Recruitment is a sales profession. Getting clients and passive candidates to respond and take the action needed to complete a placement is not for those unwilling to commit to a recruitment process. Define YOUR PROCESS and repeat it; repeat it again and again until you get a result. If it is not working, change your recruitment process.
On rare occasions, you make a call and a candidate answers. Rare. Sometime luck shines on you and the first well-crafted email hits your target and they respond. Most are very happy just to get a response, even if the response is less than favorable. The answer is a result. Most times more is needed to get a response. Any sale begins with an introduction. Make sure you have a great one.
If you are not so lucky, consider a second email that suggests a phone call and then an actual phone call. Yes, the phone. I know it scares some of the more modern recruiters using AI, social media and robots to get their work done. Meanwhile, old school headhunters are upset passive candidates and clients would rather email than pick up the phone. Somewhere in between is the truth. But certainly use the phone as one of your tools. In addition to live conversations, the phone can be used to text. Be cautious and careful about jumping into text. Make sure to look for some acceptance from candidates and clients on the use of text. One of your emails could suggest that you will be calling or texting in the next few days. If you have a process that is different and works for you, stay the course. If not, reinvent your process or consider an update.
We are not done yet. Good recruiters have the expectation that it will take more than a few contacts to get a response from truly passive candidates. Great recruiters have even more persistence. If you have exhausted email and phone messaging without a result, it may be time to go to social media. I prefer LinkedIn InMails as the next step. It comes at people differently than your typical email. Maybe your email is blocked or going to junk mail.
No response? Before you jump back to your traditional methods, find an even more creative way to move it forward. Try a fax, send a gift card from Starbucks or a letter via post. I have used post cards and the gift card method successfully in sales situations. It is a $5 coffee card and saves you $10 of time and may lead to a $30,000 fee.
Finally, you need to go back to your preferred method, voice or email, and let the passive candidate or client know you got the message. Confirm that what you offer, propose, suggest is not a fit for them AT THIS TIME. Keep the door open while reminding them of what they are missing. Wish them well and move on…I call it the “Close the File” email. Gets about a 75% response rate if you have done all the work required to earn the right to do this close.
You might be surprised by what a good process can do for your results. If you do this with every situation you will be getting more call backs and more yes or no responses. Review metrics you have. Track email open rates and click-through rates. Maybe something as simple as A/B testing of a subject line could change your results. Stay committed to your process and be persistent.