A cold candidate is a passive job seeker with no mutual connection. They may not be looking for a job. How can you get them to pay attention to you when they don’t know you, your company, or even that they may be interested in a job you have to offer? Here are three tips to get the attention and impress a cold candidate, and, with the right technique, turn them into a hot lead. 

Turning the Cold Candidate Warm 

LinkedIn reports that about 75% of job candidates are only passively looking for a job. This means they’re not actively applying but are kind of open to the right opportunity if it should smack them in the face. While you don’t want to smack anyone, the best recruiters know how to get the attention of these candidates and impress them right out of the gate. How do they do it? 

The passive job candidate has been critical to the success of staffing agency recruiters for the past few years. We’ve had a run of record unemployment, which means that far too few candidates are on the market for the far too many jobs that we need to fill. The only recourse most recruiters have is to keep working on cold candidates to build relationships. The best recruiters do this by: 

  1. Walking a line between being engaging and being sales-y. First, don’t sound like you’re a used car salesperson. Instead, try to engage the potential candidate to find out who they are and what they want in their dream job well before you ever tell them about the role. Sometimes the best way to engage candidates is to start with simple questions, such as, “Are you happy in your current position?” or “Are you open to new opportunities?” Being warm, friendly, and genuine during this process is much better than sending out a dozen spam emails with the same message. You are not a robot, and neither is your candidate, so try to let a little of your personality (including your sense of humor) shine through as you reach out to total strangers in a cold email. 
  2. Research your candidates to be sure they fit the role. We see recruiters in technology doing this all the time—reaching out to a Ruby developer for a Java role makes you look silly. Instead, have a select group of targets that actually fit your req and then reach out to them with a personal message, such as:  
  3. Hey, Tony. I looked at your profile and saw you have some excellent Java skills! I don’t know if you’re interested in hearing about a great new opportunity, but I’m working with a top employer to fill a key role. Would it be worth about 10-minutes of your time to chat about it? You never know, right? 
  4. Don’t focus just on the money. Also, if the candidate is solely focused on money, they’re a flight risk to any recruiter that comes up with more of it. Instead, try to dig into the company you’re working for; what is the culture like; are they doing some social good? Share with the candidate some of the perks (catered means, work from home options), and why you think their skills might be a good match for the team. This is especially true in a cold call scenario where you won’t know how much the candidate is currently making—at least until you get to know them better. 

Looking for a Helping Hand?

Another way to impress a cold candidate is to use some of the smartest recruiting tools on the market to get their attention. Exelare has the tools that can get you the talent. Call on us