How do you find people that don’t want to be found?
Well, before you start thinking about how to find people. First, I want to challenge you. Why are people hiding? Why do people limit information to persuade you not to contact them? These are vital questions you need to ask yourself before you start trying to hunt down the right people.
Right now, as of May 23, 2018, the unemployment rate is 1.9% in the technology sector. Therefore, the market is extremely competitive. This is due to high demand and love inventory of “qualified candidates.” The definition of “qualified candidates” is extremely limited. So, what happens when a company like Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook want to hire 1,000 engineers each over the next year? Well, there’s a battle royal! Not only is there a battle royal, but there’s a major crisis for the little guys also trying to make their 3-15 hires for the year. So, Technical Recruiters, Agencies, and more are all on the front-line hammering phone calls and blasting emails to be first. This massive WW3-like battle for talent has some engineers annoyed of the noise.
Too many recruiters complain about not finding enough “Qualified Candidates.” To be honest, that’s not their problem. If someone asked me where to find top talent, I’d be able to direct them to multiple pools in the local area swimming with big fish that are beyond talented. Not only are they talented, but they’re hungry for the right opportunities.
The real problems, do you have the right bait to catch that big fish? Do you have the right tools and information to treat that individual right?
Knowledge is power. Information and insight are key! Where does that information reside? To be honest, I don’t know. It is different for everyone. Some people it’s LinkedIn. Some people it’s Facebook. Some people it’s Twitter. Everyone has a different way they want to be contacted and a different trigger that will pique their interest.
There are several tools out there on the market to help with Social Media Aggregation, Email Finders, Personality Trait Diagrams, and more! Talentful is one of those tools! There is a chrome extension available to run on top of LinkedIn to aggregate information.
So, what do you do with the information you find?
Please, use it wisely! A wise man once said, “with great power, comes great responsibility.” If you treat candidates with respect, they will typically reciprocate that respect. Now, what does it mean to be respectful? Step 1: understand why you’re reaching out to them in the first place. Step 2: do not be the car salesmen pushing your agenda without having a genuine conversation. Step 3: ask questions and learn intrinsic desires. Step 3: understand you’re building a community of people that are going to work together. Step 4: be direct and honest with people. Too many recruiters say whatever necessary, even if it is a lie. Turning people down for positions can be just as powerful and landing them their dream job.
Be genuine, be brief, be bold!
More than anything, I hate recruiters that don’t read my profile when I spend hours and sometimes several hours perfecting my LinkedIn profile and Resume. If a profile specifically states: “I’m not interested in relocating no matter what. I only want Seattle specific roles” do just that! If you have 100+ recruiters from all over the globe messaging that individual, they’re going to hide completely.
I have fallen prey to this myself. So, I would be a complete hypocrite if I said I never messaged someone. However, when I have, I try to keep my conversation as passive and as genuine as possible. Therefore, I try to engage with the person, not “headhunt” them. If a passive candidate is finally interested in leaving, and you build a genuine connection, you’re going to be the first person they talk to.
I always try to create a center sphere of influence. What does that even mean you might ask! Well, it means that I try to do whatever possible to be the “go-to” person people want to talk to when looking for a job. Sometimes, I don’t have the right position available, however, I’m typically willing to connect them with someone that might! If you can create genuine engagement and provide selfless and selfish value, you’ll be seen as a commodity.
Be your own Purple Squirrel.
Sometimes, I hear that dumb saying, “You have to be one to know one.” In this conversation, I think it is true. Put yourself in the candidates' shoes, how would you want a recruiter to reach out to you. Now, there are a bazillion types of personalities in the world. Each person has a unique character type with a unique profile that’ll react to things in a different way. However, what most people need to realize is that different people respond to different people. So, each of us has our own unique flavor that’s going to attract different types of talent.
Once you realize who you are, you can become genuinely engage with the talent you want to connect with in the future. People can smell BS from a mile away.