In my last post, I discussed types of recruiting contact campaign approaches; this week, I’ll discuss turning that initial approach into real recruiting action, along with some tips and tricks for turning contacts into candidates.  Like any campaign, it’s important to have a defined timeline against which to execute.  Here’s an example of a formula I’ve used, although it’s important to feel free to experiment to see which recruiting contact campaign timeline works best for you, since the optimal timeline can vary from recruiter to recruiter, and even project to project.

Recruiting Contact Campaign: Sample Timeline

Day 1: E-Mail 

Day 2: Phone Call

Day 3: Do Not Contact

Day 4: SMS or social media message

Day 5: E-Mail Follow Up

This process can be repeated up to three times before you should consider ceasing contact campaigns – but remember to cease immediately (for the time being at least) if the candidate requests you do so.

4 Basic Messages for Successful Recruiting Contact Campaigns

If your campaign approach succeeds in its goal of establishing contact, it’s imperative to have a well-crafted message that clearly presents your employer value proposition or the benefits the opportunity offers.  Here are 4 basic messages you should try to convey after contacting a candidate:

1.  What We Need: This is the standard approach connecting with a candidate who looks like they might be a fit for an open position.  Make sure you clearly convey why you feel their background, skills or experience align with the opportunity for which you’re recruiting.

2. What We Offer: It’s important to highlight what’s in it for them, particularly when trying to convert potential candidates.  Your company culture, opportunities for growth and development, compensation, benefits or brand are all potential selling points.  If they aren’t, focus on the opportunities for new experiences, career or personal growth that the position may offer that their current role may not.

3. Who You Know: When engaging a potential candidate around their expertise or professional experience, shared connections count – and networking conversations often uncover referrals, elicit introductions and gauge candidate interest without ever explicitly talking about a job opportunity.  This kind of trust building conversation can turn contacts into connections, and, combined with other approaches, has yielded returns as high as 65%.

4. What You Should Do: Make sure you’re clear on any next steps and provide clear action items or set expectations for what candidates need to do or when they will hear from you next.  A call to action should be the final outcome of any campaign – whether that’s calling them into an interview, inviting them to an event or sending them additional information on your company and how they can stay connected with you and informed about positions that might be coming down the pipeline.

Recruiting Contact Campaigns: Goals & Outcomes

By definition, every campaign must have a goal or intended outcome – and as we’ve seen, the end plays a huge factor in determining the means. Here are some of the most common outcomes created by effective contact campaigns:

  1. Interest from the prospective candidate in the position or career opportunities with your company (or, for third party recruiters, keeping communications open for future conversations).
  2. Generating referrals, new connections or warm leads from the prospective candidate
  3. Building engagement on other platforms, like connecting with them on LinkedIn, following them on Twitter or getting them to join your talent network.

Achieving any of these results means your contact campaign has succeeded.  At best, you’re able to contact a qualified, interested and available candidate directly. At worst, you’ve at least created a new connection – and gotten connections to their connections.  On professional networks, that generally means that they’re connected to at least a few people with the same kinds of experience and qualifications that made you reach out to begin with. A good Java developer has probably worked with or knows good Java developers, for example – and a successful contact campaign can open the door for referral success.

Stay tuned for the next post in the series, where we’ll take a look at 6 tips for recruiting contact campaign success.  If you missed it, check out the first post in the series, Contact Campaigns: What Recruiters Need to Know.

About the Author: Dean Da Costa is a highly experienced and decorated recruiter, sourcer and manager with deep skills and experience in HR, project management, training & process improvement. Dean is best known for his work in the highly specialized secured clearance and mobile arenas, where he has been a top performing recruiter and sourcer.  Dean’s keen insight and creation of innovative tools and processes for enhancing and changing staffing has established Dean as one of the top authorities in sourcing and recruiting.  Connect with Dean at LinkedIn or follow @DeanDaCosta on Twitter.

By Dean Da Costa

Dean Da Costa is a highly experienced and decorated staffing professional, recruiter, sourcer and manager, who also boasts outstanding experience and skills in Human Resources, Project Management, Training, and Process Improvement. He is best known for his work in the highly difficult security and mobile arena's, and the gold star winning numbers he produced. His keen insight and creation of ground breaking tools and processes, to enhance and change staffing as we know it, have proven he is a true "Staffing Thought Leader". Despite all this he remains first and foremost one of the top sourcers, staffing managers and full cycle recruiters in the industry and a true "Search Authority"