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Some candidates are worth the time. A Talent Acquisition leader at a Fortune 500 company told me the other day that their team has to make 17 touches to recruit passive candidates.  What a great stat to track!

By “touches” she is referring to 17 outreach activities (she was excluding screening calls and interviews) it takes to close a passive candidate.

I believe recruiting is no different than sales and sales trainer Grant Cardone has some interesting related data: he claims that 95% of sales closes happen between the 3rd to 12th touch.

The problem is that only 10% of salespeople even make a 3rd contact — I’m guessing recruiters are about the same.

Recruiting Touchpoints

In honor of the 17 touches my friend’s company gives to recruit a passive candidate, I thought I’d give you 17  touches/recruiting tactics to give to your recruiters:

  1. Phone call/voice mail — If you get them to pick up, introduce yourself and ask “is this a bad time?”. That gives the candidate the illusion of control as they say in sales and makes them feel more powerful.
  2. Email of value — Send an email of value (e.g. quality content) with this rule of thumb: would the candidate pay something (even a little $) for whatever it is you’re sending (ideas include a video of a thought leader on your team)
  3. Written letter (can be a short and sweet “Thinking of you” type message. Almost no recruiters do this any more which will make you stand out)
  4. In-person meeting (coffee, etc.) — Offer them a free lunch or coffee. One easy tactic is to say “I’m in the neighborhood…”). Just the invitation alone is of value (law of reciprocity)
  5. LinkedIn invitation by your recruiter
  6. LinkedIn invitation by your department lead
  7. LinkedIn invitation by your hiring manager
  8. Follow the candidate on Twitter (ask your team to as well)
  9. Facebook friend request (by recruiter, department lead or hiring manager)
  10. Conference — If you hold an annual conference, invite them to attend. It might seem awkward, but get over it — treat them like your team
  11. Retargeting Campaign — Use Facebook or the Web to send them a re-targeted ad
  12. Text message — Keep this simple and of value…but don’t be afraid to do it
  13. Annual email summarizing your business (if you’re a public company, try sending over a summary of financials; if private, send them a summary of highlights of your business
  14. Press releases — if you put out a press release about a product or anything related to the skills your candidate has, send them that press release!)
  15. E-book — Send them an e-book on a topic you know they’re passionate about (most e-books are under $12 and require just a few clicks
  16. Holiday card (email or print)
  17. Thank you card — If the candidate did invest time in you, an easy touch point is a thank you card

Good luck with those touches!


Rob Kelly

Co-Founder and CEO at Ongig
Ongig transforms your job descriptions to attract the best talent faster. Ongig is a content management system that supercharges your job descriptions through video, images, pictures, chat, social sharing, microsite creation and much more. Jobs can be more easily found through Artificial Intelligence-based job search and all pages are Mobile and SEO optimized. Ongig's professional copywriting team will even rewrite your job descriptions. Early clients of Ongig include Yelp, GoDaddy, Verizon, Intel andAutodesk.

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