The Sin of Disposable Recruiting

4 pillars of the service approach to candidates.

Perhaps the most exciting part of recruitment is communication. Behind every opened letter is a person with his own story, dreams, and ambitions. And you never know what is waiting for you after the message is sent, how the conversation will turn, and whether it’ll take place at all.

Disclaimer: The human factor in this process entails logical unpredictability of what will happen after pressing the “send” button. And therefore, it reflects the subjectivity of the interlocutor’s reaction.

Therefore, unambiguous recipes such as “Do it, and everything will be great” cannot be formed here – one person might feel furious while the other could be feeling grateful about the same thing.

Nevertheless, we have identified 4 principles that work in GUID, which we actively use while teaching students in offline and video courses. So, let’s talk about them and candidates’ feedback that we’ve received during Candidate Experience Research.

Behind the brackets

Speaking Developish, market understanding, and deep knowledge of your vacancy. It’s the zero stage. Without it, there is no point in talking further.

Here we also list professional ethics:

“IMHO, nobody is interested in “ingenious” job descriptions like “I’m ready to give you all the world treasures if you look at our vacancy” (almost original quote). Silly flirting is even more miserable and unprofessional.”

“Female recruiters, respect yourself! Communicate in a professional manner, do not cross the line of business relations. I also repeatedly faced that the recruiter knows nothing about the vacancy, except for the description text. The details are most often found out at an interview, what is a rather irrational waste of time. If all the questions could be clarified before the interview stage, this would save time both for the candidate and the company.”

Disposable recruitment vs. long-term partnership

A recruiter’s value is measured by a quality network.
The real situation is scary:

The Sin of Disposable Recruiting

The average correspondence between the recruiter and the candidate looks like this:

– *long-read about the vacancy*
– No, thanks, I am not interested.
– Ok, see you*

*good-case scenario.

Disposable recruitment is a barrier to creating an effective process, high results, and positive karma. The market is overheated, candidates’ messengers are swamped with the same type of messages and ineffective correspondence.

The value of a recruiter is in the ability to build long-term relationships with candidates, to represent completely the true value of a vacancy for this particular person, based on his interests and preferences. Is it possible to mention all these items in the correspondence above? Hardly.

People appreciate an individual approach:

The Sin of Disposable Recruiting

A spam approach in recruitment can be provoked by a large amount of work to be completed. Especially when management is pressuring the recruiter and waiting for 70 Java Developers to be hired as of yesterday. It can be hard for the recruiter not to panic and to retain the quality of their work.

However, the question of speed is better solved by using a competent prioritization of search channels, and not at the expense of the quality of the communication. For example, the first priority should be to approach the “warm” candidates (the ones with whom there is a history of previous communication) and to use resources like

In the long run, spam as a “time-saving” is a disservice. You become a “persona non grata” for those whom you managed to spam after a few approaching attempts like these. In our practice, a warm network allowed us to close vacancies with a single message. Having spent a little more time on establishing high-quality contact with a person, one can significantly speed up further work. And it helps not to spoil the karma as well.

Mindless spam vs. Targeted communication for the future

We asked in our survey about the contents of a recruiter’s first message:

The Sin of Disposable Recruiting

98.5% of recruiters offer a vacancy in the very first message or ask if a candidate is considering any job offers. However, the popularity of this behavior doesn’t make it correct, or the only one possible at all.

Are there any alternatives?

Identifying interests. Asking what kind of proposals the candidate is interested in – now or in the future.

This step seems to be insanely simple, but it can radically change the flow of communication and directly affect the success of negotiations.

What for?

Business Profit:

  • You estimate in advance how much a candidate will be interested in your proposal.
  • Eliminate the possibility of offer rejection due to a lack/distortion of information.
  • Increase the response rate. Your message doesn’t discourage the reader by being a long read and draws attention to its content – because you write about a candidate, not about a vacancy. And there is no one more interesting to a person than himself.
  • You understand what to focus on for this particular person and can return to his arguments in the future. Otherwise, you close the space for further negotiations. It often happens in reality that after the refusal of a candidate (in response to a spam message), a recruiter doesn’t have the opportunity to continue the dialogue. As demonstrated in the survey question below:

The Sin of Disposable Recruiting

  • You get a chance to sell not only a vacancy but Yourself as a potentially useful business partner. The main thing is to be able to convey this benefit and to keep your brand in their minds for the future. Even if it doesn’t work out now, the candidate will remember you as a recruiter who respected him and his interests, found out what was interesting to him personally, and therefore wouldn’t offer nonsense. He will be ready to consider your proposals in the future, will recommend you to his friends, or will return himself as soon as he wants to change his job.

Karmic profit:

  • You don’t force the person to consider something he doesn’t need at all.
  • You don’t steal his time.
  • You don’t engage in thoughtless spam.
  • You create space for humanly valuable communication.

Our recruiters know that this approach pays off.

“You are one of the few people who go through the notes regarding the history of the relationship with the candidate, eventually re-addressing the same job seeker. You have my respect. I have more than 900 “colleagues/friends” in my LinkedIn network, and such people can be counted on the fingers of one hand. I’ll definitely contact you when I’m ready to change the company. Thanks!”

The Sin of Disposable Recruiting

“Hello! Thanks, I’m good. Just recalling that there are no more recruiters like you.”

The Sin of Disposable Recruiting

The candidate’s feedback – Positive: “The best HR Specialist in my entire career. I wish there were more ones like you.”

The Sin of Disposable Recruiting

“Thank you so much, you are a professional 🙂 You’re prompt, attentive and always give full information 🙂 ”

The Sin of Disposable Recruiting

“Irina, you are now my hero recruiter! It’s the first time for me to see regular feedback 🙂 Thank you. I’ll be waiting and hoping”

The Sin of Disposable Recruiting

Moreover, the value of an individual approach was repeatedly noted by our respondents in the Candidate Experience Research.

Have you ever had a positive experience of interaction with recruiters? What made it positive?

“It’s good when a recruiter uses an individual approach (or at least tries to do it). When they ask whether you are interested in work; offer a vacancy; in case of a refusal, ask about the reasons, what could be relevant in the future, etc. Copy-pasted dialog: “I am not interested – OK” is the most stupid and useless thing ever.”

“Individual approach. Trying to get into my situation and actually understand what do I want. The courage to honestly admit that there is nothing interesting to offer now in spite of pushing me to consider just everything”

“Acting like my agent in their company, trying to answer all my questions.”

Candidate2Company vs. Human2Human

Some respondents noted that they are tired of excessive formalism in communication and appreciate directness and sincerity.

Have you ever had a positive experience of interaction with recruiters? What made it positive?

“The sincerity of a recruiter. [It’s good when] they don’t try to avoid answering the question or hide something. When they say everything just as it is.”

“Humanity and openness of communication without unnecessary pathos and formalism.”

“Simple, lively, human interaction.”

People appreciate when communication from the Candidate2Company mode develops into Human2Human. The IT industry is informal. In most cases, it is devoid of a dress code and excessive officialdom. If a recruiter [company’s face] behaves like a stifled bot, then these scary headlines about recruiters who will be replaced by bots by 2022 have a real chance in coming true. The truth is that the bot will definitely cope with the task of sending the same message to 1000 people better and faster than the human would.

What is the value of a human in the recruitment process? Sorry for the tautology, but it is Humanity. The ability to understand what this particular candidate needs. To hear halftones in speech, to present information exactly in a way This Particular Person needs. The ability to maintain a simple interesting conversation. To be a person to whom a candidate will return looking for work and be the one whom he will recommend to his close people. Because he is confident in you. In your understanding of his needs. He knows that you’ll do everything possible to bring him as close as possible to his desired goals and that you won’t propose any trash.

Those who are ready to do a little more, to go beyond the expected limits always remain in our memory.

Interesting vs. Interested

We all have moments in life when we strive to be Interesting. We talk about ourselves a lot. We wait until the interlocutor finishes his story in order to insert a remark “By the way, I..”. Sales seem to be the right place for this phenomenon – you have to show your vacancy in the most favorable light in order to interest a person, right? Therefore, we have this underlying picture in recruitment, where an avalanche of “dynamically developing companies” / segment leaders / the most delicious cookies on the planet, hits the unsuspecting developer from the doorway.

But does he need all that? We won’t know unless we ask.

The golden rule of ethics is formulated in negative: “DO NOT do to anyone what you DO NOT want to be done to you.” After all, we are all different and want different things. And what seems cool to one person can harm another.

A simple household analogy: I love chocolate and get excited when guests bring it with them. Will I be a good guest if I bring a ton of sweets to a diabetic friend? Not at all.

So why should something work differently when it comes to the workplace and the people with whom a person spends the most time of his life? The issue of changing work is our everyday task, and we often forget that for someone, it is a stressful step and a cardinal reversal of everything familiar in life. And the least that we can do for a person here is to ask them what do they really want in the first place.

“Don’t write corporate bullshit (and not only corporate). Recruiters do it, even though not every one of them and not always.It’s hard for me to understand: what do I have to do with it? What do they want from me at all? Why do I need all of this? You are selling the vacancy to the candidate after all! For example, when a vacancy is irrelevant to me (requires a lower skill level then I have), it still has a wordy description and poor articulation of the company’s needs. Considering that I’m not interested, I give a completely accurate and useless answer to what exactly I was asked. I may also start a philosophical conversation. Although [if the right question was asked] I could give a useful answer as well, it’s not a big thing.”

In GUID, we focus on the candidate. The main idea is to consider the person with whom you communicate. In which channel should we approach him? When should we text? What kind of vacancy should we offer? When to reach out again if he has refused?

No one will answer you better than the candidate himself. Is chatting on Skype uncomfortable for them? Be flexible, move to a messenger, that’s more convenient for the candidate. Is he tired of the flood of irrelevant offers? Specify what suggestions he considers relevant and write only with them.

Just talk to a person. You will be surprised how much each of the candidates can teach you, and whom you can help even in matters not related to work.

Be a human being, not a bot. And it will definitely be appreciated:

“Thank you so much! Thankfully to you, I believed that recruiters could be really interested in the people they find, not only striving to fill the position.”

The Sin of Disposable Recruiting

I wish you to have Human communication and grateful candidates! <3

Anastasia Geller,