Elasticity for Cringe by Dan Grosh, Partner, Calibre One – January 15, 2016
I recently served on a panel for the UC Berkeley Experienced Hire event in which an important question from a respected peer of industry / moderator was asked about how to best approach executive recruiters and the appropriateness of follow-up and the structure of the message. When it came to my response, Elasticity for Cringe slipped off my tongue. I know Elasticity is typically used to describe Demand / Supply and sensitivity to change, but the way I framed this is that the approach was critical to gain a positive response. The poorer the approach, the greater the cringe factor and likelihood for lower demand versus a focused approach; eliminating the cringe factor; likelihood equals higher demand for response.
So, also keeping in mind that most decent recruiters; whether internal or external have a million things we are juggling and get 100’s of requests / resumes a day – what is likely to get my attention / less cringe:
– An introduction via a trusted source or referenced in the introduction.
– Short and sweet. To the point with clear intention for contacting me – to network, to discuss a specific opportunity etc.. 2-3 sentences max.
– Someone who has done their homework on me. In my case, they know I headhunt the best of the best and specifically serve clients (big, medium and emerging) within the technology industry.
– Uniqueness – something that stands out. Think first impression.
– Quid Pro Quo – some sort of exchange where everyone wins. For example – I am in the business of networking. If someone offers to introduce me to great prospects for current searches or a potential new client, I am all ears…
The Cringe Factor
– Nothing unique or anything truly substantial.
– A form Letter that was copied and pasted or written by someone else.
– Different Fonts.
– Poor grammar.
– Someone who has not done their homework and that is so far away from specific opportunity, industry / not complimentary or transferable.
– Dead Sea Scroll-like.
– Too much overkill on how great they are.
– Lacking specifics and all focused on what they do VERSUS what they accomplished
A good example by email for better response could be: Dan, __________ recommended we connect. I saw you are a fellow tennis player as well. I would love to pick your brain on future opportunities and noticed you placed XX and XX. Congratulations. In my last role as VP @ XX, I helped grow the Company from X to X by adding value (i.e. saved company $, made company more productive, made company $, nurtured and grew talent etc..). In return, I hope I can make a few fruitful introductions for you as well. Please let me know if you are up for getting acquainted.
Be focused and smart about the approach and this should lead to more responses and better outcomes…