Recruiter Outreach: That Personal Quality

Image saying Targeting with icons and images showing various methods.

In some circles, the term spray-and-pray covers recruiter outreach to potential job candidates in a wide variety of situations.

Essentially it’s a potentially reputation-damaging spam campaign (to the majority of recipients), in the hope of netting a couple of good prospects.

In other circles, it covers sending a job post to as many job aggregation sites as possible. The ATS system is then depended on to help sort applications that are increasingly easy to send — and which multiply in a downturn.

We’ll deal with outreach here, but in both cases the problem can be solved with just a couple of easy upfront investments.

Outreach Personalization

If there’s one thing most recruiters have going for them its personality. Gregarious, fast on their feet, discerning, and always easy to talk to.

Pride in these strengths is the first step to investing a little time into the resources that are almost always at your disposal.

Personalization of approach is about personal style.

Imagine the difference between receiving a generic email and one that greets you with an upbeat reference to some achievement you’ve earned. Something you and the sender have in common.

Or any personal reference — probably pulled in a matter of seconds from a social media profile.

It might be a professional connection, a shared school, hobby or virtually anything that stands out. That message says: “I’m reaching out because you made a genuine impression.”

This includes the subject line, to win that initial open.

Using the person’s name (obvious), along with current company, some achievement, or anything else that shows you know them, is potent:

John, your work at {{company}} has gained attention.

This small effort is the best investment a recruiter can make.

In fact it can be the antithesis of the foot-in-the-door technique. It triggers Dr. Robert B. Cialdini’s groundbreaking 6 Principles of Influence:

Reciprocity — the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit.

Your recipient feels complimented. You are clearly writing a personal message. You know something about her. And you are impressed enough to reach out.

The recipient knows you did your homework. You spelled the name right. Heck, you’ve probably been showing the profile around, with various important heads nodding and smiling as they stared at it.

Your recipient is now warm inside and feels you deserve time and effort.

And what was the cost?

In another instance, you could quickly discover that a qualified expert out there is actually connected to somebody who works at your company.

You would know what to do next, right?

Because a personal email from that person would go a long way to getting a result.

Ladders as a Quality Example

Hey, if you don’t blow your own trumpet, right?

Imagine you’re tasked with a high-end position. It’s important and lands between a $400K-$500K salary range.

You bring Ladders into the picture for targeted $100K-$500K+ professionals, with resumes that spell out “expertise” “experience” and “highly qualified” at every step.

And you use Ladders Experts and pull some interesting profiles. 

Great, but results are key. So how do you optimize personalization?

Easy — make yourself invisible.

You pick any personalized talking points you’ve discovered. You draft an email. Then you talk to a key hiring manager about putting her name and picture with it.

Back to another principle of persuasion — authority.

Now the personalized correspondence, with personal touches, comes from the authority figure. 

Instant compliment. Instant personalized experience.

Your win is your smart thinking — your strategy.

Every small investment of time and effort pays back in a potentially major way.

And every smart thing you do that isn’t spray-and-pray protects your reputation and your company’s reputation.

Also, any extra effort you put into areas such as networking and relationship building will reward you with great ROI. 

Ladders makes it easy for its recruiters to create their own member profiles on Ladders, for example, and encourages them to do that. So here’s our recommended mantra:

Personalization is productivity. Results earn rewards.

Job Expertise & Engagement

So taking a few minutes to find a personal way to connect is an easy investment. Approaching through a relevant connection or a hiring manager is a smart tactic when applied properly.

As is knowing your target’s field.

A little research into the field you’re recruiting for is always a good idea. Maybe there are upheavals or new innovations there that people are talking about, or worried about.

However, acting like you too are an expert is going too far. Maybe you’re aware of something via friend in the field, for example.

Your target now feels you respect him as a professional.

Maybe certain approaches don’t work well with certain professionals: being overtly positive and upbeat with journalists or PR people could lead to guardedness and mistrust, for example.

We shouldn’t indulge in stereotypes, but we should respect the kind of work performed and the culture that goes with it. It can shape the way professionals respond.

Cold-calling is a thing of the past. Personalization is everything.

Small investments do gain great rewards

And when good people, who you very quickly built something of a relationship with, don’t work out for a position, make sure you keep their details and throw them a friendly line for others.

Because relationship building is as personal as it gets.

Quality Job Candidates for Recruiters

Image shows a recruiter picking a digital job candidate from a screen.

Tough times for job candidates demand targeted solutions for recruiters.

Calm over chaos. Calculation over confusion. Strategy over stress.

Spray-and-Pray for yesterday. Aim-and-Hit for today and every day.

Easily said, right?

So let’s look at a sourcing resource for recruiters.

One that’s designed to cut out time-wasting job candidates. And attract talent that matters.

Talent with enthusiasm, experience, and expertise.

Full Access to Experts


An ATS system is essentially technology’s answer to a problem it created.

That’s because the internet made job applications super simple.

In a downturn, eagerness to get ahead can heavily outweigh expertise.

And your ATS can only do so much.

Consequently, surfing, sifting and sorting becomes the daily grind.

And it’s a sloppy solution to a growing problem.

However, talent attraction by fine-targeting combines technology with strategy.

This encourages high-end results — with a full access advantage.

Additionally, it’s easy.

Which doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with eagerness or enthusiasm.

Combine them with experience and expertise and you have the perfect job candidate package.

For example, a professional full access job candidate package like this:

10 million users pre-assessed and targeted as active or passive $100K-$500K+ job seekers. Answering recruiter long term or short term needs.

15 years’ experience on average — no enthusiastic amateurs targeted, just professionals.

 92% with a bachelor’s degree; 45% with a master’s degree. Educated and proactive.

$154K median member income — expertise meets achievement meets results.

360 million Ladders News opens per year — high-end engagement from experts.

On the other hand, you could be targeting up-and-coming professionals in the $80K-$100K range.

This need is also answered in Ladders’ rarified space.

Big Date With Big Data


Knowledge is power.

So access to big data is collated to cover a specific candidate area. And targeted to answer detailed recruiter job needs. Providing a powerhouse solution.

Let’s unpack that.

A Full Access License from Ladders enables a deep data dive for recruiters:

Unlimited search — the complete Ladders database of professional experts.

Unlimited job posts — targeted to the high-end experts who fit your needs.

Unlimited resume downloads — search-and-save, contact info, and desired salary.

Third Page™ data — 20 million answers to key interview questions from members.

Advanced search – fine-targeting with Boolean search options (and support).

Resume Preview — fast assessments with a resume preview in search results.

ATS connectivity — optimized processing management and fast job delivery.

XML connectivity — easy, automated job post management across systems.

Email alerts — inbox backup, suggested candidates based on saved searches and more.

Success Management — easy access to live support across all recruiter needs.

Tap2Call on mobile — one-tap dialing for busy recruiters who are on the move.

Candidates, Careers & Craft


Spray-and-Pray is history.

The new normal means evolving with the times.

So rather than placing all bets on technology, technology is incorporated into a focused strategy.

Big data is broken down based on needs, then targeted.

Optimization enhances productivity.

Time saved equals gains.

Technology and strategy combine for fine-targeting. Fast results. And great outcomes.

And quality selection equals retention.

Expert candidates are matched to careers based on your craft, honed for efficiency.

Aim-and-Hit is the future — and, of course, that started already.

Ready to turn this downturn around?

How to Write a Job Title That Works

Image showing newspaper cuttings of several job titles in a pile.

Writing job titles that work is easy, right?

So imagine the following scene at a social gathering:

“What do you do for a living?”
“I’m an upwardly mobile vision technician.”
“Oh, wow! That sounds amazing! What does it mean?”
“I clean windows.”

Many years ago, the above job title was created as a joke by a witty guy on a UK dating show.

Today, equally silly (and functionally useless), job titles can be found on resumes, job posting sites, and pretty much anywhere else in the careers space and elsewhere.

Here’s a short list of real examples. Let’s see if you can guess the jobs they describe (answers at the bottom):

  1. Chief Chatter
  2. Wizard of Light Bulb Moments
  3. Dream Alchemist
  4. Part-Time Czar
  5. Grand Master of Underlings

As described in Write a Job Description in 6 Easy Steps, there are various key reasons why writing job titles like this isn’t a good idea.

While it could be argued that inflicting one of the above titles onto an expert’s professional resume is an act of cruelty, the downside for recruiters is more ominous. 

Here’s the key question: How many job seekers would be likely to type in one of the above examples while conducting a job search? 

The answer is nada. None. Zip. Zero. So in an effort to be colorful, you’ve made yourself invisible. Therefore, a generic job title will result in more targeted job applicants.

The irony is palpable. 

Some would argue that writing job titles like support a company’s brand image. That’s fine, but it would be difficult to lose an argument based on the following:

  1. Job titles should be helpful to those seeing and hearing them
  2. There’s a time and a place for everything
  3. Enforced jollity starts to grate on people after a while

Aside from stopping job posts being invisible to many job seekers, the down-to-earth approach to job titles achieves two additional objectives:

  1. Describe the area of expertise required
  2. Indicate the hierarchical level within the department/company

And since a professional is expected to put their job title onto their resume, the previous point about “cruelty” should be properly considered.

Because that “cruelty” affects recruiters, too.

Recruiters need to be able to see relevant information at-a-glance when initially working through a slew of resumes, looking for key information that says:

“This is well put together, answers our post, and merits a closer look.” 

In the current downturn, it’s also likely that many recruiters are besieged by enthusiastic hopefuls as well as qualified experts to fill many available positions.

Making this point even more important for anybody tasked with creating a shortlist of good resumes.

A colorful title often gives little to no indication of what the area of expertise is, or what relation it bears to the previous and/or following positions.

This can cause a warning light to go off in a recruiter’s mind as the resume is initially scanned.

The only solution for the recruiter is to either pass on it and look for safer material, or dedicate time to studying why the bizarre and seemingly illogical entry was entered in the first place.

As for lesser offensive titles, it should also be pointed out that an expert in their field is not a “Rockstar” unless they have achieved one of the following:

  1. Fame as a successful singer or performer of rock music
  2. Celebrity status; particularly in inspiring fanatical admiration

When creating job titles, recruiters and others involved in the process should ideally heed the following three points:

  1. Think about what you need, what level you need it to be, and describe it clearly
  2. Help your colleagues process stacks of resumes without unnecessary blockers
  3. Don’t attempt to create job titles when feeling giddy

Additionally, the guy on the dating show lost.

Answers: a. Call Center Manager; b. Marketing Director; c. Head of Creative; d. Assistant Manager; e. Deputy Manager. See complete list.