When Does a Recruiter Cross Over from Clever to Creepy?

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Mar 23, 2017

Personalizing your notes whether it’s to a friend, date, or a potential hire, is the key to getting the response you want. Everyone wants to know that they are unique and no one likes a mass message — whether an email or group text.

LinkedIn, Facebook, and a general Google search has made it possible for a recruiter to find almost everything they need to know to woo a potential candidate with personal details. Combined with new ways to personally contact candidates, like textrecruit, Facebook jobs, and mobile job search tools, it seems like there’s an infinite ability for a recruiter or hiring manager to add personal anecdotes at a mass scale and contact a job seeker at any time.  

As I see these new technologies come into the marketplace, each helping hiring managers and recruiters have better response rates from candidates, I start to wonder if at some point the personalization level goes too far and becomes invasive. Should a recruiter or hiring manager really be able to comment on a job seeker’s recent vacation to Mexico, or further text them about it? If this was 20 even 10 years ago, I’d say yes, this is probably a turnoff for job seekers.

Today, I think this is an old-school mentality that could be holding you back in building your team effectively.

Millennials and Generation Z are always on the go, mobile, and want to be “met where they are.” There are fewer boundaries between work and social lives, especially as the traditional office space is now commonly swapped for a laptop. Text someone to schedule an interview or search and apply for a new job on your phone? For millennials and Gen z it’s purely more convenient. Glassdoor’s state of mobile job search told us in 2014 that 75 percent of job seekers are likely to search for jobs via a mobile device and 44 percent are likely to apply to jobs via a mobile device; and that was 2014, when only 55 percent of Americans owned a smartphone. Now 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone, so you can only assume how the job search process has continued to mobilize.

Contacting a candidate via something that will pop up on their mobile phone also allows you to gauge interest quicker. If you send someone an email, you might have to wait a few hours for a response, where contacting directly on mobile increases your chance of an instant response.

So, how can you tell if your cleverness is crossing over to the creepy side? It really comes down to the audience you’re looking to hire. If the goal is to bring on a seasoned engineer or C-Suite executive, texting to follow-up or schedule an interview can be viewed as invasive and also “too casual.” However, if you’re bringing on a younger workforce using tools like textrecruit, mobile job search platforms, or even social media, will most likely get you a better response rate.

Something you should stop doing: Leaving voicemails, because who even checks those anymore?

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