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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Survey Says...

Every once in a while in this business you will look at some candidate data, and be surprised by what you see. A colleague of mine, Scott Axel (a diehard Buckeye fan), conducted a survey on LinkedIn asking people their preferred method of unsolicited contact by a recruiter. When I looked at the final results of this survey I was surprised to see that e-mail (InMail, and e-mail) was the preferred method of contact. I had always been trained to think a phone call is the best method of contact for the candidate. I still do see a lot of value in smiling and dialing, but I think sometimes it may be good to contact candidates in a way where they will be more receptive to your unsolicited contact.
Now to share some of the data:
145 total votes:
  • 46% (66 votes): LinkedIn Inmail
  • 38% (55 votes): Person Email
  • 8% (12 votes): Direct Phone Call
  • 6% (8 votes): Work Email
  • 3% (4 votes): Other Social Media (Twitter, Meetup etc)

A few initial thoughts on this data:
  • I would be very interested to see what the data would show in a much larger pool of candidates. Would you still have an overwhelming population of candidates preferring 1.) InMail 2.) E-Mail?
  • I believe once more candidates and recruiters start connecting on Social Media, you will see this method become more and more popular.
  • Even though e-mail is the preferred method, is it the most effective?
  • With the good mix of seniority levels and age, I feel even with the smaller pool it is pretty accurate in how a larger population would answer.
  • 18 out of the 19 females who responded to the survey answered with either InMail or Direct E-mail.
The recruiting industry has changed a ton since I began recruiting in 2006, and I know it will continue to evolve as the years come and go. One constant in our profession is the need to establish relationships, and provide a service not only to our clients but also the candidates we work with. In order to do this, we need to accept change and utilize new methods/tools in recruiting to find and secure the best talent. Mobile devices have become a computer in the palm of our hand, and it has never been easier to access personal e-mail. Candidates, who are employed, may have an easier time responding to an e-mail rather than interrupting their day with a phone call.
I am not suggesting e-mail is the best method of contact, but that utilizing multiple methods of contact is a good practice to get into. Why not leave a message, follow it up with an e-mail, and maybe even throw in a LinkedIn connection request? You need to make yourself noticed by the top candidates, and you never know what method will work best for each individual.

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