In Today’s Podcast
In this episode, we talk with Kristina Finseth, Senior Manager, Outbound Growth Marketing at Greenhouse, all about the world of the candidate marketing lifecycle, email copy and social selling. This is the episode that dives deep into the weeds on the what and the why of email and what you should consider as you are building your candidate journey.
Here’s what we cover:
- Crapy email copy
- Insightful No’s
- 7 Step lifecycle candidate engagement
- SPF, DKIM, DMARC Setup – to infrastructurally support the domain
Listening Time: 43 minutes
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Music: Schools in session. This is Recruiting Daily’s Sourcing School podcast. Real talk about recruiting, sourcing, and cyber sleuthing, hot takes on sourcing tools, recruiting tech, and anything we want to talk about with no filter. It’s time to level up and put your sourcing pants on. Here’s your dudes, Ryan Leary, and Brian Fink
Brian Fink: Ladies and ladies and ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. I am so excited to have you on Recruiting Daily’s Sourcing School today, because in addition to the awesome Ryan Leary, Hey Ryan. We have got the one and only the Maven of email. I got to give her a good nickname. I gave Shannon a good nickname with calling her the Sourcer Supreme. We are being joined by Kristina. Oh, now I’m going to Bumble this up. I was like Finseth right? All right. So we’re going to keep recording. I got a little bit of dirt on my chin. That’s all good, Kristina. Welcome to the big show. Welcome to the program. What’s going on?
Kristina Finset: Yo. Thanks for having me. Things are a little bit light this week for those listening. It’s the week before Christmas, if you celebrate and yeah, this is the best time for me to be on here talking.
Brian Fink: Just so wait, you talk about talking, right? I got to ask this question like right out of the gate. Like whenever anybody sees you on Twitter or on LinkedIn, we see a background of avocados that has nothing to do with email and email deliverability, but I got to know what’s with the avocados? Barbara Marks asked me that the other day she was like, “I love her, but what’s with the avocados.” So shout out to Barbara and now I’m going to be like, “Yo, what’s up with the avocados.
Kristina Finset: You just like proof is in the pudding. What happened? You had a conversation, because someone remembered me for the avocados. Right. And I know Barbara, but yeah, it’s funny. It’s short, short backstory. Back when everyone was doing virtual selling and this was pre COVID when really it really started kicking in a little bit more. I was working for a different company remotely and I needed to conceal my internal process while doing demos on Zoom. And how did I do that? I went to Zoom. They had bunches of backgrounds that were stock and this is the one I picked, because it was fun and it matched my personality. Fast for to now, it’s in everything that I do. It’s in every profile picture. It’s in every podcast in every video. I recorded my whole course on email with this background. Some people know me as the avocado lady before they know me by my name. So I think it’s doing its thing. But yeah, I do like avocados just as much as I like my background though, too.
Ryan Leary: Avocado, email automation, emailing and volume,. Because that’s the most successful thing to do for recruiters
Brian Fink: That is not successful. Kristina and I are going to debate you on that. Kristina’s-
Ryan Leary: Not vomit right now.
Brian Fink: Oh yeah. All right. So Kristina, sometimes I get in trouble in Facebook groups, because I make things, comments like tell me more or I’m a snide son of a bitch. And I’m like, I’m like, no, it really doesn’t work that way. You and I were having a chat earlier today about the fact that people think that if you increase the amount of output that you’re going to drive more recruiting outcomes. For those of you who don’t understand algebraically, what I’m talking about is that, instead of sending 50 emails to that are targeted highly personalized, direct to the individual they go through, and just go… And fire off 500 emails.
Kristina Finset: Yes.
Brian Fink: What are you thinking?
Kristina Finset: Here’s the thing, it’s never, never a good at to cast a super wide net like that, for a few different reasons. I mean, one is you’re going to hurt your deliverability, especially if you’re taking an email based approach, right Brian? You and I have talked about this before, but if you have crappy strategy and crappy copy, that’s really like a one to mini feel and you’re recruiting outreach. And you, I know Ryan, Brian, you have seen these before, but the emails that are just a regurgitation of the job description, nothing about what’s in it for me as a candidate, et cetera.
If you are amplifying that and upping your volume from like 50 to, let’s say 500 people in a day, guess what? Now you’re sending crappy copy to 500 people instead of 50. And so to me, it’s like, this is the time it is a candidate driven market. We all know this. That’s not new news. This is the time to get really targeted and go after that talent that you really want with a super personalized approach. So I’d actually argue that companies should be doing the latter, but everyone wants to take the volume approach. It’s like they get scared. I don’t know.
Brian Fink: So the volume approach, do you think that’s agency driven or RPO driven? Who’s driving that, I’m sorry. I’m picking on RPOs today. I got cascaded by RPO email.
Kristina Finset: Yeah, I personally and I work with customers on both sides of that fence, internal and external recruiting teams. I feel like you see it more out of agencies. I also feel like you see it more out of recruiters in internal orgs where they don’t really have like a… What I would consider like an outbound focused methodology that they follow for recruiting, or they don’t have a sourcing team, that’s kind of responsible for spearheading that. That’s where I personally see it the most. I’m getting emails now, for roles and they just sound so cookie cutter. And I know they’re sending it to a whole bunch of other people. It doesn’t feel special, right?
Ryan Leary: I feel like a lot of recruiters that are doing this is they’re influenced by the marketers in the company. They’re, there’s nobody specific and I’m not talking about recruitment, marketing people. It’s like real marketers, right? B2C marketers that are selling shoes or socks. And they’re sending it out for black Friday to a 50,000 person database, which is fine. That’s what they do. But even then, they’re still customizing a lot of that. There’s a reason why it’s being sent. With recruiters, I don’t know. I’ve never seen recruiters. And I know a lot of people that are doing this really take the time to understand how to hyper personalize a message, which can still be done in some sort of volume without… You can still send 500 messages. Have it personalized enough, I think to makes sense. You’re not going to hyper personalize.
Brian Fink: Wait a minute, wait a minute. What’s the point of sending 500 emails? Like-
Ryan Leary: Well, there’s not,
Brian Fink: What happens if all 500 people respond? Full disclosure, I talk to all my candidates. Batman makes fun of me that I talk to all my candidates, but if 500 people responded to me and talking to them in 25 minute bites, I would never have time to submit a candidate.
Ryan Leary: Yeah.
Brian Fink: Like this would not-
Ryan Leary: I’m with you, man. I don’t think there is a reason. I mean, Kristina, you might have a different thought. I mean, customer service, maybe call center, get it, high volume customer, call center where you need 400 people hired this month. I understand that, but for the majority positions that we’re talking about, I don’t think it’s necessary. I think it’s going to kill your process instead.
Kristina Finset: Well, and that’s kind of where I’m going with it, Brian, in a perfect world, I’ve seen your emails. I’ve also seen what kind of response rate you get, which is really high. That’s outside the norm, in my opinion. And here’s the thing. If you send 500 emails like that, yeah. You’re going to have a problem of having too many people who are interested in getting on a call and learning more. The problem is, the people who are trying to solve this gap with more volume, it’s because they’re not seeing results out of 50 or a hundred emails in a day. And they’re like, “oh, well, if we just increase it by 200%, then those seven responses will become 14.” And you kind get where I’m going with that. It’s just-
Brian Fink: The numbers game.
Kristina Finset: The metrics. Yeah. And it doesn’t do anything by hurting in the long run. But Ryan, to your point, there is a way I think for you to have a framework where you could maybe send a little bit higher volume without that hyper personalization, but you’ve got to really drill down on, I think some pretty big specifics. So if I’m a recruiter and I’m specifically looking for Java engineers in multiple locations, I probably want to break up my outreach to focus on each of those sections and at least you’re getting to the point where I’m looking for Java engineers, I’m looking for them in the New York City area. And I can at least tailor the messaging to be specific to that group of people as much as I can without having to hyper personalize it at individual level. But people aren’t doing that, because everyone’s hiring remotely. They’re just kind of casting these wide nets and it just becomes a mess.
Brian Fink: So about it become a mess. I am experimenting with a message right now that says, “do you like Kubernetes and pineapple pizza,” and the-
Ryan Leary: How to pineapple pizza.
Brian Fink: Pineapple pizza is a very divisive and decisive issue. If my friend, Pete [Ramof 00: 10: 10] your friend, Pete Ramof as well, Ryan, if he was here, he would be telling you that pizza with that is an abomination. But like I’m working on the copy, because I want to make people laugh. And what I’m trying to do is I’m trying to say, notice your experience in Kubernetes commitments, want to know how committed you are to pineapple pizza. Also, notice pictures of you. And I mean, I’m not saying notice pictures of you eating pizza, but noticed your Yelp reviews, right? So I’m cross referencing that information. And it’s a very small subset, like I’m sending this out to about less than 40 people, but is that scalable either Kristina?
Kristina Finset: Yes and no. I mean, I feel if you think that you have a good enough subset, like 40 people to me, it’s worth going through that process, because here’s the thing. Anytime I’ve ran tests where I’m doing really high quality, hyper personalized outreach like that, to a smaller group of people, the ROI is like vast-
Brian Fink: Through the roof.
Kristina Finset: Yeah. Through the roof. And I’m talking like when I’ve run campaigns of that size, hyper personalized, not necessarily talking about pineapple pizza, but I do believe pineapple is good on pizza. I will go ahead and argue that to the death. I usually expect to see an 80% plus open rate on my emails. I want to see at least a 30%, maybe even 50% reply rate. And I want to see at least 10% of those converting to some sort of phone call, whether that’s a phone screen, something. But I also, I mean, this is probably a topic for another conversation. I think that the baseline metrics that sellers, marketers, and some times recruiters are looking at when it comes to email outreach and where they should be hitting, that bar is way too low than it should be.
Ryan Leary: You mentioned something that really-
Brian Fink: Wait a minute.
Ryan Leary: You mentioned something’s really interesting.
Brian Fink: No, no, no. Go, go, go, Ryan. I want to hear this.
Ryan Leary: So you mentioned what you’re looking for in your email, right? Didn’t say click, you said reply rate. One, are you including links in your email for them to click and you just don’t care? Obviously we know why the reply is more important, but explain that to the audience there. So I think there’s going to be a lot of people out there that are listening where their managers are putting unneeded pressure on them. Un-educated it pressure maybe on volume, which is why volume is so high, crappy messaging, because they need to get it out. And they’re just kind of running them through a cycle. But I don’t think they’re looking for replies. I think they’re looking for clicks, because that’s the big term, right. To click through rate. I’m interested to get your take there.
Kristina Finset: Yeah. I mean, listen, I am what I would consider a nontraditional marketer who understands recruiting and sales outreach and marketing outreach. And there’s definitely commonalities between the three. And there’s also a lot of big differences between the three. What I think people focus too much on are vanity metrics. Do we care that they’re clicking? Yes. Can that be an indicator of some sort? Yes, but I think that the way I try to focus on outreach metrics is from the ultimate desired outcome, backwards. And so just real quick through that, booked meetings or booked phone screens, that’s what we want to see. If we’re not hitting a certain percentage of those. So let’s just say that that goal is 10%, right? If it’s sub 10%, let’s just say you’re at 2%, 3%, then I’m like, okay, how many replies are we getting? And what is the sentiment of those replies?
Am I getting a whole bunch of this doesn’t apply to me, this isn’t even close to what I specialize in, this isn’t the right level. I’m not interested, unsubscribe me, whatever that might be. I like to look at the reply rate. If the reply rate is really high and you have a mixture of positives and insightful no’s and what I mean by an insightful, no. And like the recruiting world is if I reach out to Brian and Brian says, “Hey, Kristina, this sounds really interesting. I’m not looking to make a move right now, but let’s reconnect in six months and see where we’re at.” That’s an insightful no to me, because that means I now have a way to reengage Brian later and keep him warm.
If replies aren’t happening, then I’ll start looking at clicks and opens, which to me are a little bit more vanity and see like, okay, if people are clicking, let’s just say, it’s going to a careers page or a job description page, or like a video with a hiring manager talking about the role. Okay. Well, is something landing with people? What’s wrong with the content, right? If just to give an example and I’ll stop rambling here. If I have 30% opens, but I have 50% people replying and almost all of those are converting to a phone interview. I could give two craps less about what the at open rate is. I don’t care that it’s low, because it’s converting to quality. That’s kind of where my brain goes, when I think about metrics for these things.
Brian Fink: All right, wait a minute, wait a minute. Wait a minute. I got, okay. So like real quick for those of you who don’t, who this is an audio podcast, but I have my big black book that has all my super question that I wrote down while Ryan and Kristina were talking. Kristina, you mentioned about baseline metrics. One of the things that I hear from a lot of recruiters is what is your subject line? Like the subject line is going to increase those clicks of those replies. True or false, is that something that matters here?
Kristina Finset: Subject lines matter, but it is based on data. And when I say based on data, I do a lot of content with my friend, Will, who’s a, co-founder at Lavender and it is the most variable component of your email when you’re reaching out. And what I mean by that is, some people will say, depending on the industry and people that they’re going after that a two word, subject line performs the best. Some people will swear that their sentence long subject line is performing the best. And so I think there’s a lot of variability there. I think you have to continue to test and see what’s driving people to open. But again, the open rate is only an indicator to me that people, deliverability is not an issue. People are getting your message. If the rest of the stuff’s not happening, replies, et cetera-
Ryan Leary: Bingo.
Kristina Finset: Your content is falling flat. For some reason you need to reevaluate that.
Ryan Leary: Yeah, I know-
Brian Fink: Content. Oh no, no, Ryan, you go. How about we switch off? Yeah, you go Ryan. Okay, cool.
Ryan Leary: I think you might be able to delay there you’re in another country or something. We get a ton of debate. When we, anytime we talk about messaging emails, things like that. We get a ton of debate from people on subject lines, but putting emojis in a subject line, putting GIFs in the email, getting real fancy and cute and all of that stuff. So where do you stand on that? I think you have a pretty strong opinion on that as well.
Kristina Finset: Yeah.
Brian Fink: So Kristina’s the guest. I’m super curious to hear what she’s seeing, and because real quick, we did not introduce Kristina. We did not say, “Hey, this is Kristina. Kristina was the marketing Maven at this company called Interseller, which really powers and empowers recruiters to connect with candidates in an authentic way. We did not say that Interseller was purchased by this awesome company called Greenhouse, which is empowering organizations to have meaningful conversations with candidates and translate them into meaningful employees. We didn’t say that. But now that we’ve that Kristina, since you are the high mistress of these metrics, emojis, do they work? I think they work. I think they work on LinkedIn. I think they work on Instagram. I think they work on email, but you’ve got the numbers. You’ve got the factoids.
Kristina Finset: Yep. Yeah. I think that they work and I think there’s a place for emojis. I think there’s a place for GIFs. Do I use them for every email? No, but I will tell you that, and I know people talk about this too. I don’t care if you’re the CTO at a company and I’m trying to recruit you for something. Everybody laughs and are you going to piss some people off a little bit by being a little disruptive or testing things that are perceived as disruptive? Yes. But as long as that is a very, very small piece of the population that you’re reaching out to and the rest have positive results, keep doing it. No matter what you, someone will get offended. I left a voice note on LinkedIn for someone, a candidate that I was trying to recruit, and because they felt the need to listen to it at five 5: 00 AM Pacific time when I left it at 8: 00 AM Eastern time, they’re like, “This is an invasion.
You left me a message this early.” And I didn’t ask for that. I’m like, “You didn’t have to listen to it at 5: 00 AM. It’s not pinging you and saying, Hey, you’ve got a voice note from Kristina on LinkedIn.” The thing is you’re going to make people mad. But if it’s converting and it’s getting the majority of people to either respond back and like start engaging with you, even if it’s a no and it’s lighthearted, that’s a win in my book. There might be less than 1% who are like, “eh, I don’t like that. Emojis don’t have a place,” but you got to test. And you got to test against the people that you’re recruiting to. I mean, that’s the thing you’ve got to continue to test and evolve. That’s one piece of marketing that I think should play into anyone who’s doing outreach recruiting, sales, marketing, whoever. You got to continue to test, evolve, refresh, reiterate, all of that in order to find what works. But yeah, Brian, I believe in them.
Brian Fink: Okay. So real quick you mentioned something, I’m going to go talking about testing against the people that you’re trying to market to.
Kristina Finset: Yeah.
Brian Fink: I do not want anyone to think this is the shout-out show, but I was also talking to before I was having a great conversation with Aaron Matthew. Aaron Matthew is commonly known as the Reddit recruiter and the thing that Aaron has gotten me in the habit of doing is going to look for developers on Reddit who are following bad dad jokes. And I am making outreach to you. You’re laughing already… Is that I make an outreach to those people, because you’re funny, you laugh. You’re going to get it even no matter how bad the joke is, and you’re probably going to post it on Reddit and make fun of me later. This is really humanizing the outreach. And I think that’s one of the big takeaways I have from here.
The other thing I want to… The question I was going to ask before, jumped in with an awesome question. Right? Where have you been like you’ve been coming up with great questions lately. How do I, [crosstalk 00: 21: 52]. Well, I mean, I write shitty emails, but in what have you. So I’m able to admit that, you should embrace the crap… Wait a minute. Don’t embrace the crap. That sounds like something… Embrace the suck.
That’s in the recruiting book that I’m working on. That’s one of the 10 commandments that I think that you have to do as a recruiter is that you have to embrace that you are going to suck at this some days, every day is not going to… And you’re going to get yelled at, right? Like with that voicemail that you left, that somebody played at five o’clock in the morning. I know how I do this, or I think I know how I do this. Kristina, how do you humanize? How do you become a better writer? How does that work?
Kristina Finset: Yeah. Well, it’s going to sound really cliche. There’s two things here. One is practice makes perfect. And I don’t want to say perfect, practice makes almost perfect. The more you do it, the better you get, right? Unless you just continue to write the same stuff and get lack of responses. I think the other piece is, you’ve got to write it like you’re writing to your friend, and you have to think about it from the recipient shoes. And this is something again, my buddy Will R at lavender and I talk about a lot is, the inbox is a triage. And if you’re obviously emailing personal emails, which most, most of us are with Canada Outreach, you are competing against a whole bunch of crap that’s in their inbox. Quite frankly, I know I’m unsubscribing from stuff all the time, because I get newsletter and crap like that.
But if you write like you’re writing to a friend and you need to try to write below a 10th grade reading level, don’t try to make this some college exam essay. That’s like double spaced and all that. You’ve got to humanize it by writing, like you’re writing to a friend. And I think just taking the time like Brian, your example’s great. If you found me following dad jokes on Reddit and reached out to me. And the first like the subject line said, “dad, joke on, Reddit.” Let’s just say, and your first sentence was a really horrible dad joke, because they’re so bad, but so good at the same time. And then you went into like your preface for reaching out in like two short sentences, regardless of whether or not I’m looking for a job, that is memorable and I’m going to write you back and be like, “that is freaking hilarious.” And it also again, shows the human side. So I think just taking that extra time to just find one little nugget that you can use is important.
Brian Fink: Okay. So Kristina, it’s like, I emailed you the message that I send. I just pulled it up so that so I could verbatim this. It’s Dan or whoever, comma, like dad jokes, question marks. “Dan, why build engineering teams for Twitter. I’d really love to find a chance to make you laugh and see if you’re interested in a career fit here, are you open to a conversation?” It is show short sweet to the point. It nails. That is where we’re going.
Kristina Finset: Yeah. And I think that’s perfect, because here’s the thing, another thing that I see is people feel like when they reach out to candidates, whoever your prospect is, that they need to say everything that they to say in that first touch. Which is like, “I need to tell you who I am, what my company does, why I’m reaching out, what this job is, what it means for you, what it means for us.” And the thing is, great. That’s awesome. I get you’re being transparent, but it’s too much. And you’re losing your recipient and you’re losing the opportunity to use bite size chunks of that information as follow up touchpoints.
Because we haven’t even gotten into follow ups, Brian, Ryan. We haven’t even gotten into follows. And that’s the part that I know when I was in recruiting, no one taught me this. I would literally send out, I’d go on the job boards. I would find the candidates that I wanted to reach out to, by the way, I used to recruit for Ruby Engineers in Miami, which is awful. Anyway, and I would literally send them this message. And then I’d have to remember to follow up with them. And I’m not going to lie. There’s sometimes I didn’t send follow up emails and I’d look for fresh people. So that’s, going on a tangent, but I think that’s something we should go to next maybe in this conversation.
Brian Fink: Go to it. We’re here to play ball with Kristina. If you’re just joining the program. If you just clicked in on like the minute mark, we are talking to the maven of email, the maven of outreach. We were talking to Kristina Finseth at the awesome company at Greenhouse. So many questions I want to ask you have dropped so many nuggets. I want to go back before we go forward into knowing about automated outreach. You talked about working backwards and getting to insightful no’s. What’s an insightful no?
Kristina Finset: Yeah. An insightful no is exactly how it sounds. It’s someone who’s not interested, but they give you some sort of piece of intelligence that tells you as the sender, when you might be able to follow up or what, something that’s important to them. So maybe you reach out to me Brian, and I write back and say, love this. I just transitioned into my role at Greenhouse. So it’s not the right time, but hey, six months from now, I want to chat or whatever. It gives you something that you can go back into your system, whatever that system looks like, it could be your calendar and put a reminder, “Hey, I’m going to reach out to Kristina, because she’s a hot candidate for this role. And I want to just see what’s going on. I place candidates like her all the time. I’ve got to stay nurturing her.”
It gives you some sort of piece of intelligence. If you’re on the agency side and you’re selling and you’re trying to reach a high hiring manager to form a relationship. This could look like, “Hey Christina, we’re working with this RPO right now. So we’re not really in the market, but would love to chat about this maybe in six months.” There, you know what they’re using or who they’re using. You have that competitive intelligence to go back and say, “Hey, we just pulled a customer from them the other day. And this is what they’re excited about.” You get what I’m saying here. It gives you some sort of insightfulness to how to reengage when to reengage, what to reengage with, et cetera.
Ryan Leary: What about re-engagement on the copy? Because I think the copy’s important here, right? You’re not sounding superficial. You don’t sound like a robot. I mean, let me say I get them all the time and they always sound artificial. They always sound can, like a template or something like that. And I never read them at all.
Kristina Finset: You’re talking about re-engagement. Are you talking about… What are you talking about?
Ryan Leary: Both I think. Well, so I guess more on the nurture side, keeping people warm. So you’re not sounding like a template, but even your re-engagement piece, how do you reach back out without them thinking or feeling as if you’re just reaching out, because you need to place them?
Kristina Finset: To me that kind of ongoing nurture stream is more of like a high level marketing play. When I think of re-engagement, what I think about is, okay, let me run you through a life cycle. Ryan, I put you through a very specific seven step cadence that I use for reaching out to candidates, that’s multi-channel to the day, to the step, I follow it, because the data doesn’t lie and that’s how I’m going to know data I have. So I follow that religiously. I think of it as in the… I keep dropping Will. So I have to let them know about this podcast, but I think of it as a hit workout when I think of like reaching out, because in the moment I’m looking for someone like you or I’m placing candidates like you, and I’d really like to get you now.
But let’s say I don’t. Maybe if you work for a company that has a pretty sophisticated recruitment marketing nurture, or some sort of nurture stream that you then go into, because you didn’t respond. I think of that as very high level, somewhat generalized information to generate awareness and get you excited to want to work for the company in some capacity in the future. When I think of re-engagement though, me as the recruiter or whoever that originally reached out to you and didn’t get the response, now in 60 to 90 days, if I’m still working on similar roles, I’m running you through a whole different type of cadence. That’s another hit workout and hyper personalized to you for what we’re working on now, where you’re at now, et cetera. So I think of re-engagement a little bit differently. So there’s two kind of lenses there.
Brian Fink: How do you reengage with the… You said you’re running through a very specific seven step cadence and you mentioned the hit philosophy. When you get to that seventh one, what is it that you say in the seventh email to get somebody engaged? They’ve already essentially told you no, or buzz off silently in a very passive, aggressive way? No, in a very passive, not passive, aggressive, in a very passive way through not replying to your other emails, like what’s going on there?
Kristina Finset: Yeah. Well here’s the thing I don’t believe in doing seven emails in a hit.
Brian Fink: Okay. Okay.
Kristina Finset: I’m talking about multi channel and really the triple threat. So let’s just say email, cold calling, and social selling. Which I think everyone should be practicing if you’re running any kind of outbound driven role, whether that’s in recruiting, sales, or marketing, whatever, but it’s for emails typically. So let’s just say on fourth email and I have converted quite a few people off of the last touch, by the way, sometimes it just takes that last touch. That’s usually where I put a GIF into and I have a little bit more humor. I don’t like to say, “Hey, it’s clear you’re not interested, so I’m never going to reach out to you again.” BS, right? I call them by for now emails. And that’s how I kind of chalk it up. So I’ll say language like, “Hey Brian, I’ve reached out a few times. Haven’t gotten a response back.” I’ll drop in some sort of funny GIF there.
“It’s clear that I should probably chalk this up to the fact that I have bad timing. You’re not on the market right now. If I’ve got that all wrong and you want to be a good Samaritan, you can ping me back. Otherwise, I’ll stop my outreach for now.” And that just gives that clue in that. Okay, they have an unsubscribed. Maybe they haven’t responded. That’s okay. I’m going to reach out to them again. It’s not like I’m going to lie and say, “I’m never going to reach out to you again.” So I try to classify them that way by for now emails is what I like to call them.
Brian Fink: Okay. All right. One of the other things that I was going to ask is, you said a triple threat.
Kristina Finset: Yes.
Brian Fink: Do you think recruiters should pick up the phone and call candidates?
Kristina Finset: Okay. So here’s how I feel about it.
Brian Fink: All right.
Kristina Finset: I feel that we all probably have one channel that we really prefer, or that we feel the strongest am most confident at. I will tell you first handedly, I am the most confident when I am emailing; secondarily, I feel really, really good about my LinkedIn plays, and kind of how I supplement that, not the connect and pitch. I’m talking about really using it to weave in relationships and have touch points that make sense, that are spaced out, that are thoughtful in nature. Cold calling is my least favorite. I had to do it when I was an agency recruiter and I freaking hated it, but I did it, because I wanted the results. When I say triple threat, I think the more that you can get comfortable and good at all three of those channels, the more opportunities you will net up, right?
Because different candidates and different prospects respond to different types of communication on different channels. I may email someone four times, never hear from them. I drop them one LinkedIn voice note, boom they’re on the books. So I think the more that you can become a triple threat and get good at all of those channels or incorporating them in some form or fashion, leaning in on the channel that you feel the most confident about, you’re going to scoop up additional opportunities, additional candidates, et cetera. So that’s, kind of my high level philosophy on it, Brian.
Ryan Leary: What are your thoughts on, as you’re re-engaging candidates taking more of the, I guess the B2C approach, if they’re not responding to emails or not answering your calls, or your LinkedIn messages, you said social selling. So why don’t you define what that means for you? Are you talking about hitting them with re-engagement ads and retargeting ads and things like that? What are your thoughts there?
Kristina Finset: Yeah. I mean, those are all marketing plays and they’re great for like brand awareness. I like boots on the ground. I like more of the, what I would consider like gorilla recruiting, gorilla marketing tactics. When I think about social selling, I think about using the free channels within specifically LinkedIn, because that’s where a lot of us are recruiting from. Let’s be honest, Brian, I know that you have all these cool stealthy ways to surface people. But a lot of people-
Ryan Leary: Brian’s been that [inaudible 00: 36: 24] tap his day on LinkedIn.
Kristina Finset: But a lot of people rely on LinkedIn. We all know this. And I think for me, it’s about using things that are already at your disposal without having to necessarily buy much. It’s more about like, “Hey, let’s send a connection request with not a generic note, with nothing to do with a pitch.” Nothing saying, “Hey, I’m working on a role.” Let’s do that first. And then maybe a few days later, after engaging with them a little bit on LinkedIn, you drop a voice note and the voice note has to feel authentic and human too.
So like for me, if I’m dropping a voice note to someone on LinkedIn, I’ll usually say something if I’m… I’ll I have my script kind of memorized, but I’ll say something like, “Hey Brian, thanks a ton for connecting or accepting my connection request. Super excited to have you in my network, in case you haven’t connected the dots, I’ve also sent a couple of emails your way. And I’m really interested in talking to you about this technical recruiting role at Greenhouse. Not sure if you’re in the market right now, but if you’re open to connect, let me know some days and times that work. If not, no worries. Let’s stay in touch. Looking forward to staying connected.”
It’s kind of a, it’s direct, but it’s warm too. If you don’t respond to me or if you’re not interested, I’m still leaving the door open. Like, “Hey, I’m really excited just to be engaging connected with you.” So I try to take those approaches and then I like to use GIFs on LinkedIn. I’ll just drop a GIF. If I didn’t get a response a few days later on a voice note, no text, no nothing, just a GIF.
And it’s usually someone like, some self deprecating GIF where like someone’s walking with their head down or it’s an office GIF of someone crying or, some just kind of saying like, “I’m just that I didn’t hear back from you.” And a lot of times that’ll get people to go, “huh? Okay. You got me. I love a good GIF. So yeah, I think using all those channels is really important, but LinkedIn’s been pretty powerful too. If your candidates are on there, right. If they’re not, you can follow that process on different channels, too. Twitter, Facebook, whatever you want to do, where you feel the most comfortable.
Brian Fink: I love that, because the question I was going to ask you is you said, “Lean in on the channel that you are most comfortable with.” And the other day, I made a post on LinkedIn talking about an author that I follow named Ryan Holiday, that Ryan Holiday actually says, “Don’t lean into what you’re comfortable with. Lean into that un-comfortability.” Ryan, if you’re listening, we’d love to have you on the podcast. But the reality of it is, is that I want to know is leaning into LinkedIn. Is it a weakness? Like I use it, I put a lot of content there. I’m there to build my personal brand, emphasize the opportunity to Twitter, help me to understand, is that a weakness, like by doubling down on LinkedIn.
Kristina Finset: I don’t think it’s necessarily that you have to double down on LinkedIn. I think what’s really important is, for example, there are roles that I’ve hired for where AngelList has been the best source of information, or GitHub, or something other than LinkedIn as a primary source. What I think about as far as LinkedIn goes is, it is a channel. If you ask most recruiters, they rely on it. And the problem is that, it’s such a noisy environment that you have to do things to standout. You have to do it. And even if it’s as simple, maybe you don’t feel comfortable using it as a part of your strategy for direct outreach. But to your point, Brian, like personal brand is important. I mean, that’s what draws inbound candidates.
That’s what draws inbound prospects too. I’ve had my fair share as well. And I know you have, I’m sure you’ve had people reach out to you, as long as we can get away from just posting job postings all the time. I don’t know how you feel about that. That might be a whole nother conversation to have at some point in the future so we can table it, but you got to use it differently. And mobile numbers are really important right now, but the data source for getting mobile numbers is a little bit more challenging for certain people. Voice notes can be a great alternative. So, yeah. I don’t know. I think it’s a necessary channel for a lot of people, but again, it depends on what you’re focused on in recruiting.
Ryan Leary: Kristina, this has been an insane amount of information in this little episode before we jump-
Kristina Finset: Yeah.
Ryan Leary: And every episode, we try to get a little nugget at the end just to kind of wrap it up and give some love to the audience. One of the things you mentioned earlier, I think is super important. Everything we talked about was important, but one of the things was deliverability. It was way back in the beginning. And without deliverability, none of this really matters, right? I mean, a lot of this doesn’t matter. So what are two or three things that a recruiter needs to understand about deliverability as they’re building these campaigns so they can be more successful?
Kristina Finset: Yeah. Oh my goodness. I have such a laundry list of tips for this. But if I have to give just a handful, I mean, listen, to your point, Ryan, you can have the greatest messaging in the world. You could be sending pineapple pizza emails like Brian and dad joke emails like Brian. But if your deliverability sucks, they’re not going to land in the inbox. So I think, the first tip here is, you can test your deliverability.
There are free places to test, kind of get… You can never get a hundred percent in on what your deliverability is, but it can give you kind of a ballpark so that you understand how many of your emails are landing in spam versus the inbox. I know at Interseller, we also have a deliverability test. So if anyone’s listening and they want someone to direct them to that, feel free to ping me on LinkedIn. Glock apps, you should be checking those things.
Brian Fink: Glock apps?
Kristina Finset: Glock apps. Yeah. They have a deliverability test.
Brian Fink: I don’t know what the hell Glock apps is. Okay. Glock apps. I’m going to google it right now.
Kristina Finset: Oh my goodness. Brian just went into, oh my gosh. It’s a piece of tech I don’t know. Yeah. I think [inaudible 00: 43: 13] might have one too. But anyway, so test your deliverability. At the fundamental level, whether or not you are responsible for it or someone at your company is responsible for it. You have to make sure that you have SPF DKIM and DMARC set up to help just infra-structurally the email domain at a high level, for everyone in the org, from ascending perspective. The worst thing you can do. And I’ll give my last tip here in a second and I can give more tips. If people reach out, the worst thing you can do, if your deliverability is shot is say, “Oh, I’m going to open up a new domain.”
Don’t do that, because guess what? You have to have a warmed up domain. And it needs to look like a mixture of your normal, like everyday emails and the emails that you’re sending from an outreach perspective. The best thing you can do is work to remedy it. Yes. It can take up to four to six weeks to fully reverse a spam issue, but you are better off doing that than opening up a new domain.
The last tip I will give is put as much information, scrap all the links in the body of your email for the most part, maybe one every email, if you need to, but put as much identifiable information, not your social, not your date of birth, and your signature. So think about like your company’s headquarter, address your company, a link to your company, company website, your role, all of those things drop the fancy imagery and stuff like that in your signatures, but make it very clear that you are who you are as a sender.
And that will also help with your reputation. But I have so many more tips, Ryan, refresh your copy every 60 to 90 days, please. Every quarter, put it on your calendar to refresh your copy. Once you’ve sent relatively the same copy to a thousand people, the deliverability automatically starts to kind of decrease over time. You’ve got to keep that fresh.
Brian Fink: Oh shit.
Kristina Finset: Every quarter, refresh your copy. Okay. I’m going to stop there, but there’s so many more.
Ryan Leary: That’s a whole another three episodes, we could do it right there. It’s fantastic.
Kristina Finset: Let’s do it. Let’s get Steve Lou on here. He’s like-
Ryan Leary: Let’s do it.
Kristina Finset: He taught me everything about deliverability. He is the deliverability captain, like for real, so-
Ryan Leary: All right. We’ll book it. Yeah. We’ll book it. Kristina, this has been insane. Fink I don’t know about you, but my mind is just blown and sick with information. So this is enough for me to just take a nap and relax for the rest of the holiday, to be honest. I’m good.
Kristina Finset: I’m with that.
Brian Fink: Okay. So I can’t relax. Kristina just scared the shit out of me. There are certain elements that I have been using in emails for the past three years that I say, “Can we talk about the next career move?” And you’re sitting here and my deliverability drops when I say at the end of a message, “Are you open?”
Kristina Finset: Nope.
Brian Fink: Would you be open to a quick call? No it doesn’t, or it does?
Kristina Finset: No, no, no, No, no. When I say refresh copy, you don’t have to scrap everything.
Brian Fink: Okay.
Kristina Finset: Brian, you at least change out two or three, very key sentences or two sentences in there. Keep your same call to action. That’s okay. But you need to be switching up your content a little bit. And that means more than just refreshing, like a word here or there. It’s got to be two full sentences. Let’s say if you’re sending four or five sentences in your email, you need to change out key components each time. If you’re doing hyper personalization on top of that, Brian, for most of your candidates or a good chunk of them that does not apply, because that email’s fresh every time, because you have big elements that are different. Okay. So just to clarify-
Brian Fink: I get scared.
Kristina Finset: Don’t get scared. Don’t get scared, but anyway.
Brian Fink: All right. So our guest is Kristina Finseth. She can be found on LinkedIn. She can be found with an avocado next to her name. If you’re searching by emoji search by the avocado on emoji to finder. Kristina, what else is coming up that people need to know about? Like podcasts, like demos, I mean, not demos, conferences that you’ll be at. Anything else where people can get in your head and borrow your mind for 30 minutes?
Kristina Finset: Nothing huge, huge planned. We may have some components for Greenhouse open next year, which is a big conference. I don’t know if any of you have done that. I believe it’s going to be virtual again, but there is probably going to be a sourcing component to it. So if you’re interested in learning more about sourcing or just, having some professional development or networking with other recruiters and sources, that might be a good one to check out. But yeah, I will post when something new is coming up, but I’m trying to lay low for the holidays.
Brian Fink: Awesome. Thank you for being our guest, Ryan. I look forward to talking to you again soon, my friend. Kristina, you’re the best. Thank you.
Music: Oh, man. That means it’s over. You’ve been listening to the recruiting live podcast by Recruiting Daily. Check out the latest industry podcast, webinars, articles, and news at recruitingdaily.com.
Ryan Leary helps create the processes, ideas and innovation that drives RecruitingDaily. He’s our in-house expert for anything related to sourcing, tools or technology. A lead generation and brand buzz building machine, he has built superior funnel systems for some of the industries top HR Tech and Recruitment brands. He is a veteran to the online community and a partner here at RecruitingDaily.
As a Talent Acquisition Partner at McAfee, Brian Fink enjoys bringing people together to solve complex problems, build great products, and get things done. In his recent book, Talk Tech to Me, Fink takes on the stress and strain of complex technology concepts and simplifies them for the modern recruiter to help you find, engage, and partner with professionals.