A New Way to Customize Pitches to Passive Candidates

Recruiting desirable talent is fundamentally bi-directional: candidates sell themselves to companies, and companies sell themselves to candidates. Job-seekers typically make a customized pitch, showing how their abilities meet the specific needs of the company. However, except for executive recruiting, it’s rare for companies to make customized pitches to specific individuals. 

Here’s what a customized pitch to a desirable passive candidate might look like:

  • “We see you have an interest in global work. The projects you’d be working on with us are all global; we can offer experiences you’d be unlikely to get with your current firm.”
  • “We think you’ll like the team you’ll be on. For example, Sue also graduated from MIT with a degree in electrical engineering just two years before you did.”
  • “It will also be a much shorter commute for you than where you are currently working. Our office is close enough that it’s an easy bicycle ride.”
  • “The technical leadership of the company you’d be joining is much stronger than the company you are currently at. They have relatively more experience and more of the leaders have PhDs.”

Now, sure, sourcers can create individual pitches to individual candidates, but that takes a lot of time. This is where technology can step in. For example, one of the companies working on bi-directional recruiting is Stellares.ai. The company claims that thanks to the information now available about the individuals you’d like to hire, the software’s AI can craft a customized story as to why that individual might want to join your company. 

Stellares has experimented with two approaches to gathering data about passive candidates. One is to use the information publicly available on candidates on social media and professional sites such as LinkedIn or GitHub. The other is to ask candidates to provide insight into what they desire in a career via a chatbot. 

The company found that the former approach, using smart data collection and machine learning, generates insights deep enough to engage passive candidates through personalized storytelling. In other words, there’s no need to request information from candidates via a chatbot.

This emerging type of technology is worth paying attention to, not simply as a useful talent acquisition tool, but because it reminds us that we don’t have to do things the way we’ve always done them. It’s a beautiful example of how the vague idea of “personalized HR” is brought to life to meet a specific need.

The challenge for talent acquisition departments is how to keep up to date with all the new developments in the field. The ability to automatically make customized pitches to desirable candidates is only one of dozens of new opportunities. Making the best of all those opportunities probably requires some change in the organization of the talent acquisition department so that ongoing innovation is effectively managed.

Make these organizational changes, and you’ll be able to swiftly assess if innovations like bi-directional recruiting are of value to your company.

David Creelman, CEO of Creelman Research, is a globally recognized thinker on people analytics and talent management. Some of his more interesting projects included:

  • Conducted workshops around the world on the practical aspects of people analytics
  • Took business leaders from Japan’s Recruit Co. on a tour of US tech companies (Recruit eventually bought Indeed.com for $1 billion)
  • Studied the relationship between Boards and HR (won Walker Award)
  • Spoke at the World Bank in Paris on HR reporting
  • Co-authored Lead the Work: Navigating a world beyond employment with John Boudreau and Ravin Jesuthasan. The book was endorsed by the CHROs of IBM, LinkedIn and Starbucks.
  • Worked with Dr. Wanda Wallace on “Leading when you are not the expert” which topped the “Most Popular List” on the Harvard Business Review’s blog.
  • Worked with Dr. Henry Mintzberg on peer coaching, David’s learning modules are among the most popular topics.

Currently David is helping organizations to get on-track with people analytics.

This work led to him being made a Fellow for the Centre of Evidence-based Management (Netherlands) for his contributions to the field.

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