“Pick Up the Phone, You Lazy Bum!” Recovering Your Old Recruiting Tactics
Last week I did something that I haven’t done in quite a while. There was a candidate who really caught my eye on LinkedIn. After he accepted my inMail and invitation to connect, we exchanged a few messages, and he said he was interested in taking a look at a job description for the role I was aggressively promoting. Gleefully, I emailed him with this attachment right away. Normally, I get a yay or nay fairly quickly in regards to pursuing next steps.
However, one day passed without response. Then came two and soon three days unanswered. Could it have gone straight to his spam folder? Is he just swamped with work? I didn’t want to keep emailing him like a pest; clearly this tactic wasn’t working anyway. So I took a page out of my old agency days’ textbook. I looked up the phone number of the company where he worked, dialed the operator and asked her to put me through to the candidate with whom I had “an important matter to discuss!” My cold-calling agency life flashed before my eyes.
Lo and behold, the candidate was relieved to hear from me. It turns out all my emails had been categorized as spam and end up in his junk mail folder. This often happens when there’s an attachment to an email from an unrecognized sender, especially when he/she has numerous hyperlinks (which I do in my signature). Anyway, so we got the bottom of it and I assured the candidate that I had not just given up on him. We managed to properly exchange job descriptions and résumés this time, and he is now well in process for an executive-level position at one of our exciting portfolio companies.
Sometimes in the corporate recruiting setting, we forget about the gritty, raw tactics we used to once implement in our everyday recruitment efforts. Don’t get too comfortable or feel you don’t have to work as hard. Don’t feel like you’re too good to pick up the phone because emailing from a venture capital firm should provide enough credibility to warrant a response from everyone. As long as what you’re doing is effective and ethical, keep an open mind and try out new approaches because there never is a one-size-fits-all strategy to recruitment.