposed to a service such as recruitment, the suggestions are still germane. Recruiters are constantly asked/pressured to lower their fees, and often give in. It’s difficult for me to believe that other professional service providers (like attorneys and accountants) either experience this pressure, or give in to it. Imagine your attorney’s reaction if you asked for a refund because a legal decision didn’t work out in your favor! I’ve written on this subject before, and my opinion hasn’t changed. The article from Inc. offers some great responses, such as, “Are you sure the product is exactly the same?” that can be the start of a conversation that gets to the real issue (which is often value, not price).

What’s the best recruitment reading you’ve done lately? Please share in the comments below.

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30-Year Perspective on Recruiting

By Veronica Scrimshaw

DeathtoStock_Creative-Community1-300Today’s guest blogger is Bill Benson with WilliamCharles Search Group located in Grand Rapids, MI. WilliamCharles is an executive search and professional recruiting firm specialized in finding managerial and executive talent in finance, HR, operations, sales/marketing as well as president/CEO roles. They have a concentration of clients in Michigan but they also work across the US. Bill is the secretary/treasurer of the NPAworldwide Board of Directors.

I am often asked…. how do I stay interested in recruiting after being in the business over 30 years. I thought I would share how I keep things fresh, stay productive and relevant while continuing to love my work!

I think we all want to believe that we are spending our time doing something that matters. Please accept and understand that you do important work! Recruiting is noble work. We help connect people in ways that make a difference in the lives of our candidates and we make a difference with our clients through the impact of hiring the right people.

Spend your time doing the work you enjoy. We might all have aspects of the job that we dislike. This is true of any job. Recruiters can find ways to make money and be successful doing the business in different ways. If you love the “hunt” for that right candidate, then don’t hand over that side of the work entirely.  If you love client development and dislike the hunt (or grind) for candidates, then find someone to partner with you. For me…maintaining involvement in both areas keeps me more interested and engaged.

Find ways to renew. For me, attending the annual NPAworldwide Global Conference gives me a fresh perspective every year. Vacations are great for a break, but getting out of the office and attending a professional meeting will give you a refreshed outlook and attitude toward your work.

Balance. I have found over the years that volunteering in community and professional organizations has helped me add needed dimensions to my professional life. We all need new learning, new mentor relationships and variety to stay sharp. Balancing work life with personal life is also a key to staying interested. No one looks back from the end of their life and wishes they had worked more. We all need part of our identity wrapped into our outside relationships and interests. Recruiting is a great profession where we can make good money and keep a flexible schedule. Go to your kids’ soccer games!

Don’t get too high when things are going great and don’t let yourself get low when you are in a slump. This business is a roller coaster. The fastest way to burn out is failing to understand this basic reality. Keeping an even keel will give you a sustainable attitude and approach toward your work.

Don’t worry. Despite the noise…third party recruiting is not going away. BountyHunter, Job Scout, RPO’s, Recruiter Uber etc., etc. will not replace the need. I remember when Monster was going to do away with third party recruiters. It is important to find your niche, add value and build client relationships. Client relationships will help you sustain your business in the long run but it is not the only way. Getting very deep in a particular niche is another way. Mostly…hard work sustains success.

Hopefully, some of these thoughts from a (young) old timer will give you some new perspectives. What can you add to the list?

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Call Three Times

By Veronica Scrimshaw

MaureenToday’s guest blogger is Maureen Sharib, owner of phone sourcing company TechTrak, Inc. See the end of this post for more information about Maureen, including contact details.

A recent tweet at a spring sourcing conference bleated alarmingly during one of the earliest presentations; it just so happened to be during the phone sourcing presentation.

It sounded defensive:

“What professions are likely to pick up the phone versus respond to other ways?”

I looked at the tweeter’s profile and saw that she was tasked with sourcing and contacting developers.

I get the defensiveness; it’s hard getting developers to answer their phones.

There are, however some professions that do pick up their phones when you call, more readily than others.

Before I go into those let me say that developers weren’t always so gun-shy. Used to be they’d answer their phones – before they were bullet-riddled by the side effects of social media and were way more amenable than they are today to having a conversation.

But then – ten, fifteen twenty years ago many were of a different generation too and they communicated in a different way. They were accustomed to telephones ringing and they grew up in environments that saw their parents answering telephones and conducting business on the phone.

That isn’t so much the norm today – especially in high tech.

For this discussion we’re going to veer away (mostly) from high tech and talk about many of the other professions where people still communicate “on the phone.”

When I talk about “answering the phone” I’m speaking of someone answering their phones within a space of you calling them approximately three times. Many of you would be happy to reach a potential candidate within three calls – wouldn’t you?

For those of you who are surprised it’s necessary to call someone three times – don’t be.

Most of you wouldn’t not email someone three times (if required/pushed to) though I’d bet the majority of you don’t do this either. Did you know you have to email someone (a stranger) five times before some of them will respond? And that’s just some of them? Many find that number hard to believe but it’s true.

Recruiting (and sourcing) isn’t a piker’s game; it requires not just skill and know—how but also perspicacity, audacity and tenacity!

So who answers their phones?

Finance professionals answer their phones. Answers regarding finance tend to require immediacy and this may have something to do with the better average than the normal 8 out of 10 answer ratio encountered in some departments.

Health care professionals tend to answer their phones if they’re in the office – the trick is in knowing when they’re in the office. Some work three or four very long days a week or on weekends or nights so you have to be prepared to adapt to their schedules if you want to reach them.

Workers in manufacturing answer their phones (if they have one) and again – be prepared to adapt to their schedules. Some manufacturing environments run two and three shifts so you may find yourself calling a third shift Sanitation Manager at three a.m. in the morning!

For a list of 12,000 jobs and job descriptions go here and read through them: http://www.careerplanner.com/Job-Descriptions-DOT/A.cfm

Not only will many of them give you ideas on different professions that are likely to pick up their phones but in the descriptions you’ll also find the reasons why they do this.

For instance, in this one – the Hydraulic Engineer, the job description states that this person:

  1. Designs and directs construction of power and other hydraulic engineering projects for control and use of water: Computes and estimates rates of waterflow.
  2. Specifies type and size of equipment, such as conduits, pumps, turbines, pressure valves, and surge tanks, used in transporting water and converting water power into electricity.
  3. Directs, through subordinate supervisors, activities of workers engaged in dredging, digging cutoffs, placing jetties, and constructing levees to stabilize streams or open waterways.
  4. Designs and coordinates construction of artificial canals, conduits, and mains to transport and distribute water; and plans reservoirs, pressure valves, and booster stations to obtain proper water pressure at all levels.
  5. Frequently builds laboratory models to study construction and flow problems.

There’s a lot of “design” and “estimating” and “computing” and “direction” and “build” and “specifying” and “planning” and “directing/coordinating” going on in that resume, many activities which are generally done in two places: 1) at a desk and 2) in a field.

By thinking like your prey – becoming like your quarry you can imagine what is done when (generally) and plan your hunting activities accordingly. Call in the morning with the anticipation that this person will be at their desk. Call in the afternoon and anticipate this person maybe being in the field – taking an assumptive attitude with a Gatekeeper may be just what it takes to get through to this person on the first call:

Is Bob Martin in?
Oh? He’s not? Is he out in the field already?
Can you give me his cell? I don’t have it.

She won’t always give it to you but she will sometimes and if you’re calling twenty Bob Martins and she gives you ten of them there’s a very good chance eight of them are going to answer your call to their cell phones.

When she doesn’t give it to you it sounds like this:

Is Bob Martin in?
Oh? He’s not? Is he out in the field already?
Can you give me his cell? I don’t have it.
Oh? You can’t? Can you transfer me to him?

Some of them will transfer your call and again, there’s a very good chance some of those Bob Martins will answer that call being transferred to their cell from the office.

Take your time and peruse that Jobs Directory and read through some of those job titles and job descriptions. You have 12,000 to choose from – sure, not all of them will be the kind of positions you may want to recruit or source in but I’m quite sure there are enough in there to light a fire in your imagination about some that will be more than happy – more than willing to answer their phones and take a call from a recruiter- or a sourcer – like you!

***

I really appreciate that you took the time to read my post. I regularly write about phone sourcing and business development issues and trends. If you’d like to read more about the mysterious world of phone sourcing (it’s really not that mysterious!), Google my name and the word gatekeeper – lots of articles will come up for you that I’ve written over the years. It’ll be a good introduction for you to the subject!

Follow me on Twitter at @MaureenSharib and/or join my sourcing group on Facebook – Sourcers Unleashed.

Yes, I do (grudgingly) have a LinkedIn profile – send me an invite at maureen at techtrak.com – I’ll accept. I do post articles over there as well.

I own the phone sourcing/competitive sniffing firm TechTrak.com, Inc. that helps companies find and telephone contact candidates for their hard-to-place positions at fractional traditional recruiting costs.

You can always contact me at 513 646 7306.

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Wealth Management Recruitment Remains a Need

By Veronica Scrimshaw

investing-stocksToday’s guest blogger is Liz Carey, network coordinator for NBN, operators of www.searchbankingjobs.com and www.searchaccountingjobs.com. NPAworldwide and NBN merged in September 2014, and our two networks are working toward a full integration effective January 1, 2016. We look forward to having Liz as a regular part of our blogging team.

Opportunities to hire wealth management talent are increasing because there’s more talent on the market due to layoffs and attrition, salary levels are normalizing, and, there’s an ever-evolving need and demand for financial advisors.

“People are more aware of the need for financial advice,” said Dave Glaser of ECG Resources, a national executive search firm focused on wealth management. “Baby boomers are growing up – there’s a higher level of need out there. Also, the average age of a financial adviser is near retirement, and there are not enough new people to fill in that gap.”

Glaser said despite the overall growth in wealth management – including credit, lending, and other categories that fall under the umbrella – ECG is “hyperfocused” on High Net Worth (HNW), which hovers around $1-10M, and Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW), which is a $25M+ net worth and above, though the terms are relative.

“We see clients dealing with Goldman Sachs, clients who are multi-billionaires… in a good market, obviously financial advice is key for those people,” he said. “The reality is, even if it’s a down market, someone who has a quarter billion dollars and gets hit hard and now only has 100 million, they still need financial advice. And for all those reasons, the market is definitely growing.” All segments of the market are growing, such as RIAS, multi-family offices, and even single family offices – though that’s a tricky market, Glaser said.

“It has a lot of appeal to it,” Glaser said. “Single family offices are easy to recruit for – it’s easy to pick up candidates for it, but it’s a tricky market. We had 3 searches for SFOs last year, one was filled and two were put on hold. It’s not a corporate structure; it’s an individual, so they can change their mind.”

Because the market is growing, search firms are experiencing unprecedented years. Glaser said ECG has double revenues over the past year, has almost doubled staff, and has rolled out a new website. In the first quarter of this year, they are ahead of last year, and are projecting growth going forward.

But it’s not easy, he said. Wealth management is a relatively small close market — it takes work to gain the confidence of a client and to find the right people for those clients, Glaser said.

The real need is candidates coming in from either a strong ethical background with experience in ethical work — including estate planning, CFPs, attorneys, and CPAs who have diverse background — or financial advisors coming from the investment side – such as an RA going into HNW space, such as an estate planning professional, tax planning professional, investment advisory, diversified financial planning, relationship management, and business development officers.

In addition to wealth management experience, companies want candidates with interpersonal client skills. Glaser, who has been recruiting for nearly 37 years, said the wealth management recruiting world has changed – clients are not just looking for someone who’s really technical, he said, they want candidates with client-facing skills and some new business skills – someone who’s not afraid to ask for referrals.

Those that are recruiting are being very selective, and becoming increasingly essential is the acceleration of growth in performance of newer advisers and encouraging long-term retention with incentives.

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Is the Impact of the Strong US Dollar Good or Bad for Recruitment?

By Dave Nerz

dollar-bill-med-resYou knew it was coming…it depends. Particularly as an independent recruiter, you have to read the tea leaves carefully.

The strong US dollar makes the things the US imports cheaper, so it should drive up production from off shore producers. Cars made in Europe and Asia are getting cheaper with each percentage point of growth for the dollar. If you do international recruitment, there should be increased demand for employees in manufacturing jobs overseas. If you have global employers as clients, ask them where they are adding the most people. Work with partners to fill those global openings. Global recruitment should see a nice increase in the year ahead.

Since the US is a consumer economy, the typical US citizen will have more to spend and will have a better standard of living because of the growing strength of the dollar. More employees and candidates will want to work for US companies and get paid in US dollars. In time, people will feel better about their situation and perhaps be more open to career moves. This is the time to search for the passive candidates in your globally branded source employment companies. Folks tend to hold on tight to what they have in a declining economy; the opposite is true when things go well. Over the long haul, too much strength will make US domestically-built products too expensive to those outside the US and employment in manufacturing may again begin to shift to offshore production facilities. Yes, the cycle starts all over again.

The weaker an economy is, the more a strong currency creates and spells trouble ahead. The good news is that the strong dollar may reduce the demand for US products and slow the inflationary effects of a warming economy. That is drawing good news from bad!

What is the current state of the US economy? It is not at a historically strong benchmark. The major reason for the strong dollar is the falling Euro, Japanese yen, Australian and Canadian dollars. To some extent policymakers, especially in the Euro-zone, are using currency depreciation as a policy tool to stimulate economies. This runs parallel to the situation with oil prices and the oil price decline. Things are fine when the markets drive results. When foreign economies start taking action to further deflate their currencies to the dollar, then we are in trouble. It will signal a strategy to kill US jobs and replace them with offshore workers. Look for European and global manufacturers to grow in the year ahead. If you are an independent recruiter, get ready for demand for engineers, manufacturing expertise, logistics and other production-related talent demands from employers building products outside the US.

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How Job Seekers Feel About Recruiter Text Messaging

By Veronica Scrimshaw

DeathtoStock_Creative-Community5-300Recently, I retweeted a lengthy article from technology reviewer Software Advice about recruiter text messaging and whether or not job seekers prefer this method of communication. I thought it was fascinating research, so today I’d like to summarize some of those findings for you here.

First off, research indicates that as many as 60 percent of recruiters now use text messaging to communicate with job candidates as part of their process. In fact, I’ve suggested it myself in this blog. And, I still maintain that text messaging CAN be a great way to communicate with candidates. However, as with so many things in life, the adage “know your audience” must be considered when using text messaging. (NOTE: The report from Software Advice assumes that job seekers have opted-in to receiving recruiter text messaging – if you have not EXPLICITLY obtained permission to text your job seekers, don’t do it!)

Here are a few of the most important take-aways:

Job seekers under the age of 45 mostly consider recruiters who send text messages professional (43% of respondents). Only 30% of job seekers aged 45-54 consider text messaging professional, and for candidates 55 or older, it dropped to a paltry 17% of respondents.

impression-of-recruiters-who-use-text-messages-by-respondent-age
graph courtesy of: Software Advice

Next, even though recruiter text messaging is considered ‘professional,’ there are NO scenarios in which a job seeker PREFERS text messaging over other methods of communication. Job seekers are most agreeable to receiving a text message to confirm a job interview, but even then only 21% of respondents prefer this. For six common scenarios—initial outreach, to obtain additional information, to tell them about a job opening, to schedule an  interview, to confirm a job interview time, and to follow-up post-interview—job seekers STRONGLY PREFER  to be contacted via email or phone. Recruiter tip: don’t use text messaging for messages that are lengthy, or require two-way conversation.

preferred-medium-for-recruiter-communication
graph courtesy of: Software Advice

Software Advice also asked job seekers if there were any scenarios in which recruiter text messaging is completely inappropriate. Survey responses varied widely for this question, often based on personal preference. However, 24% of job seekers do not want to receive texts during non-business hours. One respondent defined that as anything earlier than 9AM or 5PM, while another indicated that only texts received in the middle of the night would be considered “non-business hours.” Eleven percent of survey respondents indicate that interview follow-up should not be delivered via text messaging. For starters, the follow-up is often too lengthy for a single text message. Furthermore, it’s fairly normal to have some back-and-forth conversation about the follow-up. Text messaging is not a great medium for detailed conversations. If there is negative feedback to share, my opinion is that should ALWAYS be delivered in a phone call.

In conclusion, recruiter text messaging is an acceptable communication method. Recruiters are advised to be sure job seekers have expressly opted-in to receiving text messages. It is also a good idea to ask job seekers to indicated their PREFERRED communication mode. Pay attention to time of day, don’t send lengthy texts, and pick up the phone EVERY TIME the conversation warrants it.

What is your experience with text messaging?

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How to Follow-Up from Conferences or Events

By Sarah Gawrys

10410359_10153198569106974_3499108434394499467_nWe all have that feeling after attending large conferences or networking events where our minds are completely fried. Knowing all the great ideas that were swirling around your head the past couple of days now have to be implemented can make you feel more overworked than you have energy for. However, the key to good follow-up after these events is immediate action. So go for a walk, get your favorite coffee drink in hand, and sit down and try some of these tips.

  1. Business Cards. Start by taking out all of the business cards you collected that are now likely nestled in between speaker notes and restaurant receipts and separate them into two simple piles: Now and Later. Make notes on the back of these business cards as you travel through memory lane, indicating how you want to work with that person, what conversation you might have had with them, or why that service might be a good one. The “now” pile should be those contacts that you need to connect with within a few days, and the “later” pile can be saved for a week or two. This way you have cut down the pile to a less overwhelming amount, and refreshed your mind to all the connections you made.
  2. To do List. Get out a large piece of notebook paper and title it with the name of the conference and take a moment to review the agenda of the event. As you mentally walk yourself through the agenda, topics, and speakers, you will start to remember tasks or ideas you had taken away from each one and you can list them down. Next, go through each scrap paper or notebook you had during the conference also adding items that need attention to your master list. Then, feel a sigh of accomplishment at you throw out all those little notes and admire your task list. Jot down a day of the week next to each item, promising yourself to attend to them all, while prioritizing the most pressing ones.
  3. Don’t send out any emails the day after. The day after a conference is done, everyone is looking at a hefty inbox, and your message may get deleted, or not given the best attention while the other party is working to catch up on missed time.
  4. Personalize. As many people are sending follow ups out after events, it is easy to get brain fog when trying to remember every connection that is now saying, “great to meet you!” Try your best to remember a specific conversation or interaction, even, “sat at your table during that delicious salmon lunch!” gives a hint to those not especially good at remembering names.
  5. Be useful. While it is always nice to simply connect as a follow-up and state how nice it was to meet someone, a stronger follow up always offers the connection something. For example, in our split placement network, a good follow-up after a conference might be sharing a position you need help on or a strong candidate you could use help placing. Other ideas are sharing a post or a tool/tip/trick you use that they could benefit from. Try to keep these emails short, and if you are really interested in working with them in the future, use an action step or keep the conversation going. Scheduling a call or even just asking a question develops relationships.

These events are really the keys to developing as professionals and everyone you meet can be an asset to you and your business, so keep that in mind when receiving follow-ups as well.

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How to: Radically Improve Your Candidate Response Rates in 2 Easy Steps

By Veronica Scrimshaw

Siofra-PhotoOur guest blogger today is Siofra Pratt with Social Talent, Europe’s leading provider of online and social media training specific to the recruitment and staffing industry. Social Talent will be part of our Global Conference, which is kicking off today.

At Social Talent, we’re big believers in learning from the successful practices of other industries, and applying them to our own in order to help improve our own. So when we first saw this research from Yesware, an email productivity service for salespeople, we got very excited! In fact, we thought that the findings of Yesware’s research into email open and reply rates were so significant that they could have quite important implications for the recruitment industry. Implications that could help YOU increase your candidate email response rates. (We’ve even decided to work the findings into our internet recruitment training program, the Black Belt in Internet Recruitment.)

“So what’s all the fuss about these findings?” I hear you cry? Well, drawing on data from over 500,000 (half a million!) sales emails sent by Yesware users in the first quarter of 2014, Yesware found that if an email is ever going to be opened by it’s intended recipient, 91% of the time it’s opened within 24 hours after it’s been sent. Furthermore, 90% of emails that received replies were also replied to within 24 hours after they were opened. That means that during that first day, over half of opened emails were replied to within 3 hours.

 email-life-span-1024x996Source: Yesware

BUT (and it’s a big ‘but’), after Day 1 (i.e. that first 24 hour period) has passed, the chances of your email being opened falls to just 1.7% on Day 2 and decreases thereafter. The same applies for email responses. If you haven’t received a response to your sent email after 24 hours the likelihood of it being replied to falls from whopping 90% to a very measly 3%.

But what does this prove? Well, it proves that the life span of an email is incredibly short and if you do not receive a reply to an email you’ve sent to a candidate within a 24 hour period you will, most likely, NOT receive a reply from that candidate.

So, what’s to be done about it? How can you improve your email open and response rates and ensure that your candidate emails have the best chance of being read and replied to? According to Yesware’s research, there are 2 ways:

  1. Follow-Up Emails
  2. Strategic Timing

1. Follow-Up Mails
If you haven’t received a response from a candidates within a day or two, email them again. Now we know what you’re thinking; “But, I don’t want to seem annoying or pushy” and yes we do understand that it isn’t easy to strike a balance between adding value and being annoying, but Yesware have run the numbers and discovered that if you didn’t receive a reply to your first email, you have a 21% chance of getting a reply to a second follow-up email. And if you still don’t receive a reply to your second email, there’s still a 25% chance that you will eventually hear back from the recipient.

graph2-1024x719 Source: Yesware

What this chart illustrates is that by continuing to send more emails, you create more opportunities for your recipient to reply. It is a study in scale. Greater volume of emails should correlate to greater total response, and the chart above shows this to be true.

No matter how great your email was, half of the emails you send WILL get blocked by spam filters. Do not let this put you off. Just because someone did not reply to you does not mean that they are not interested. Silence does not mean “no“. “No” means “no”, so chase up the replies until you get one. Remember, people are busy and they may just have forgotten about the email you sent them. They could have been in a meeting at the time it arrived or on the phone to their spouse. All you need to do is remind them that you reached out to them.

Quite by accident, we discovered that if we forwarded the original unanswered email to the same person with additional text at the top such as “Hi Jane, in reference to my email below from last week, can you come back to me today to let me know if this would be of interest?”, most of the time we would receive a reply that suggested that the person either never received our first mail or received both the new mail and original mail at the same time, i.e. it had been caught in spam but the act of forwarding the original message with some new text bounced it out of the spam filter. The rest of the time, people either weren’t interested or they just forgot to reply. Either way, you likely spent a lot of time searching for this person, so rule them in or out before you re-start your search.

Worst case scenario, they say no, in which case you ask them if they would be able to refer you to anyone else who might be interested, and best case scenario, they say yes.

Bottom line: It pays to follow-up.

P.S. If you’re worried you’ll forget to follow-up along with everything else you’re trying to get done in the day, don’t be. Boomerang is an excellent application that prompts you to follow up with emails sent out if no response is received, or schedule your emails to send (using the “Send Later” function).

Boomerang-Screenshot-e1366027356716

And Boomerang can also alert you as to whether or not your email has been opened and read. It’s a super handy tool for recruiters that makes following up a far less admin-heavy task. Boomerang is available for free on Gmail and can be installed immediately here.

2. Strategic Timing
The next best way to give your email the greatest chance of being replied to is by sending it at a time when there is less competition. Yesware use the example of “Graveyard slot” infomercials to explain this logic and we enjoyed it so much we’re going to explain it the same way.

Basically, the same way people who like to stay up late are more likely to watch infomercials when there’s nothing else on TV at 3am, candidates will be more likely to notice, read and respond to your email when there is little else being emailed.

Companies with products like Snuggie and ProActiv have made a traditionally unattractive advertising slot into a very lucrative one as they are targeting a very captive audience. Clever recruiters who choose to send out emails to candidates at a time when no one else is sending emails, could see greater open and reply rates. Take a look at this chart illustrating the difference in open and reply rates for emails sent on weekdays versus those sent on the weekends:

weekendreplyrate-1024x504 Source: Yesware

Take note first of all, of the number of emails sent on weekends versus the number sent on weekdays. Over 520,000 less emails are sent on weekends then on weekdays, meaning emails sent on weekends are 11% more likely to be opened than those sent on weekdays and are almost 18% more likely to be responded to.

And the same line of thinking applies to emails sent over a 24 hour period:

timeofday-1-1024x802 Source: Yesware

Emails sent earlier in the morning and late at night had a far greater percentage chance of being opened by their intended recipients, simply because less emails are sent at those times. Emails sent between 6 and 7am and those sent around 8pm were the most effective at getting a response, with reply rates hovering around 45%.

Conclusion
Finding good candidates takes a lot of time. You know that! So when you’ve found a great candidate be sure to rule them in or out before you re-start your search. Remember:

  • Follow up, follow up, follow up! If you don’t receive a response from your candidate to your first email. Send another one. Send numerous emails if you have to. The more you send, the more opportunities  you give the recipient to reply. And if you think you won’t remember to follow up, download Boomerang and let it do the work for you.
  • Be strategic with the time and day you send your emails. Your candidate will be more likely to see your email when they are receiving less emails in general. Email open and reply rates tend to be at their highest on the weekends, when inbox competition is low and people are most responsive in the early morning or later in the evening, so experiment with sending emails between 6 and 7 AM, or around 8 PM.

Then get ready to watch your candidate response rates soar!

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It’s Time to Embrace Cloud Recruiting Software

By Veronica Scrimshaw

cloud-computingToday’s guest post is from our newest Alliance Partner. JobAdder manages and organizes the recruitment process for anyone who hires people, offering simplicity, mobility and superior support. Learn more about JobAdder and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We’re excited they’ll be part of our upcoming Global Conference!

Is “top drawer-ing” of resumes, and working straight from your email inbox a way of life for your company? If so, it’s time to consider a cloud based software solution to help power your recruitment process.

Here are just a few reasons to be considering cloud based recruitment software:

Scale easier: Does your agency have growth plans? Cloud based software offers your company the ability to easily add users any time in a few simple clicks. There is no additional software to install and very little training required for new users.

Reduced IT costs: With cloud based software, recruitment related IT costs can be dramatically reduced. It is no longer necessary to have a network, servers, Exchange and expensive IT support contracts. You can also run your business on low spec PCs or Macs as the machine itself is doing so much less than it once might have. Many of our clients, for example, run their businesses with the lowest spec iMac on every desk and no networks, no servers and no desk phones.

Accessibility: Access your recruitment database anywhere, anytime on any device when you make the switch to a cloud based software. There really are no limitations to where you take your business. Flip open a laptop, tablet or mobile device and get recruiting.

A single source of truth: Spreadsheets and Word docs are tedious and allow little visibility into the overall activity of your company. With a cloud based recruitment platform all activity, candidates, resumes, jobs, companies and contacts are in one central location, providing the whole business with a single source of up to date information.

Streamlined Process: One recruiter uses a spreadsheet, the other keeps multiple word documents saved locally to manage their job ads. With cloud recruitment, you can set up company wide email templates, job ad templates, reports — just about anything you want, to streamline recruitment processes for your entire company.

Increased Collaboration: Share candidates with your team, duplicate job ads, split fees — whatever you’d like. By using a recruitment software that’s cloud based, the options for collaboration are endless.

Stay up to date: So long licensing software! With cloud based software, you have peace of mind that your company is staying up to date with the latest trends in recruitment. New product releases simply appear one day when you log in. No more expensive, painful software upgrades — just happy Monday morning surprise when you log in to find new features to help you recruit better.

Has your company found a cloud based software solution? Comment below and tell us how a cloud based software solution has helped your company!

image courtesy of hywards / www.freedigitalphotos.net

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