Pitfall #1: You require a pre-interview test or case study right after you’ve reached out to a potential candidate.
Remember, when sourcing candidates via outbound recruiting it’s your job to sell the candidate on the position, not the other way around. If a test or case study is part of your interview process, save it until later on in interview rounds for outbound candidates.
Pitfall #2: Your messages sound inauthentic.
While it is essential to paint the available opportunity in good light, you must also remember that this isn’t a sales prospect. Differentiate yourself in a crowded marketplace by being personable, and most importantly authentic.
Pitfall #3: You’re saying too much.
It’s good to be passionate about your business and share that passion with potential candidates. However, always try to find a balance between selling the role and delivering your message shortly and concisely.
Pitfall #4: You aren’t testing out different strategies.
Just like any other type of prospecting or marketing, you need to be making sure you’re actively testing your content. A/B testing is a great way to see what messages are resonating the most with your audience. Try playing around with links to PR pieces, blog posts and other interesting facts about your company.
Pitfall #5: You’re providing way too much information.
Similar to pitfall #3 you’re over-engineering your outreach. However, providing too much information goes beyond not being concise. Make sure you allow room for the candidate to do their own research to come up with impactful questions. This allows for discovery on their part, and a way for you to test and gauge their interest later down the road.
Pitfall #6: The role is irrelevant.
If you’re reaching out to candidates in a senior position to join your team in a junior role, you have the wrong approach, and you’re sending a message that you haven’t done your homework. Meet candidates on the level they are already at and make sure the role speaks to their current skill set, interests, and past experiences.
Pitfall #7: Your mission sounds more like a marketing tagline than it should.
Your company’s mission might be a great way to showcase your long-term goals and objectives to potential candidates, but not every candidate will be ready to jump immediately on board with the big picture. Make sure to sell the whole opportunity, one that focuses on your company AND the opportunities within the role.
Pitfall #8: You’re putting all your eggs in one basket.
When sourcing candidates, it’s easy to fall into the habit of finding someone whom you think is a good fit and falling for them as the perfect match for the role. Not everyone will be interested in the opportunity, so diversify your selection and pick the best candidate for the position.
Pitfall #9: You’re not customizing your outreach.
When you’re on the phone with candidates, you tailor your conversation to each chat. Your outreach emails should be no different. Customizing and personalizing each email shows candidates you’re taking the extra effort to engage with them.
Pitfall #10: You assume every candidate understands your internal structure.
Every company is different. Different roles, different structures, and different hierarchies. Don’t expect candidates to understand every organizational dynamic right off the bat and make sure to take time to explain how it works in your company.
Pitfall #11: You chat too much about your investors, capital, and popularity as a startup.
A big draw for people to work at a startup is the ability for employees to be in-the-know about operational goals. However, there’s not always need to dive into the numbers. Some candidates care more about the specific role than they do about your Series B. Recognize that and cater to the questions the candidate is asking.
Pitfall #12: You’re recruiting for a specific skill set instead of lifelong learners.
Hard skill-sets are necessary for many roles including engineering, but they can also be picked up on the job. Stop looking for candidates who check all of the skills boxes and start looking for those who have experience in the field and have shown they’re eager to learn more.
Pitfall #13: You’re not asking the candidates what they think.
It might be easy to jump into your typical interview routine with outbound candidates, but there’s an important distinction. Instead of immediately asking questions of fit, spend some time explaining the opportunity and ask the candidate if it’s something that’s interesting to them. Remember, you’re the one who is seeking them out.
Pitfall #14: You’re not offering enough incentive.
If you’re sourcing candidates who are already employed, you’ll need to go the extra mile to get them to move. This doesn’t need to equal higher pay or equity offers necessarily, but it should take into account that the candidate might already have a good gig. Offer them something better by trying to understand what is important to them.