Dear hiring managers, one of the important roles you might have is hiring, to identify and recruit top talent for your organization. However, we all know that this can be an extremely challenging task, as it requires you to be proactive in seeking out qualified candidates and convincing them to join your company. Prospecting for good candidates can be a time-consuming task, not to mention a costly one.
Nevertheless in this piece, we’ll lay out some ideas for you in prospecting for candidates using free and menial methods, and how to best increase your chances of success to get the right hire you so badly need.
1. Outreach to Candidates on Relevant Sites
This strategy involves using websites and platforms that are relevant to your industry or job position, you can target your search to find candidates who have the skills and experience you are looking for. This contrasts a more general job posting, where oftentimes you might get tons of applications that are of lower quality or remotely matched to your desired talent.
Example: You are hiring for a technical role, you can consider reaching out to candidates via Stack Overflow, GitHub, or DEV. Get their contact information, and outreach to them. Then, wait for responses from these targeted outreaches.
Of course with you manually doing the outreach, it might still be time-consuming. Not all candidates may be interested in your job opportunity or are ready to make a move. This can lead to a low response rate and make it difficult to find qualified candidates. Many people might also be caught in the process of finding the “perfect” candidates before they get into the action of actually contacting them.
This then will backfire because what if those “perfect” candidates do not respond to your outreach in the end?
Have you then wasted time finding these much smaller group of “perfect” candidates and missing out on a larger group out there that could increase your chances of success?
The key for this first method then is wider outreach when you were just getting started in the hiring process, to contact as many relevant candidates as possible. This will then shift the importance to you being able to find the relevant sites for your outreach.
2. Cast A Wider Net Via Free Postings
This second technique involves posting on relevant groups on social media - most importantly - for free. It allows you to connect with a large pool of candidates who may not be actively looking for a new job but may be interested in your opportunity. You will have some control over who you want to reach out to, by choosing the groups to post on.
The usual platforms that have many groups you can target are for example Facebook, Reddit, and LinkedIn. There are of course many more, and thus the key to this second technique is how good you are at finding the groups and platforms where your candidates are at.
Example: You are hiring a designer, you can post in relevant groups on Facebook like Creative Talent and Digital Design Jobs, or subreddits like r/designjobs and r/designresumes, on LinkedIn, there are groups such as Design Jobs and Creative Jobs that you can find candidates.
To reiterate, a good thing about this is that it’s entirely free, and the audience in these groups are ready to take on new opportunities, plus they are already possessing the skill sets that you’re looking for, thus them being in these groups.
However, the cons of it are that you might still get responses that are spam, or candidates that are of lower quality or not that relevant to what you’re looking to hire.
3. Engage Candidates via LinkedIn Personally
If the above 2 approaches are still too generic to your liking, this method allows you to personally engage carefully-screened candidates, giving you more control.
How does it work? This method will make use of LinkedIn - for obvious reasons - and its powerful search capabilities. Using LinkedIn's advanced search feature, you can filter for specific skills and experience, and by job title, industry, location, company, and other criteria. This allows for detailed screening of candidates that fit your criteria. After you have done that, there are 2 ways to engage them: free & paid.
The free way involves an extra step: you first need to connect with the candidates and add them to your LinkedIn network, and they must accept your connection request before you can send them a LinkedIn message. This extra step could be another funnel that lowers your chances of getting a response.
Before we talk about the paid way, there is another huge downside to this third strategy: there’s a limit to how many searches you can do on LinkedIn. The exact limit varies and it is not publicly disclosed by LinkedIn, but you can expect about 100-200 results before LinkedIn stopped showing you results. This is a huge downside as 100-200 results wouldn’t give you a good chance of finding the right talent considering not everyone you reach out to will respond.
Now for the paid way: there are a few LinkedIn solutions that you can subscribe to monthly, that give you different capabilities on how much you can use the LinkedIn platform, albeit with quite a restricted limit even for a few of the paid plans. The different plans range from approximately $35 to $140 monthly (the pricing varies depending on where you are), and some even higher. For these paid plans, you can then send LinkedIn messages, aka InMails without the need to first connect with the person, and you have an increased limit on the search results you can get.
Since this article’s objective is to give you ideas to find candidates for free, assuming you want to subscribe to the “cheapest” LinkedIn plan of $35 a month, that would still only give you an insignificant 5 InMails a month. This would barely let you achieve anything.
Bonus: A secret hack to bypass LinkedIn-imposed limit
Simply, instead of clicking normally on each result, right-click to access the person’s profile instead. This way, it won’t count towards the limit.
Another way is to browse the right section within a person’s profile, namely the 2 components of ”People also viewed” and “People you may know”, where the profiles are highly-relevant to what you’re looking for, being programmatically suggested to you. Thereafter similarly, by right-clicking these profiles, you can view them further without counting towards the limit.
4. Leverage Word-Of-Mouth of Internal Teams & Network
Using word of mouth as a recruitment strategy can be effective as it is a powerful way to spread information and connect with potential candidates in your existing networks. From the much-researched power of word of mouth, it can lead to a 5X increase in chances of success versus conventional methods.
When used in hiring, potential candidates have much higher trust in your company and the role, with a higher response rate and success, especially when shared with connections of internal teams. A disadvantage is that it could be a slow process, as you won’t be able to reach as wide a network as compared to method 3.
Ultimate Bonus: 5. Automate All These With Proxycurl, Hassle-Free
You can very well engage in the 4 methods suggested above for your hiring process. Yet by now, you would have seen that these methods are menial, time-consuming, uncertain, albeit free. If you are only hiring for 1 role in a long period, these methods still can tide you through relatively well. However, if you are looking to hire regularly for more roles, you could better make use of your time and efforts using other techniques.
Introducing Proxycurl, a powerful API tool that allows you to automate the search & gathering of candidates’ LinkedIn data with just a few lines of code. The data you get is always fresh and up-to-date so that you get the most accurate and relevant information about the candidates. Plus, Proxycurl is compliant with data regulations of major geographies like the CCPA and GDPR, so you can use the data without any worries.
Our real-time API responds in just a few seconds, so you can get the candidates data you need quickly. You can also make concurrent requests at a rate of up to 300 requests per minute. This makes it easy to get all the candidate data you need in bulk, instead of manually like some methods above. After which, you can then freely reach out to these candidates via your preferred communication method.
The best part? No bulky subscription or exorbitant pricing model. You can get started with the APIs immediately for as low as $0.01/credit, and you only pay for what you use. This means you can access LinkedIn data without breaking the bank, and you can scale up or down as needed depending on your hiring needs of the time.
Reach out to us today to scale your recruitment, let us take care of the menial tasks so that you can focus on analyzing and interviewing the talents.