Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Beware the Idiot Lights

Y'all I'm still geeking out over the Talent42 Fireside Chat last week. For those who don't know what the heck I'm talking about, check out the live stream (thank you Ninh!) HERE.

Long story short (hahahahaha as if) I had the privilege of hosting a group of talented Google engineers (including 2 who lead teams) and ask them anything about recruiters. And boy did we hear it. I learned a few things, had a myth or two busted, and found myself amazed at the "yeah buts" we got. There were a few takeaways I found particularly interesting -

- On average, my panelists aren't getting hit on THAT MUCH. I think we agreed it was roughly 1-2 times a week. Some days you'd get 10 contacts, then radio silence for 2 weeks. There is literally no rhyme or reason that I can see. Just.... random.

- Approximately 1 in 10 outreaches are worth responding to. Now this is not license to fire off 10 shit messages and say "OK NOW YOU HAVE TO RESPOND TO ONE OF THEM!" No, in a sea of mediocrity, ONE IN TEN (again, averages) is worth a acknowledging.

(side note - if you're looking for 10 connections a week, and say to yourself "great, I need to email 100 people to hit my number!" you're doing it so wrong that I could throw up right now)

- Interruption communication is the WORST. Phone calls in the middle of the day, that kind of thing. Emails / inmails (inmauls) are "meh", but better than startling someone or causing them to momentarily think something horrible has happened because really who even uses the phone anymore. Oh pipe down agency/retained/gazillion dollar billers. I know you're all K I L L I N G it by smiling and dialing. Why are you reading this anyway? Point is, scheduled communication is key. And appreciated.

So what's a recruiter to do? There are a seemingly infinite number of ways to source someone, so instead of leaving an exhaustive list, how about this -

Ask.

Ask your damn targets what they want to hear from you. Ask what kind of opportunity they want to hear about. Ask how often they want to be contacted and how. Pay attention to bread crumbs they're leaving you on their social real estate. If someone blatantly calls out I'm never ever EVER going to leave Seattle, why are you pitching a role in NYC? If someone has been leading a team for the last 10 years, why would they answer your call for a junior engineer? (yes this has happened, REPEATEDLY, to one of my panelists)

In other words, stop tripping the idiot lights.




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