Lately, it seems like everyone and their mother are on LinkedIn pestering people with unwanted job offers in the IT field. It may just be a biased perception since I spend my days checking my LinkedIn feed and contacting people there who are seemingly tired of swatting away inmails and invites.

But what if all those emails you’re getting come from a Robot? Is there anyone real on the other side?

DUN – DUN – DUN !!!! (cue sound fx)

Now, really. I’m not suggesting that most of the candidate-grasping is due to Robots. They may not actually have Robot bodies. They may just be Bots, little snippets of code built by understaffed HR departments or engineers with more coding acumen than common sense. Don’t laugh or chuckle: I know for a fact one of these recruiter-bots exists. I’ve seen the jokes and the derision thrown at that poor code-construct by its weary victims. I won’t name names, but a company that wants to automate its first, basic, human interaction with their human employees kinda shows you what they think of them.

In any case, the IT Recruiting field is brimming with robotic interactions beyond these actual bots that just kind of get everyone involved depressed: the otherwise spunky recruiter who feels like a hollowed-out spam-bot; the candidates out there (who may not consider themselves candidates even, more like a piece of flesh being pricked constantly by small parasitical fish); and the Project Manager who can’t understand why his project isn’t staffed yet since all the people he needs are right there on Linkedin for everyone to see.

So how do we fix this without coming up with a new way or social network to do it? How do we stretch the confines of the 100 words or 140 characters or whatever it is? I have a couple of tips for everyone out there.

PERSONALIZE THE MESSAGE – Show you’re a human being and that you think the other person is one, too! Throw off the shackles of corporate messages, you don’t have enough space to do so anyway! Intrigue them, make them smile, treat them unlike the other recruiters they may have come across before.

THINK BEFORE YOU SPAM – Is this candidate really a good fit? Are you willing to have your first contact with this potential candidate be for a position he’s not entirely suited for? Why not be realistic and save your contact for when you actually have a position he’s perfect for? He’ll thank you for it.

SHOW YOUR INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE – Include some tidbits that tell the candidate you’ve done your research; learned the ropes; walked the plank; waxed-on, waxed off. If they think you know what the heck you’re talking about, they’re much more likely to listen to what you have to say.

DON’T TRY TO OVERSELL OR EXPLAIN EVERYTHING – Leave that for the phone call

You can follow these tips or not (I don’t have a working magic 8-ball to know if these are perfect for you and your company), but it will help you be less robotic and more human-like. You don’t want to get mistaken for a robot, do you? Unless it’s a really cool one, but there’s no recruiting Transformer in movies, is there? Maybe it’s because people like their robots to be life-like and their humans to be even more so. Not the other way around.

 

Links / further reading:

http://tech.co/sit-back-relax-and-let-robot-recruit-find-you-a-tech-job-2011-07

http://www.onthemedia.org/story/18-armys-robot-recruiter/

http://www.ere.net/2014/01/28/i-robot-how-vulnerable-are-recruiters-to-automation/

http://www.youtern.com/thesavvyintern/index.php/2013/11/13/recruiters-not-calling-meet-the-robots-reading-your-resume/

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