As recruiters, we’re always searching for new ways and ideas to engage passive candidates.
In this age of digital monopolization, face to face interaction has been pushed to the wayside by email, Facebook, Twitter, you name it. We live, work and communicate through our phones and on any number of social platforms. Call me old school, but some of the most valuable connections (read: HIRES) I’ve found have come from spending a chunk of time offline and away from my desk.
Enter the ideal mix of both worlds: Meetup.com
Most of us have heard of Meetup – it’s the website where you can meet people who like the same stuff you do, right? Right. But harnessing this incredible community for recruiting is still an untapped and overlooked resource. When it comes to engaging top, passive talent, all you have to do is get a little creative.
Below are a few ways that I’ve used Meetup for tapping talent. I’d love to hear your ideas too – feel free to post in the comments!
First, play it subtle
I’ll start off with an insider tip: Don’t always say you are a recruiter. Lot’s of these groups are averse to really aggressive recruiters joining for obvious reasons – taking a roundabout approach is best and less invasive.
It’s a team effort!
The key here is to join so you can gather info on what’s happening when, and drag your team along. I’ve always said that one of the best recruiting strategies is to get the people at your company to stand in a room and talk about what they do.
In this regard, you are simply the facilitator. The matchmaker, if you will. Create the space, and let the magic happen organically (and at the end of the conversation, throw your business card at them!)
I might also mention that follow-up is key here. If someone on your team meets a great potential candidate, it’s crucial to reach out to them ASAP, including your team member, to keep the connection warm.
Harness Meetup’s messaging features
Speaking of reaching out to potential candidates, once you’ve joined relevant Meetup groups, you get free access to other members of those groups. You can also message these people directly through the site, for free – but to take it a step further (and make it even more impressive and personal), you can export this list of people and plug them into your sourcing platform to get more information about them. From there, you can contact them via email, phone, Facebook, you name it – with a soft introduction about how you are part of the same group, and share common goals.
Go one step further – become a host!
A surefire way to connect with the right people and get brand exposure is to offer to host a Meetup group’s event in your space. These groups are often looking for new spaces to host at and are very open to partnering.
Give them a space to use, coordinate a mutually suitable date, order the food/drink for the event, and make sure your team is there to talk up your company! By virtue of participants being exposed to your space and your team, you’ve already jumped half the hurdles in the recruiting process.
Throw some business cards on the table and make a quick “Thanks for coming, we’re hiring” speech at the end? Even better!
Offer one of your in-house experts as an event speaker
Not only are you getting brand recognition with your coworker standing in front of a crowd talking about something (likely very) smart, but you’re also showcasing first-hand the caliber of people you employ and the interesting things you are doing. It’s a no-brainer that people love to work with companies who are solving difficult and interesting problems. Get your team up on stage talking about what they love to do, and you’re going to catch the attention of other top talent looking for their next move. At that point, you become the facilitator. The team has spoken for themselves!
In the end, as easy as it is to sit behind a computer with every single tool available at your fingertips, sometimes it is worth sacrificing a night or two out of your busy week to get out and meet people. I think in this instant gratification generation we live in, face-to-face interaction really ups the ante. Everybody wants to be wanted…so go find ‘em, and knock their socks off while you’re there!
1-Page will be hosting the SF Data Science Meetup on Thursday, May 5th, where our very own Alex Smola, Chief Data Scientist, will be speaking! Come on out and see what we, and our brilliant tech team, is all about.