Why tips for the perfect direct approach? It should actually be quite simple, shouldn't it? 

But what if

❌ You don't have a good example of how to approach candidates and recruitment in the company has been rather passive so far?
❌ There is no clear procedure for creating cover letters for candidates and no tips from the team in sight?
❌ the first attempts were not successful, for example because there were too few responses to the approach.

In this article, we would like to show you how you can make your active sourcing more successful with three simple changes.

Firstly, an example of what not to do in a direct approach:

I came across your interesting profile because you are currently working in recruiting. 
I am currently looking for a recruiter for our team who will oversee the entire application process and take part in interviews.
My company sees itself as a "start-up within the Group" and offers you the opportunity to play an active role in shaping the processes.
You work here in a very interesting and dynamic environment.
Have I aroused your interest?
Please give me an appointment to who we can talk to on the phone.
I look forward to your feedback.


Clichés and 'standard' don't get recruiting any further

This cover letter probably won't even lure the applicant with the greatest needs out from behind the stove:

  • Spelling mistakes
  • Very vague
  • No deeper example of the tasks
  • You don't get a picture of the corporate culture / vision
  • Full of empty phrases ("interesting", "dynamic")

Another example:

In our search for suitable candidates for the Recruiting department, your profile caught our attention. 
We are a dynamic team looking for new support in recruiting.
We are a Munich-based company specialising in IT recruiting and consulting. With our know-how and excellent industry expertise, we are the reliable partner for international clients in the DAX30 environment and currently manage over 400 open recruitment projects in the IT environment. 

Your tasks:
- You acquire suitable candidates for positions with new and existing customers
- You specialise in freelancers or permanent employees
- You maintain an active relationship with our customers and consultants as a competent contact person 
- You approach potential applicants by phone, via social media channels and in personal presentation appointments
- You independently optimise existing work and placement processes
- You train other recruiting and sales employees

Your profile: 
- You have successfully completed your commercial training in human resources or your studies in economics and social sciences
- You enjoy working with people and convincing them
- You are conscientious in handling personal data and work independently and reliably
- You have a very good command of the German language and can express yourself well both orally and in writing
- You can also communicate well in English
- Ideally, you have already gained initial experience in recruiting IT specialists

Have we aroused your interest?
We look forward to hearing from you and getting to know you personally.

In the end, this is a copy of the job advert, and that is precisely what we want to avoid in the direct approach, because job adverts in their traditional form are full of empty phrases and platitudes.

This address also mixes the 'Du' and 'Sie' forms, which is a clear sign of a copy & paste strategy where the text sent has not been checked carefully enough for errors. Doesn't look good. Anyone who is familiar with the world of IT service providers will quickly realise that there is a lack of differentiation here. 100 other IT service providers could also write their job adverts in the same way.

What does an example of a successful candidate approach look like so that active recruiting works even better?

We have a few tips for the perfect direct approach to potential candidates that should get you more responses and applications:

Tips for a successful active sourcing direct approach

Interest in the person behind the profile

That is the top priority!
As an internal recruiter, you should definitely take a few minutes to carefully study the profile of the talent you have discovered.
Where are there professional or personal points of contact? What clues does a person provide in terms of previous career stages?
If someone has linked to a website or social media profile, go there directly and see what you can use for a suitable conversation opener / subject for your offer. For example, if you refer to a post or tweet from a candidate that this person has left "somewhere on the net", then you can be sure of attention. Interest in people also works in active sourcing:

One example:
I had discovered in a candidate's profile that he likes to listen to certain podcasts and then asked him if he would like to listen to them. a specific episode from this particular podcast had already heard.
We got talking and for the candidate my offer was not just soulless copy & paste stuff, but a serious enquiry.

⌛Task for you: Write to 20 candidates and no two cover letters should be the same. Each letter should contain at least two individual sentences. Creative writing for recruiters, so to speak 👍.

Scoring points with talents with visions

The big mistake that is often made by internal and external recruiters is that too much is written about the company's requirements. You should be able to do this and that and have this and that professional experience and exactly this kind of character. What helps here is the user-orientation known from design thinking, among other things, and asking yourself questions:

What really interests the talents?

As a company, I can score points here with a special vision, a great product and a special corporate culture.
But please be as specific as possible so that you don't drift into phrase-mongering.

With the following introduction to one of our cover letters, we were able to fill several positions as active sourcing experts at a small IT consultancy, although the prospects were not exactly rosy. A lot of travelling throughout Germany, medium salary, no career opportunities. But every company has a trigger that you can pull.
This consultancy had the trigger to specialise in advising insurance companies and health insurers, and we linked this to a vision that the company itself had developed using various creativity techniques.

Here is the introduction:

"Your potential next employer has set out with the vision of dusting off the insurance, social security and health insurance sectors, some of which are lagging behind.

Would you like to take part?

This introduction contains a clear vision, shows the pioneering spirit of the company and contains a direct question at the beginning, which on the one hand is a call to action and on the other hand is intended to stimulate the candidates.

Who wouldn't want to be there when the stuffy (sure, sometimes it's just a cliché!) insurance industry is rolled up digitally?

⌛ Task for you: Put together an interdisciplinary team, e.g. from HR, marketing, IT and controlling, and work together to work out what really makes your company interesting for talent and what really sets you apart from the competition. You can then use these results to create your perfect approach.

These were the most important tips for the perfect direct approach. You can find out more about creating a persona here.

Tips for the perfect direct approach

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If you want to reach the best IT professionals, get in touch with us. indivHR helps you become even more successful in IT recruiting and avoid common mistakes.

As IT recruitment specialists with many years of experience, we know exactly how to organise the candidate journey so that you are always ahead of your competitors. So that you get the best employees.

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