The tech job market is hot, there’s no denying that. With the release of new software and new platforms, the demand for skilled workers remains high, and the talent pool is fairly small. In the cleared IT job market, the talent pool is even smaller. The need for cleared contractors to work in the defense and intelligence contracting arena continues to grow as new contract vehicles create many positions that need to be filled. Jobs need to get done, missions need to be accomplished, and the only way to get there is to find highly skilled and cleared individuals that can do the work. In order to find these talented individuals, companies rely on their recruiters to comb the net for resumes and applicants to fill those positions.
The need to fill certain key positions can become very difficult for even the most seasoned recruiter. The methods in which recruiters use to reach potential candidates has grown in the last 15 years. Social media, text messaging and email give recruiters many avenues to reach and find the right people for their job openings. However, these methods can all be abused, and recruiting etiquette seems to have gone out the window within the past 5 years. Are recruiters using approaches that enhance their chances of finding the right candidate, or are they alienating potential employees? I tend to lean towards the latter and here’s why.
put away the form letter texts
In today’s society, technology has made it extremely simple to communicate with one another whether we are in the same room or countries apart. Text messaging has become the de facto method of communication for much of the latest generation. Even past generations are more apt to send a text message than dial a phone number and talk with someone. Recruiters have become very aggressive with text messaging as of late, and I for one am put off by this practice. It’s not uncommon for me to receive 2-3 text messages from recruiters that I have to scroll through. The issue? It’s almost as if they’ve copied and pasted their email form letter into a text format. The problem with text messaging is that is comes across as vague and without feeling – even more so if you’re copying and pasting a form message. You can’t read the body language or get the inflections you would from someone’s voice on the phone. A text should no be your first line approach to a candidate.
stop the Spam E-mail
When you put your resume out on a job board such as ClearanceJobs.com or Dice.com, you can expect to be contacted by recruiters, sometimes at a dizzying pace. When you take a new job and aren’t on the market any more, many times that resume is still active in the database of the job board. Recruiters will continue to call and email even after you have put your resume in and inactive state. The worst part about this is the endless emails you get from recruiters, most of them completely impersonal and templated. Recruiters have hundreds of potential candidates to reach out to and form letters in email can be a simple way to reach everyone. The problem with this is most of the emails get filtered out and rendered as spam.
At times, recruiters will send emails to you with job requirements that completely misalign with your work history and skill set. Most of these types of emails end with, “If you aren’t in the job market, please forward to this to someone you know is looking for a new position. We offer cash referrals.” It comes across as a chain letter or a way to get your contacts, so it can be propagated to them, as well. Recruiters, please try harder… pick up a phone and make a call, then follow up with an email if necessary. Let’s put an end to the spam recruiting emails that stuff your inbox on a daily basis.
if you’re going to phone, keep the message short
Are phone calls inappropriate? Absolutely not, this is probably one of the best methods for reaching a candidate and having it seem remotely personal in nature. Through a phone call you can hear the other person’s voice, talk faster than you can text and give them your undivided attention for the duration of the call. Can this method of contact be abused? Absolutely, and it is abused daily. What’s the worst thing about a phone call from a recruiter? A 10 minute long voicemail! Keep voicemails brief and to the point, no need for a long monologue about the position and who you are and where you work and how to reach you five different ways. Generally what happens with phone calls is the call is missed (or declined), then a voicemail is left, then an email, then a text message. Geez! Give the individual a chance to call you back before trying every other method in the book to get ahold of them.
candidates understand the market: but be patient
I understand that there are tons of open positions to fill, positions that bring the company and the recruiter money. I also understand that the talent pool can at times be very small, and run dry. Do your best to maintain a semblance of etiquette when recruiting individuals for positions you need to fill. Aggressive measures do more to drive a candidate away from your recruiting, than to draw them in and make contact. Be patient with us, be professional, and we will respond.