The Best Way to Make Initial Contact with a Candidate

QUESTION: How do you feel about initiating a first contact with a candidate via LinkedIn and mail or email? Do you feel the phone is still the best way to do this?  – Conrad, Walpole, MA

ANSWER: I prefer initiating first contact via phone for recruiting. It is not right or wrong because you can give me an argument for the other and I would not have a strong argument back. However, I prefer the first attempt to be a voicemail. Can you do it via email? Absolutely. 

When leaving a voicemail, the message should not be: 

Hey, I am working on a great, great opportunity I want to talk to you about.  

The message should be:

Hey Conrad. I have no idea what it is going on in your career right now.  

That is the key sentence – I have no idea what is going on in your career right now. Because some people are paranoid about leaving voicemails, especially if it is a work phone number. I have never seen anybody have their messages checked, but even so, very courteous.  

I wanted to see if you are at all open to exploring an opportunity that could potentially be stronger than your current situation. Let me know. Give me a call at _____.  

Create some mystery. I do not want to give them any details, I want them to be intrigued.  

If I am going to send an email, I am going to send the same words in an email.  

The mistake people make, because people have sent me emails to evaluate, they describe to me the opportunity. I delete everything about the opportunity because now it is about the opportunity and it is not about them as a human being.  

In the end, there should be 7 attempts to contact the candidate over 3 weeks and you can alternate between the voicemail and email.

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