It probably comes as no surprise that your next best hires will come from your extended network. But if you haven't yet given a lot of thought as to how you're going to methodically tap into those circles, take some advice from Pete Kazanjy.
Kazanjy co-founded TalentBin, a talent search engine that was recently acquired by Monster.com. In a recent post on First Round Review, Kazanjy goes into great detail about his personal step-by-step recruiting process. In short, he says it goes like this:
- Generate hundreds of leads through your staff.
- Reach out directly via email -- and remember to follow up.
- Repeat again and again.
Kazanjy's entire process is a lot more involved, and worth reading up on, but here are some key highlights.
Get Your Staff on Board
First, you need to ask your current staff for their help and their time. Since they're providing you with an invaluable service, make sure a rewards system is in place. Kazanjy said a referral recruiting bonus -- of at least $1,000 to $2,000 per hire -- is a must.
Next, make sure they know exactly who you're looking for before they comb through their network. Emphasize that you're not just in search of candidates who are job hunting or might be soon -- those aren't the only kinds of people who could be persuaded to come join your company.
Instead, the only question they should have in their minds when considering an individual is, "Does this person meet our hiring standards?"
"All other information can be collected elsewhere, but this reputation data, validated by a trusted source you have in-house, is not available anywhere else. That's the most valuable piece of this entire process," Kazanjy said.
Next, work with each of your employees for about 30 minutes as they mine their LinkedIn account. This will generate a long list, so capture all of the data in a Google spreadsheet. For efficiency's sake, just keep a running list of LinkedIn profile links. You can go back and populate more detailed fields like "name" and "contact information" later.
You do want to record any side comments that your employees make about an individual. For example, "That guy is great, and we'd be lucky to get him." Add it to the notes column. Then when you're done with LinkedIn, go through the same process on Facebook.
"Why Facebook, you ask? Aren't LinkedIn connections the 'professional' connections you're looking for? Yeah, kinda. But people suck at documenting their full social graphs on LinkedIn," Kazanjy said. Think of all of the talented people your employees have met within the past few years who they haven't bothered to connect with on LinkedIn.
When it comes time to actively reach out to people, the lead list might be 250 rows long. The best way to tackle it is to write emails as quickly as possible using a template. Make sure to emphasize to the recipients they came highly recommended by your employee.
Chances are that many won't respond, so be sure to follow up. If they do respond, you should reply in one of two ways based on the way that they answered:
1. They're interested. Send over some fun screening questions. "If they make the effort to answer them, you know they are serious about looking. This is also a lower barrier to entry than an immediate phone screen or interview," Kazanjy said.
2. They're not interested. Ask if they'll pass along the jobs details to their friends. "You want your information driven along the referral path to their similarly high-quality friends," Kazanjy pointed out.
Time consuming? Yes. Worth it? Definitely. "For every new hire that you get out of this system, they bring about 500 new contacts to the table that you can mine and recruit from, too," Kazanjy said. "It's the gift that keeps giving."