Does cold emailing help people find jobs and get hired?

The opportunity is there, as is cold calling. My post is going to revolve around a behavior and not the part it plays in a job search strategy. This is critical.

To execute a successful cold email campaign, you need to find potential candidates that may already be looking for work and can meet you halfway. After that, your only goal is that they don’t delete the email and immediately dismiss you.

Before I give you the golden email template, consider the following:

What is your target? This can relate to the type of positions you staff for, which types of employers, the industry, and of course location. This will set the stage for where you can find prospective candidates and an idea of how to reach out. You can find current industry professionals online or at in-person events for little to no cost.

How are candidates marketing themselves? Look for candidates that have an up-to-date resume with a full work history that features bullet points explaining the powerful contributions provided to past employers. You never know when they were last denied a raise and may be looking for a new opportunity.

How are candidates networking? The best source of new hires is an employee referral – when a current employee of the organization recommends someone else they know. This is a common best practice for recruiters and hiring managers. Everyone has a network, even the freshly-minted college grads of 2018: their parents, family friends, parents of friends, siblings. If they were close to any professors, they’re a terrific resource.

Armed with this information, how can you find professionals looking for new opportunities?

Email your database asking for referrals. This needs to be informed by the first item in the previous list: Target. Most people aren’t open to moving around for a job, and more importantly, most recruiters and hiring managers are suspicious of someone who says they will. We’ve all been burned by someone who says they’ll move, swears it up and down, but when push comes to shove, they back out.

Identify your network drivers. Ideally, you already have existing relationships with professionals at the company for which you’re staffing, or within the industry at least. Or if not, you know someone who has worked there in the past. How can you find a shortlist of second-degree connections to reach out to? LinkedIn all the way.

Network like it’s your job. We’ve all been at conference happy hours or Chamber mixers and you find those recruiters or sales professionals hunting for leads. It’s a major turn-off, and everyone except them knows it. Relationships start with mutual interests and casual conversation. Be upfront but not overtly so. Your job as a networker isn’t to meet everyone, it’s to be able to introduce someone new to those who can help them meet their unmet needs.

Building a strong baseline as exemplified above may take many weeks, months, or years to accrue. However, if you aren’t committed to being a valuable resource to others, keeping an ear to your industry, and promoting career growth with your friends and family, how do you expect to succeed as a recruiter? These are the fundamentals, and mastering them will lead to many moments when you get to grow your network. In our case, you don’t need to be the loudest recruiter, you just have to listen.

Eventually, you’ll want to know how happy someone is with their current employer, which perks could lead them to consider new job offers, etc. But first you need to focus on the long haul. Don’t scare them away – give them the opportunity to share what’s going on in their life before you talk about yours.

You can even introduce yourself with a cold email. Try the following on for size and comment how it worked for you.

“Hi [name], I see you’ve been at [organization] for a while now. Can you spend about 10 minutes of your time helping me understand what it’s like at [organization]? I want to know what the culture there is like. If you prefer, I’d be happy to buy you a coffee or three after hours. I believe [coffee shop] is near your office, right?

And for those of you who try this, you maybe see that a surprising number of people are indeed open to the request.

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