Defining the Job and Not the Person is more important:

Sourcing the best candidates must start with a compelling vision of what the job entails. Don’t rely on a traditional job description to source candidates. Instead, ask hiring managers what the person needs to do in the job to be successful, and get a description of at least three or four major projects. The best candidates will only explore a job if it offers growth opportunities.

Having a Strong Basic Pitch will help engage Candidates more:

Would you be open to exploring a situation that’s clearly superior to what you’re doing today?” Ninety-nine percent of candidates will say, “Yes.” Use this approach every time you first talk to a top candidate on the phone. Or when you hit voicemail or an answering machine, use this as your basic message. You must also capture this idea in your advertising.

Write Compelling Advertising

When writing the job description, avoid the traditional or boring. Ads need creative titles and copy that describes what the person will be doing, learning and becoming. Don’t list skills and years. This filters out rather than entices the best people. Describe a skill in the context of how it will be used. For example, “Use your accounting background in manufacturing to help us build a new reporting system.” If the ad title says, “Accounting Wizard Required,” you’ll attract some top people to the candidate pool.

Work Efficiently with Resume Databases

Finding top candidates in a resume database can be time consuming. Maximize your return on time invested by calling the best candidates you find within a few days, otherwise they could be gone. For the rest of the best, you can convert older resumes into active candidates through email as a starter. Write a hyper-targeted email message describing your remarkable opportunity with a copy of the job description. Automatically email this to any people who meet your employee screening requirements, and ask them to respond. Here’s an example: “I found your resume on the Internet and was very impressed with your background. If you’re still looking for a position you might be interested in this opportunity (insert ad). If you’d like to pursue this, please send me your latest resume and a quick paragraph describing your most significant accomplishment in the area of (whatever may be relevant, e.g., launching new industrial products).”  A prospective candidate may not be looking today, but if you continue to send them opportunities that fit their skillset and experience, they are more likely to pay attention to your emails when they do start looking.


Wait, what?!?!  You mean recruiting isn’t quickly searching resume databases and contacting candidates that everyone else is contacting?  If you are using a purpose-built recruiting software or at least keeping notes on people you have contacted and those you’ve placed, leverage that historical data.  If you were looking for a job, every wise person you know would tell you that a good recruiting strategy is all about networking; same goes for looking for the best candidates. Ask everyone you talk with if they know someone appropriate for the job. It’s a great way to find passive candidates. If the job is not compelling though, they’ll only give you names of people looking for work. To get a name of a top passive candidate, you need to describe a compelling job. When you get a name, call them up and ask them your basic pitch question.

Never Get Discouraged Cold Calling

Okay, that is nearly impossible.  It isn’t that uncommon to hit a string of a few bad calls to get you down.  Take a breath, a break, go outside and scream at the top of your lungs.  Just shake it off.  The phone is a critical tool in any kind of sales and third-party recruiting is sales.  Repetition is key and refinement, improvement and ultimately success come with repetition.