Disruptive recruitment technologies behind every successful business

June 29th, 2017


How many times have you heard the term “disruptive” used when announcing tech innovations, new hiring tactics and the likes? How many times out of that total has the product actually changed the game? In general, disruptive innovations are expected to remove and replace the market for the existing products. If you’re getting enough of  “new” disruptive tech, especially in the HR field, read on to discover the four technologies that are not necessarily new, but will truly transform the current recruitment practice.

1—Data privacy enhancements

There are things we must keep secret. This includes your employee and candidate data. Are you still storing this sensitive info in your file drawer rather than the cloud? It’s time to pick out hiring software.

One of the best ways to ensure data safety is to seek out recruitment tech that is based outside the jurisdiction of the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act, simply put, is a controversial Act of Congress in the U.S. that allows data breaches performed by the government in an attempt to surveil against acts of terrorism. However, the act is more commonly known for the fear it instills in the public that this permission is being taken advantage of. Choosing a recruitment tech solution that is based outside of the U.S. can give you that extra assurance you need.

Another tip when choosing software is to be on the lookout for clear definitions of the data privacy requirements that are being followed by the company. In particular, keep an eye out for the ISO 27001:2005 certification and its revision, ISO 27001:2013.

2—Artificial intelligence (AI)

Now that you have put all of your important information in a “cloud”, let’s talk about the robots that are going to assist you in your future HR efforts. Sound crazy? It probably is, but it’s not too far off from the truth. While AI doesn’t run the risk of completely drowning out the human input in human resources processes, it certainly has the capability to add a whole different dimension to them.

Automation is being recognised for its ability to help save time and resources while not skimping on personalisation. HR tech is feeling the pressure to create intelligent systems, bringing out everything from email automation to chatbots that can ask and answer employee questions. With the help of artificial intelligence, there can be more engagements with candidates in less time. It also allows for a decrease in biases. No matter how objective you think you are, there are always unconscious biases affecting your hiring decisions. But HR tech can help.  AI is more of an aid than a replacement. You, as HR pros, will still have a hand in every aspect of the process; it will just be an smoother, more efficient ride.

3—Collaborative tools

Even though the industry is leaning towards AI, it doesn’t mean that it’s straying from the most centric aspect: people. In fact, collaborative hiring is only improving now with the threat of depersonalisation due to robot HR teams. Tech happens to have a hand in this, as well. Teams are brought together to work more efficiently, and the right tools accelerate this process. Here are some example of the types of tools replacing traditional means of collaboration:

  • ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) that allow unlimited seats
  • Sourcing tools for easy input of referral data
  • Careers site that allow for creative media involving employee testimonials, photos, videos etc.

4—Modern means of communication

Similarly, HR teams aren’t conversing in the same ways. Gone are the days of sticky notes and emailing back and forth. There are tools that streamline communication, making it a lot easier to keep track of. Some, like Slack, are even entertaining and can boost company morale.
In essence, these disruptions are simply additions to a foundation of HR that involves ample collaboration. They are disruptive, however, in that folders will be disappearing, CRMs will be replaced by leaner, more modern ATS platforms, AI chatbots will ask you about your workday, etc. While employees are reluctant to change, these tech advancements are helpful and user-friendly. Embrace the disruption!

Author bio:

Perry Oostdam is the co-founder and CEO of Recruitee, a collaborative hiring platform for teams of all sizes. Recruitee helps optimize the entire hiring process, from candidate relationship management, employer branding, and job posting to candidate sourcing and applicant tracking. The company has offices and Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Poznań, Poland and works with companies around the world.

Key Changes to the Recruitment Process

May 22nd, 2017

Talent recruitment is one of the key issues that companies and businesses must solve. Attracting the right talent is not as easy as it might sound, especially in this current recruitment landscape. Companies are exposed to changes in the recruitment industry. Hiring and developing great talents is the most important thing any company can do. What’s changed though is the way they hire. Job boards might work for some positions, but to consistently and reliably get top tier talent to your company, you need to use a new approach: focus on the candidate’s engagement.

Convert passive candidates

Passive candidates have to be pursued to want to have a working relationship with you. They are really not interested in job alerts, so you have to think of the best reason to lure them to hand over their contacts to you. This could include:

  • Events: this could be sponsoring one or hosting one yourself. What does this offer to your company? Access to a pool of highly talented and qualified candidates and the chance to make a positive statement about your company in the ongoing event.
  • Talent community: talent communities offer mixed-up results, but if done right, they have huge benefits. Your talent community search should be based on specific persona or skill sets, for better success than a generalized one.

The importance of engagement

When you are thinking about hiring new talents, you can take a lot of guidance from marketers and the way they approach and handle their customer acquisition. Why does this make sense? Companies are prepared to build a relationship with customers before asking them to purchase. The customer life cycle is changing and this is far more effective than just assuming they will purchase.

How can recruiters learn from this change of events? 

Recruiters should understand the importance of continuously building a pipeline of prospects. Building and nurturing these relationships results in their having a receptive base lead that is interested in learning more. It may seem simple, but it’s under generally utilized.  Doing so helps many companies make major quality hires and cut the time they spend on recruiting process.

Fatal errors to avoid

One fatal error that companies make when recruiting is they forget about the people who applied previously. Over time, companies have a huge database with thousands of candidates. Many of these candidates may identify strongly with your company, that’s why they applied. Reaching out to them is fast and cost-effective and they could be a perfect fit.

Many companies are leveraging these strategies today by analyzing their recruitment model, the impacting digitalization on the recruitment sector and focusing on major problems they must solve when recruiting. Companies that get engagement will continue to flourish.


Writing Job Descriptions that Get the Best Candidates

May 15th, 2017


Job descriptions play a very important role in hiring and managing employees. They are summaries of job duties that ensure interested parties such as job applicants, agencies, advertisement platforms and employees understand their roles and what roles they need to play and be held accountable for in the hiring institution. For one to write a job description that will attract top professional candidates, you have to be clear and accurate in defining the roles that job will play and what is required for applicants to apply.

Important factors to research:

An effective job description must be carefully scrutinized and analyzed by the help of the following factors in order to reach the expected candidates

  • Individual role involved
  • Methods and system used to complete the task (such as SAP)
  • The importance and responsibilities of a job
  • The relationship of the job to other jobs
  • Qualifications of the job at hand

You also have to be aware that the job description should not be inflexible. One of the roles played by a job description is to encourage growth of the employees with their position and overall contribution over time to the business.


Effective job description

The best job description must have the position details, job duties performance standards and job factors that are well described.

Job title

The title should sell the position on its own. Example: a Program Director position is less attractive by title than if you use Director of the WXY program at the HGD Company. You can use a title like Assistant to the Director instead of Administrative Assistant.  Get candidates to read further by selling the title!

General summary

In this you can list the nature of the job, the level of the job, departments, location, date of posting and end date of application for the job. Example: clerical position, job level-f-h, department-finance, location-WGB posted 25/02/2017 application ends on 25/03/2017. At this level you can also list the term of employment. It could be full-time, part-time, contract or permanent. In case of any travel requirements or physical requirements this would be the best position to list it. Some companies list the salary range too e.g. $140000-$149000 annually.  However, be careful not to pigeonhole your recruiting with the salary because the salary seldom tells the whole compensation picture.  Be sure to clarify highlights of the comp if you’re going to include salary.

Description of the broad function and scope of the position

Usually contains about 1-3 paragraphs with summaries of the main job description. This includes the key responsibilities, functions and duties. Some give a description of the company and department too so as to familiarize the applicant with the working environment. List the key functional and relational responsibilities in order of significance to make it more attractive and easy to read quickly.  You can add in subtopics that describe your next point or highlight the main points. This is effective especially when advertising for executive level positions.

List of skills required for success

All jobs have different skill sets required to help the person perform.

Qualifications and requirements

Make a list of the important qualifications such as education requirements, years of experience, knowledge of additional courses and certification at this level. In case a position is not very specific on the requirement of the job, you can list it as a general point such as: degree from a known institution. If it’s specific, you can require a degree in business, bachelor of commerce, supply chain management. Relevant courses will be considered too.


How Unintended Gender-Bias In Job Posts Slow Your Hiring Process

April 24th, 2017

One of the most common reasons why companies lack diversity is the lack of having employees from underrepresented groups. This does not only limit diversity in employing and attracting talents, it also slows the entire hiring process. One way of attracting and finally getting to hire qualified candidates is by boosting your pipeline and removing the gender-based language from your application forms.

The concept of gendered job listings is gaining recognition, it refers to the use of female or male terms within the job description. This has been a huge problem for companies that focus on bringing underrepresented groups or more women in technology. Looking for perfect candidates (unicorns) is not easy and putting certain requirement will make it even harder.

Flood your pipeline

Flooding your pipeline is a better way of reaching a wider pool of applicants including candidates from underrepresented groups.  When you flood your pipeline you’re more likely to attract and have more applicants, which will improve diversity and speed up your hiring process.  However, when you exclude certain genders from applying for a post in your company, you are excluding half of potential employees.

When companies use gender language in the application process, potential employees with the right skills and experience will read your job description, but won’t apply because of the gender language. When the gender language in removed from your application process, your company will be open to all applicants and have the highest chance of getting the best candidate for the job.

Not as hard as it seems

Removing gender language doesn’t have to be time-consuming or as difficult as it may seem. Just use neutral words in your job listing. Gender listings will be understood differently by different candidates out there. Some words like aggressive, assertive, strong or competitive, skew male, while words like community-nurture or concerned skew female. Avoid these biased words and use your best bet, gender-neutral terms. For example, instead of listing, you are looking for ‘a strong programmer who can thrive in competitive working place’, why don’t you list something like ‘an exceptional programmer motivated by goals’?

The simple act of using gender-neutral language offer tremendous diversity for employers. Ignore gender language, take a few extra minutes and review your job description and be sure your doors will be wide open for a unicorn candidate for your job.

Do Overtime Rules Apply to Seasonal Employees?

April 13th, 2017

With the summer just around the corner, many business owners are already looking to hire seasonal employees. If you’re one of them, you might be wondering…

Does the Fair Labor Standards Act apply to seasonal workers?

The answer is, well, yes and no.

Section 13(a)(3) of the FLSA provides an exemption from the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the FLSA for “any employee employed by an establishment which is an amusement or recreational establishment, if (A) it does not operate for more than seven months in any calendar year…”

In layman’s terms, if your business is open less than seven months a year, you might not have to pay your employees minimum wage or overtime.

But, in a recent interview with TSheets, Parsons Behle and Latimer attorney Maria O. Hart warned, “Don’t let the fact that this exemption exists mislead you into believing you’ve a get-out-of-jail-free card when it comes to complying with the FLSA. It’s a tricky and complex statute filled with strict requirements and complicated loopholes.”

Loopholes like this one: “Some state wage laws may not recognize or permit the application of this exemption, and since an employer must comply with the most stringent of the state or federal provisions, it is strongly recommended that state laws be reviewed prior to applying this exemption.”

In other words, not so fast! While the Department of Labor (DOL) might consider your seasonal employees exempt from the minimum wage and overtime rules of the FLSA, your state laws probably don’t.

“State law usually mandates payment of minimum wage, with very few exceptions,” explained Hart.

So, yes, seasonal employees can be exempt from minimum wage and overtime rules — but also, no, they can’t.

Confused yet? Hart has some advice.

  1. Check with your employment counsel first.

“If your business qualifies as a seasonal employer and you want to take advantage of this exemption, you’re certainly entitled to,” Hart said. “You just need to make sure you meet every single one of the requirements first.”

The best way to do this?

“Involve your employment counsel from the onset,” she said, “and continue to keep them involved in the critical decisions you make regarding your employees.” Not only can your counsel advise you on the best course of action, but they can also make sure that you and your business are meeting all your obligations and complying with the FLSA — this year and beyond.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the FLSA and exemption rules.

No one expects you to do this entirely on your own. After all, not even the DOL, the very department charged with enforcing the FLSA, gets it right 100 percent of the time. And, “if the DOL can’t get this right,” Jackson Lewis attorney Paul DeCamp said, “what chance do other employers have?”

However, that’s not to say you shouldn’t try. As a business owner, you should have a basic understanding of what’s required from you and your employees when it comes to this complex statute. Ignorance of the law is not an alibi if you get hit with a wage and hour lawsuit.

“The DOL’s website is the best place to start,” Hart said. The DOL publishes many fact sheets and other general guidance documents meant to assist business owners. Daniel Abrahams, an attorney with Brown Rudnick LLP, told TSheets that business owners should “enlist legal counsel to help you stay abreast of changes that may impact you.”

  1. Always abide by state laws.

In a recent quiz conducted by TSheets, it was found that more than 58 percent of quiz takers believe the FLSA (a.k.a. Federal law) trumps state law — but it’s simply not true. “The federal law is merely one legal framework,” Hart said, “but it’s structured to set a minimum standard. Each state is well within their authority to create a more robust or stronger law.” As a rule, employers are required to follow whichever law is more stringent.

On top of that, “In general, state laws apply to whatever state the employee is working in,” said Hart — even if your business is headquartered across state lines or you have employees working in multiple states.

“Again,” she cautioned, “it’s always a good idea to check in with your legal counsel, someone who is familiar with the different state laws and can help you comply with them.”

  1. Track employee time — even if they’re paid by the season.

In some cases, seasonal employees live and work on site. These employees are often expected to be “on” nearly 24/7, but does that mean they’re always on the clock?

“In many states, minimum wage rules still apply to these employees … even if overtime rules do not,” said Hart. “So it’s always a good idea to track employee time.” In these cases, even if your employees are paid by the season, their total compensation divided by the total number of hours worked must still equal the state’s minimum wage. If not, you’ve got a problem.

“Find a way to divide tracked time into categories like ‘on the clock’ and ‘on call,’” Hart said — things like “on-call” time, meals, and employee housing should be built into your compensation structure. When in doubt, “Your legal counsel can help you figure it out,” she added. “Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re on your own when it comes to FLSA compliance.”

Automated time tracking makes it fast and easy for employees to clock in and out anytime, anywhere. And because time data is stored securely in the cloud, it’s there whenever you need it. “In the event you are hit with a wage and hour lawsuit,” said Hart, “accurate and organized time records can serve as your No. 1 defense!”

by Myranda Mondry

Myranda is a writer and researcher at the employee time tracking app TSheets where she runs a daily blog dedicated to helping small business owners succeed. Topics she likes to write about include recruitment, company cultures, how to take the pain out of payroll, and, of course, how to track and schedule your time.  First published on the TSheets Time Tracking Blog

Top 4 Innovative Recruiting Strategies

April 4th, 2017


Video interviewing, ramification and social recruiting are some of the newest technologies used by employers and recruiting agencies in the war for top talents. They change the way people communicate and free employers from paper processes by cutting through the traditional recruiting strategies. Some employers and recruiters ignore engaging in recruiting strategies that are highly effective at their own risk. Everyone today can use innovative recruiting strategies that are cost-saving in the economy and job market. What are some of the different recruiting strategies that can help you get top talents?

Undercover recruitment

Observing potential employees first hand outside the recruiting process helps recruiters to get a valuable insight into the candidate skills, talent, and abilities that are difficult to notice during an interview. Watch the candidates you aim in action before their start date. Put recruiters or interviewers in different innovative locations, such as events, association conferences, or customer service situations. This will give you firsthand experience with a potential employee.

Innovative referrals

There is a massive opportunity to capture top talents through referral programs, social media and marketing and incentives. Companies that already use innovative referrals as their recruiting strategy are benefitting and get to employ top talents. They turn their employees into talent scouts and train them to identify top talent. They teach them about the employee referral process and show them examples of other employees who joined them through referral programs and what they are doing for the company. This helps them scout for top candidates before referring them to the company.

Social Media Recruitment

When you need special candidates who are qualified, why don’t you think about doing a campaign? Some companies have succeeded in this strategy. They have fueled interest starting campaigns and using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to promote their campaign. Don’t search in the same place or use the same search tool over and over, instead approach recruitment differently from other companies. You can combine excellent recruitment strategies such as a great recruitment branding and extending your campaign message far and wide.



Finding top talents is still a challenge for many companies. Reviewing applications and interviewing potential candidates take time from your existing obligations. Nowadays, many employees are partnering with staffing agencies which help them search for top talents. Staffing agencies are valuable tools that you can use to quickly find potential candidates, they offer the best services, especially if you’re looking to fill in workforce gaps, part-time workers or sick leaves. They offer you talent fast and flexibly and reduce the risk of you employing non-competent employees. The greatest cost of all by a long shot is having the wrong people representing your company.  They also offer financial risk if you have to fire someone unexpectedly.

If you are looking to fill a current vacant position in your company with the top candidates, you need to elevate your current recruitment strategies. If you are doing that okay, filling your openings with qualified candidates will be easier and you won’t need to add any stretch to your recruiting process.  Use the above innovative recruiting strategies to get the best employees in your company.

Top Reasons Why You Should Hire a Headhunter

February 22nd, 2017


A headhunter is hired by a company to pair it with the best person skilled for the job. Job agencies are headhunters. They specialize in finding the right careers for jobseekers while giving quality and skilled employees to their client. Some of the top reasons for hiring headhunters include

  1. Result oriented

An agency is focused on giving the best person for the position. They work hard not only to give you the best but to also make you hire them again. They do a background check on the employees to ensure that the person is who they say they are before forwarding the qualified person to the company.

  1. Outsourcing skill

The recruiters are fast, patient and flexible when it comes to finding you the best employee for a client. The headhunter is highly trained and experienced. They are patient. If a recruiter can’t find people they feel are fit they are able to repeat the whole process again.

  1. Confidential

The hired recruiters cannot give out their client’s personal information. Contact and location details and any other information shared with them by the company cannot be shared outside the line of work. This is an assurance for users of security especially with executive hires.

  1. Executive hire

It is easy for recruiters to connect high-level workers because they have vast and active networks. Some recruiters have specialized in finding executive positions for qualified jobseekers. This means that they do hire headhunters to connect them with companies that require their skill set.

  1. Competent hire

Hiring a head-hunter will ensure that you receive top qualified personnel. They are aware of what skills one should have before finding the person that has them. They have the time and resources to go through all applications. They are also transparent in what they do.


  1. Experienced in human psychology and body language

The interview conducting personnel of recruiters have special skills in reading body language and psychological test. They can detect lies, crammed lines, and compare it with the application sent. During the interview, they are able to tell if a client has the skill set stated on their resume or it.


A company should hire a headhunter that fits the criteria best in terms of budget and qualification for them to receive the best hires. The recruiters will save you time and the cost both short-term and long-term.

Career Start




What to Consider When Hiring in the Digital Age

December 20th, 2016

As technology advances, it increases its impact in our world. It’s clear that your company needs  people with a clue clued  now more than ever. It makes sense that recent graduates will fit the bill, but just how prepared are you? Technology continues to evolve, it is playing an increasingly important role in the way many companies approach the hiring process. Smart companies know what they want and what suitable digital candidates look for when seeking employment. Here is a list of what to expect.

Easy and fast application process

Today’s digital age job seekers are aware of the competitive job market and they know their worth. They see opportunities everywhere and if an employee makes the application process difficult or even takes too long to respond, they just pass their resumes out for another job opening. For employers to attract the digital era candidates, address this issue by using recruitment marketing technologies. These integrated platforms are effective and enable the collaborative hiring of top talents.

It’s all about digital

Traditional paper resumes and in-person interviews have been supplemented with online job applications. Companies are using innovative tools like social media to get tremendous insight about potential candidates. They are using digital platforms to their advantage by adding resumes and other important information. More employers are levering video interviews and webcam the streamline the hiring process. To get the digital age top seed, you have to embrace the digital hiring model.

Your brand is the key selling point

Digital candidates will evaluate your brand before applying or accepting a job. They’ll research you as much as you research them. They need to get all the information about your company and brand, so make sure your website is a strong marketing tool for your brand and engaging too. Companies’ websites are top job hunting sources for potential candidates. A well-designed career site will reflect the brand image, the company’s vision, mission, and values. The company detailed job description in combination with experience and online application helps job seekers to determine if they are culturally fit for your organization.

Focus on passive candidates

The number of Gen Y and Gen Z workers is increasing, and their employment expectations differ from older generations. They are passive candidates. They don’t necessarily seek a job, but they are open to new opportunities. To find this candidate, look for them anywhere else they have the web or try social media. Today’s professional expects employers to search for them.

It’s clear that you cannot hire candidates depending on their degree acquired.  You need to also consider experience, academic virtues, personality and personal goals. 

5 Tips for Recruiting and Retaining Millennials

December 14th, 2016

Employers should have a firm understanding when establishing their recruiting plan. They should understand the importance and value of recruiting Millennials and the Generation X because it will help them understand whether potential candidates will reject or accept positions within their organization. Successful employees must not only take into consideration the position that is available, but also the type of employees that are needed to fill the positions. If they make an effective hiring, employee retention will significantly increase.

As it stands, about half of all the current workforce is either Millennials or Generation X and it’s predicted to rise over the next decade to around three-quarters mark. This transition presents major obstacles for employers. Individuals with different values and ideas, different ways of operating and communication in the workplace, will be the pressing issues on many companies’ agenda. How do you then attract the brightest candidates of the millennial generation?

What motivates younger job candidates?

First, it’s important to understand what actually motivates the Millennials. Perks, benefits, and other advantages, not just ranks and salaries, are hugely important the same as opportunities, companies corporate social responsibilities and professional development. A sense of belonging and team should not be underestimated, organizations need to emphasize mentorship, training, and team culture as their selling point.

Conducting a dialogue when recruiting them

Millennials are well-informed, smart and unwilling to consider one-size-fit-all recruitment strategies. They favor companies that understand them individually, dialogue with them and build a relationship and offer employee experience that looks at both their needs and aspirations, not just their skills. Millennia’s like Gen X, are asking for the same things, but they just go about it in different ways, meaning that companies need to rethink their rulebook when it comes to attracting them and retention.

Make work fun, challenging and exciting

For Millennials work in supposed to be fun. Keep them challenged and engaged by offering them additional responsibilities it makes them feel appreciated and they are moving somewhere. This is a group that has a free-flow intersection between life and work. Fun doesn’t mean you leave the office, just give them what they want all day and they love change, so it up for them to add more fun.

Recognize their efforts

Make sure you recognize the efforts when managers deliver recognition, not just the end results. By recognizing their efforts, you will initialize self-worth and also that gives you the opportunity to provide coaching and mentoring.

Provide frequent feedback

Millennials are always on point to deliver if they get instant gratification. As an employer. You need to provide frequent feedback to feel this need, it fulfills the desire of wanting information offering the opportunity to learn and improve.

How To Recruit On LinkedIn, Fast, Without Breaking The Bank

December 6th, 2016

Recently I discussed the slowdown in tech hiring, which is already reflected in today’s longer and more difficult hiring cycles as hiring managers are more selective with the quality of candidates. Recruiting and job seeking has become significantly more challenging as offers are given out only to candidates who meet all requirements without fail. Sahat Yalkabov, a software engineer at Yahoo, was rejected multiple times describes this trend in his post “**** You, I Quit — Hiring Is Broken.” I empathize with Sahat and others out there who are struggling to get offers. The environment of hiring and talent acquisition had changed from two years ago when Sahat got the gig on Yahoo. Back then almost every company needed to fill tens, sometimes hundreds of positions.

I empathize with Sahat and others out there who are struggling to get offers. The environment of hiring and talent acquisition had changed from two years ago when Sahat got the gig on Yahoo. Back then almost every company needed to fill tens, sometimes hundreds of positions.

Today, only pockets of the tech industry still enjoy significant growth and hiring volumes, for example, autonomous vehicles, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and deep learning. To satisfy hiring teams, talent acquisition professionals must find better and more creative ways to reach premier talent and generate their interest for the right opportunity. Can LinkedIn be an excellent recruiting channel to connect the right people with the right roles?


GlassDoor – HR and Recruiting Statistics for 2016

LinkedIn is a professional network where people connect, exchange ideas and expertise, manage relationships, and look for jobs. There are, however, two essential problems with recruiting on LinkedIn. It takes way too much time to reach the right candidate, and the response rate from people is very low, a lot lower than it used to.

Jason Webster, the current Head of Strategic Accounts Program at Glassdoor and Ex-Co-Founder of Ongig said: “The majority of my industry contacts tell me that their [InMail] response rate is between 10-20 percent. By contrast, colleagues from big-name companies like Google have said that they fetch a response rate of 70 percent using InMail. That seems to be an anomaly compared to the norm” (OnGiG). Why? Do Google recruiters have secret methodology or technology that gives them an unfair advantage? Is the Google brand so attractive in the minds of premier engineers?

No. With simple hacks, I had a 40 percent conversion for engineers currently working at Google and similar big-name companies to apply for jobs with sometimes unknown startups. So the answer must be in the recruiting, not the brand. I’ve cracked the code.

For the past couple of months, I have been recruiting top talent from Google, Apple, Cisco, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and successfully generating interest and applications for placements in early ventures. I achieved 41.3 percent response rate and 36.1 percent acceptance rate with 994 InMails in a month and a half which is 22 times the number of InMails for Recruiter Lite, while spending only $119.95/month for my subscription. What I am about to unveil is a working strategy with proven results to recruit premier candidates, both technical and non-technical, as an educational guide for talent acquisition professionals and hiring managers who compete for top talent with limited resources and limited time.

This LinkedIn sourcing strategy has been proven to work for front-end and back-end junior, iOS and Android, architects, DevOps, data scientists, full-stack, hardware and software engineers to senior engineers to staff engineers to CTOs, both general and highly specialized. It also works well for sales positions like corporate account executives, director-level product managers, junior and senior user experience and user interface designers. This strategy will work for any role except for those so specialized that only a few people in the world could do.




Personal InMail Analytics from 3/11/2016 to 4/29/2016

For a more accurate example beyond my InMail Analytics, I had a month to fill a tough role with a demanding hiring manager for a startup that only wanted to hire Googlers. To add to the challenge, after each of the first four onsite interviews, the hiring team changed the requirements for the role. Counting inbox responses (where responses are measured by those who willingly gave their contact information via LinkedIn message to further discuss the opportunity) confirms a response rate of 35.45 percent (39/110) from Googlers and Google-caliber engineering talent. Of those who responded, 59 percent applied for the position after the initial phone conversation.

Within a month, I had 23 relevant and quality candidates solely from sourcing on LinkedIn (Note that this is a lower bound overall, considering the stringent demands of the role). The hiring manager appreciated the candidates and this sourcing strategy, saying, “Thank you for providing a constant stream of quality candidates week after week.”

Other hiring managers’ experience was similar, with several asking questions like “How do you find so many fantastic candidates?” or “Where do you get these guys?” – because speed and quality matters.

For those not familiar with LinkedIn Recruiter products, Recruiter Lite accounts come with 30 InMails for $119.95/month. One can add 10 InMails for additional $100/month. LinkedIn Recruiter Corporate accounts come with 150 InMails for $899.95/month and for each 10 additional InMails it is $60/month.

How is it possible to send so many InMails without a LinkedIn Recruiter Corporate account and spending over $10,000 each month for InMails? A lot of LinkedIn “Power” Recruiters just connect to the person first and wait for the connection or wait for the email read confirmation or look for a sign of online activity before sending an InMail … a common best practice among Google and other top recruiters. Why? If the person does not want to connect with us in the first place, then the chances that they will respond favorably to a recruiter’s InMail is next to zero, wasting all those expensive InMails credits. According to the LinkedIn 2015 Global Talent Report about 51 percent of people on LinkedIn is somewhat interested or not interested to hear from a recruiter, whereas 43 percent are very interested.

The report also states that “followers [and by deduction your connections] are 81 percent more likely to respond to your InMails than those who do not follow you.” Pro Tip: Create a short post about the opportunity on your LinkedIn before sending invitations to connect.


It is possible to grow anyone’s LinkedIn from 0 connections to 3,000+ connections under one month without getting restricted by LinkedIn. Be very careful not to come across as a connect spammer. Have a genuine reason to justify the invite to connect with anyone to respect the LinkedIn Community Guidelines. I advise against any automated LinkedIn connection tools. High-volume connection invites should be controlled and limited to at the very most 200-300 invites per day and 3,000-4,000 invitations per month. I have been enjoying about 60 percent acceptance rates. Sending a connection request works as a probing signal to see whether that person is open to communicating or not. Clean up any one-month-old invitations every week in the LinkedIn Connect Hub.

The beginning of all sourcing begins with cleaning up and completing your LinkedIn profile to look and feel like a professional recruiter, or better yet executive search recruiter. Most people connect and respond to executive search recruiters even if they are not executive level yet. Make your profile and profile picture likable. Second, get the Boolean search optimization process down cold. If the Boolean search is a tough nut to crack, use tools that have Boolean search recommendation as a good starting point. Take on a data-driven approach to perfect the Boolean search by testing results and counting the accuracy, experimenting with the Boolean string, re-testing, and optimizing again. Here is an example Boolean string to search for Java Web Application Engineer on Spring/Groovy/Grails that shows 9 out of 10 relevant profiles.

Two pro tips: Bookmark the Boolean search to connect with more people another day. Use current title in the Boolean search to improve the results accuracy significantly. Do not use the default “current or past” parameter because combined with the negative keyword operator “NOT” it does not work as intended. For example, people with founder titles only in the present or only in the past will still show up in the search results. Beware of this small LinkedIn design flaw of not having “current and past” option.


Augmented LinkedIn Boolean Search Results

While optimizing the Boolean search, you want to get 400 to at most 1,200 search results because LinkedIn results are capped at 10×100 results. Add more restrictions like zipcode-based location with radius or industry or current/past company or negative keywords when there are too many results. Relax restrictions or add relevant keywords if there are not that many results. LinkedIn’s search accuracy is capped by its technology, so no matter how complete the Boolean string is, the search results are never going to be 100 percent accurate.

For this strategy to work, hit at least 80-90 percent accuracy in the search results.Six degrees of separation explains the difference between first, second, and third connection on LinkedIn. Note that LinkedIn always shows first connections in the first couple of pages even though first connections are unselected. To experiment and improve the Boolean search, quickly glance over the first page’s results with second connections, then 10th and 20th-page results, and see if the titles are actually what you are looking for. If everything looks good, make a deeper check and review a couple of profiles randomly. Analytics speed up this whole process with domain expertise, years of experience, and peer ranking directly in the search results. Use negative keyword operator NOT (keyword1 OR keyword2) for not relevant titles or keywords that appear often.

To connect with people, use regular LinkedIn search. To reach out to the frist connections go to “View in Recruiter” from the search results. Under relationship filter apply “Any” to clear out the settings and then select “1st Connections.” The first people who connect are likely going to be active seekers, but after a few days, there will be enough first connections to whom we can send a free InMail.

Pro Tip: Save this search in a project to get notifications on people who just connected and we have not contacted yet. Another Pro tip: free InMails can be sent to second connections who have premium accounts. Review everyone’s profile before sending an InMail to make sure there is a good match. Use tools that augment profiles with further analytics for deeper review. To save time, craft an appealing and straightforward InMail template. Make sure it’s an upfront and killer message that encompasses all points that people care about.



Jobvite 2015 Job Seeker Nation: Inside the Mind of the Modern Job Seeker

Here is an example of a data-driven title that people appreciate: $180K + Equity + Mountain View, CA + Principal Software Engineer + Full Benefits + VISA Sponsor

This message encompasses all of the decision-making aspects of a job seeker, whether active or passive in the order of importance, and leaves only work life balance, flexibility, culture, and leadership undetermined. People often make the first decision based on their three to four priorities. Get those cleared up with the first message. Individuals who decline giving thanks for reaching out providing a reason like “I am happy where I am” or “just got a job not ready to make a move” etc. 87 percent of people who accept the InMail are interested in discussing the role because it already satisfies their core requirements, which could be salary, could be location, title, benefits, visa sponsorship. There are going to be a couple of people who ask whether the opportunity can be remote because to them working from home is a core priority. Whether they accept or decline, mostly everyone will want to keep in touch with us, because we are approaching talent as a recruiter who is trying to help them find a better job. Some tools can contribute to estimating people’s compensation and avoid awkward messages whenever the current salary is higher than offered.

Start the body of the message with something personalized. Use templates, but personalized the first line(s) of the message. Here are some good introductions – recognize their skill and experience or tell the person that we have shown their profile to one of our colleagues or one of the team members or the hiring manager who liked it. In this way, we will answer the questions that half of job seekers want to hear: “Are they looking for someone like me?”




CareerBuilder – Rethink the Candidate Experience and Make Better Hires

Crafting message content is the most important determinant of response rate from both premier candidates and passive seekers. It is the difference between 25 percent and 40+ percent positive response rate. Company branding matters. Just like candidate’s first impression matters to the interviewer, so does the company’s first impression in the minds of the candidate matter. What people read and feel from the message about a less-known business matter. Paint a picture of who the candidate would want to be, the best they can be, and how this opportunity will help them achieve it. Find something about our client’s company that we are excited and passionate about. Passion sells and the message should sell, hard. Anything and everything that is exceptional about the company should be briefly mentioned in the message. Is the team made of all Stanford Ph.D. data scientists? Is the CEO a very successful entrepreneur? Is the product meaningful? Does the company’s mission touch our hearts?

Find the reasons why we would want to accept the offer for the presented opportunity ourselves. Keep the message short and sweet, add a little mystery, and leave room for curiosity to do its work. Don’t ask for resumes and don’t give a job application link in the first message. Give people the company name regardless if it’s in stealth or not because it’s something people want to know. If funding is exceptional, mention it. We want to have the best introduction about the company as possible.

If people respond, the next step is to ask for an email to send them more information and schedule the initial phone call. Even though we can find contact information easily, always ask first. Treat people like we would want them to treat us. Among all the spam, the human element and permission-based contact in all our interaction with others are so important. It will set us apart from every bot that just bombards candidates with non-relevant emails, and it sets up the initial call to be a success.

Example message:

My colleagues and I think that you would be a great fit for our role of Principal Software Engineer at XYZ-company, a $15M SEED-funded startup (99% of seed stage startups don’t raise more than $1M) located in Mountain View, CA and founded by very successful serial team of entrepreneurs and gurus in the analytics space. Our CEO was recently featured in Forbes’ 30 under 30: [Link to article without shortening]

$180K + Equity + Mountain View, CA + Principal Software Engineer + Full Benefits + VISA Sponsor

Take care,

Ninh Tran


LinkedIn 2016 Guide to Modern Recruiter v2.0

Finally, remember that the whole process matters. We must have a solid #recruiting strategy and #hiring process. From the moment when we make contact with the initial message to the moment when the candidate gets an offer, through onboarding and beyond, treat the candidate as a person, with honesty and decency. Answer their questions, give constructive feedback, and follow up, and you will create a lasting relationship that goes beyond any one role.

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Hiretual – Your Recruiting Assistant.