If we spent more time talking about how recruiters can market themselves, their companies, and their products (aka their jobs) and less time sharing hacks for spamming people, maybe the industry would actually evolve.
FTR, this is not a post about how outbound recruiting is spam. IMO, fundamentally it’s not.
Are there recruiters that abuse the ability to email and InMail people and disrespect these channels? Absolutely.
But this isn’t about that. This is about approach.
If you’re scraping emails to go outbound to candidates, chances are these candidates are:
- Currently employed
- In high-demand
Otherwise, you’d be fielding quality inbound interest via job boards, your careers site, and other candidate-facing platforms.
But that’s not happening. So you need to reach out directly and tell folks that you exist.
It's time we shift how we view the dynamic between this recruiter and this type of candidate.
The recruiter who goes outbound to high-demand candidates is equivalent to an Enterprise Account Executive selling six-figure deals with long, relationship-driven sales cycles.
The passive candidate who buys a new job applies more intention and thought than when buying a new piece of technology, a car, or even a house.
To break this down even further:
B2B enterprise products have the backing of entire marketing teams who are continually looking for ways to educate their market, build brand awareness, and drive high-intent leads to their reps. They're conducting market research, talking to customers, and analyzing data.
A sub-section of the marketing industry was literally created to focus specifically on this unique type of buying process.
I get it—most recruiting teams don’t have this luxury. They have to sell.
Here’s the good news: The high-demand candidate market doesn’t want to be sold too.
They’re tired of being spammed by recruiters. They want to find and buy jobs the same way they find and buy big-ticket items in their personal lives.
They want a modern, low friction experience.
Side note: The friction in recruiting is caused by too much human interaction. Replace the recruiter with transparent information at the top of the funnel and most of the initial friction goes away. Look at e-comm, SaaS, and how you personally buy online without ever having to talk to someone as inspiration. Apply as much as you can to your recruiting process to create a hands-off experience.
So the solution is simple (not easy): Talent teams need to become their own marketing team.
This isn’t an either/or. It’s a both/and.
Look at your existing channels. See them as relationship channels, not high-volume sales channels.
Lead with personalization, clear and transparent information, and easily digestible written, video, and audio content.
At some point, small, scrappy Talent teams need to force themselves to take a different approach.
Because, unlike sales, nobody is going to do it for them.