Firstly, I’m giving this advice based on my personal experience from being approached by over 200 recruiters. I’m going to explain the path of getting to my current role through a recruiter and what my though processes were. It’s very important to stand out as a recruiter, or we will just consider you a robotic drone.
In short, here is the list:
- Show explicit interest in a candidate (browse sites, github, hobbies, etc)
- Do not phone the mobile, unless they give you consent
- Be informal, don’t act so robotic
- Ask them if there is anything they don’t like in their current role, and focus your pitch on the response
- If they show interest, offer to talk over a pint or food
I had been working for a company for several months and my job was beginning to get stale and there were plenty of reasons that I was looking to leave. I had multiple recruiters sending me messages daily and every single time I checked my inbox, it would be a generic message that tried to mimic something personal, which just doesn’t work. I would immediately ignore these messages and dismiss the opportunities, no matter how amazing they might be.
I check my emails much more than I do LinkedIn and that’s how the recruiter that I eventually collaborated with contacted me. I can’t recall the subject line, but I know it wasn’t the annoying “iOS Developer – Manchester – Up to 40k” text. It was something that stood out and requested my attention directly. When I checked the email, he talked about the work he’s noticed that I’ve done, and I knew he had looked at my website because he referenced data that was only available there.
The recruiter had explicitly shown interest in my work and this sparked my interest and made me realise that I am much more likely to be a suitable candidate for the job if he’s done his research on me and decided to approach me. In the same manner that I try to write clean and effective software, I expect a recruiter to find a talented and capable candidate and if you show explicit interest in somebody, that will be recognised and it’ll pay off.
I really liked LateRooms when I went for the interview and I wouldn’t have even had the interview and realised what a great business it was if it weren’t for the recruiter doing a great job at getting my attention and persuading me to go for the interview. The most impressive trait I had noticed is how personal the message was. I don’t expect recruiters to be able to spend so much time on a single potential candidate but if you want a good response then you should invest some effort.
I have honestly seen over 50 recruiters contact me and make stupid mistakes such as seeing “RE: FWD: iOS Position” in the subject title and I’ve seen recruiters leave somebody else’s name in the message. These are offensive more than anything, and you’ll never get any interest from the applicant if you have that attitude when approaching them.
The thing I absolutely hate the most is cold-calling. It’s extremely annoying and the number will be blocked. If you’re doing it via an anonymous line, then reconsider your approach. Cold calling is extremely invasive and I simply can’t imagine anybody enjoying receiving anonymous recruitment calls whilst doing their job and trying to get work done.
This is more feedback than advice but it’s honest feedback from a lot of experience being on the other side of the field. There are a lot of mistakes that recruiters seem to make and the purpose of this post is to make these obvious.