Today’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 chairman of the NPAworldwide Board of Directors.
Stop staring at your email and LinkedIn searches! Too many recruiters spend too much time staring into the abyss of their computer screen hoping that another hour of sourcing will miraculously render new results. I’d suggest spreading out your recruiting time investment into different areas.
Whether you’re in a slump or just needing a new edge, the right recruiting strategy might be an old school strategy.
Back to Basics Number One: Ask for Referrals!
This will always be the best way to find candidates! These often prequalified candidates are gold. Challenge yourself to find creative ways to ask for referrals. Below are some approaches and thoughts to help you organize your referral campaigns.
- Conduct phone and email campaigns to past candidates asking for referrals or phone/email.
- Consider different strategies such as calling operations people to generate referrals. Purchasing folks know sales people and vice versa. Human resources people can be great sources of referrals for candidates across functions.
- Use LinkedIn InMails to generate referrals. About a hundred different ways to do this!
- You should always call your best potential referral sources, but email is a great way to cover a lot more ground.
- Individuals, both candidates and clients with whom you have had success in the past, will be the most motivated to give you candidate leads. Their most motivated time to help you will be after you have helped them.
- Turn a “no” into a referral. That is a good time to ask for a referral. They may be motivated to help you since they have said no.
- Develop “bird dogs.” These are candidates, clients and general contacts that like to talk and share what they know.
- Candidates who have recently left a company are good sources of referrals. They may no longer feel the same level of loyalty. LinkedIn notifications are a good trigger to make the call.
- Call the references of people you have placed and ask them for candidate ideas. You can start that call by referencing the placed candidate and thanking them for their help in that person’s career. Then ask for names of other high caliber people.
- People are sometimes hesitant to give names for a couple reasons. They might not want their name to be associated with the referral – always mention that you can, but don’t have to, use their name when making the call. They might also feel like they need to call the person rather than giving up the name. It is also good to explain, “I appreciate your willingness to call the person on my behalf, but I make these “shoulder tapping” calls all the time. A good reason for me to call is to establish that connection; that way, if this is not the right position then I can keep them in mind for that right position.” This level of communication will build that necessary trust for them to give up the name.
- On the trust note….referrals do come as a result of building trust. Those with whom you have developed that relationship will be your best referral sources.
- Stay on the phone! These referral calls will help you stay on the phone and when you’re on the phone your making money. When you’re not on the phone you are likely not!
Do you have another recruiting strategy for getting referrals? Please share! Happy Hunting!