"Fancy a job with us?" As a rule, addressing applicants directly is not quite that simple. However, thorough research in advance and the right approach to the desired candidate pay off. If you actively search for and contact suitable applicants, you increase your chances of finding the right employee for the vacant position. What things to look for in the Active Sourcing Direct Search HR expert Ilka Szentkiralyi tells us in an interview what we need to keep in mind or avoid.

Active Sourcing Direct Search

Active sourcing as a recruiting tool

The days when HR managers had to sit back and relax after advertising a position because they received enough good applications are over. If you want to fill a vacancy in the best possible way and, above all, as quickly as possible, you often have no choice but to actively search for applicants. In particular, sought-after specialists or top managers do not always actively look for a new challenge, but are happy to be wooed and enticed away. But even beyond the top managers, there is a large pool of promising candidates who cannot be reached without a direct approach: four out of ten employees can imagine taking on a new job in the next twelve months.

Direct approach: Discreet, individual, informative

Good active sourcing finds these candidates who are willing to change - via personal networks, applicant databases, professional blogs or social media channels. Properly conducted direct approaches ensure that the other party is interested in the company and the vacant position. We talked to indivHR founder Ilka Szentkiralyi about the right way to approach candidates and what needs to be considered when actively recruiting top executives.

Between too many details and insufficient information: How specific can or should the direct approach be during the initial contact?

Szentkiralyi: If I contact a candidate directly on social networks such as Xing or Linkedin, I keep the message very short at the beginning, but individual. I try to put myself in the candidate's shoes: What information is important to him and could spark his interest in the specific position? I also mention what motivated me to contact him in particular. Of course, this requires appropriate research in advance. It is important not to write novels, but to get to the point quickly - a few lines are enough!

If the candidate shows interest, then you can go into more detail and, for example, already send a job description or present the position in more detail in a telephone call. Or you can ask in the initial contact whether he or she would be willing to meet for a non-binding discussion. I usually never name our customers in these initial meetings - unless the customer requests it. The same applies to the direct approach of candidates in the applicant database or in the personal network.

"Top talent knows how in demand they are."

Does recruiting of top executives something special to consider?

Szentkiralyi: Direct approach and active sourcing play a particularly important role in recruiting top talent. Many expect companies to approach them about open positions. They know how much they are in demand and therefore have corresponding expectations of the company. With these people, you have to provide convincing arguments to persuade them to move to your own company. This is because in most cases several companies are already hiring and the candidates can choose from several offers. Here in particular, appropriate active sourcing and employer branding is required in advance.

How-to Active Sourcing

These are the absolute no-go's in direct search

  • Lack of preparation and research
    It is essential to know both the position and the desired candidate well. Only if you have researched the candidate in detail can you address him or her with convincing arguments and formulate the first cover letter accordingly and individually, e.g. refer to a station in the resume. You should also be well acquainted with the vacant position, because the candidate is only as good as he or she is suitable for the open position. In addition, sought-after specialists and top executives have very precise ideas about what their future workplace should look like. Therefore, one should know as much as possible about the vacant job, activities, superiors, promotion prospects, corporate culture, etc., as well as about the job itself. know as much as possible.
  • "Copy and Paste" messages
    Do not send impersonal messages! The candidate should be addressed as individually as possible.
  • Long novels
    In particular, candidates who are frequently contacted by recruiters can understandably react annoyed to this. You should get to the point in very few sentences.
  • Exaggerated glossing over of job and candidates
    Communicate authentically and transparently and stick to the truth, it's worth it. Otherwise you lose your credibility - and you always meet twice in life.
  • Arrogant appearance
    That's always a no-go anyway. The days when qualified applicants queued up for jobs are over. You should therefore always communicate with applicants at eye level and in a friendly manner.
  • Act indiscreetly
    Discretion should be a matter of course in recruiting anyway
  • Just call
    Contacting the candidate by phone without regard to whether they are free to speak at the moment - also a no-go.
  • Excessive pushing of candidates
    You should give the candidate enough time to think about it. Job decisions are not always easy, and if it doesn't work out this time, maybe it will next time.

Your personal assessment: Do you think the active sourcing direct approach will continue to gain importance in recruiting?

Szentkiralyi: It is already impossible to imagine recruiting without the direct approach. The days when you could simply advertise a position and wait are over. And not just for top executives, but also for positions where you used to receive hundreds of applications. Profiles that are in demand no longer have to apply, but can choose from several offers. Today, recruiters must therefore not only be fit in human resources, but also in sales and marketing. After all, both the company and the position must be presented, marketed and sold in the best possible light.

indivHR is happy to help you with customized solutions and active sourcing tips to make you even more successful in recruiting.

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