The art of “cold calling” in a digital age

Loxo Blog

In today’s error of mass messaging via LinkedIn Recruiter, how do you get a potential candidate to open your message, much less respond to it? While recruiting is a number game, sometimes we’ve forgotten the balance between quantity and quality. Investing a little extra time to make your message stand out can help improve your response rate and/or the quality of the candidates who respond.

What have we found that works?

  • Don’t bury the lead — your subject line is your elevator pitch and your opening sentence(s) should state who you are and why you want to talk to the candidate
  • Help the candidate qualify or disqualify themselves — be upfront about any deal-breakers like relocation
  • Include the cliff notes job description — don’t ask the candidate to take any additional actions before you’ve hooked them as your potential talent pool shrinks with each extra click. And don’t leave them hanging as to some mysterious opportunity they could be a fit with — that undermines credibility, screams ‘spam’ and will lead to a quick delete
  • Outline clear next steps — so you’ve got them interested, great! Get the conversation off of LinkedIn into email and make clear what additional information you need to proceed (a copy of their resume, times for a phone call, etc)
  • Be respectful — treat the candidate’s time like you’d want your time treated; clear and concise always win, no novels or conversational fluff needed
  • Be professional — it’s ok to be conversational, but recognize this is someone’s career. Pay attention to grammar and spelling. Keep the tone professional and respectful, this isn’t your BFF or work spouse that knows your inside jokes or quirks

What do we make sure to avoid?

  • “I’d like to network with you” — being upfront is important, but sounding like you just want to pump the candidate just for their connections is a one-sided relationship no one is going to be interested in
  • DON’T USE ALL CAPS — yes, this draws attention (as screaming has a tendency to do), but only to let a candidate know you are unprofessional and not to be taken seriously, leading to an immediate delete
  • Be honest — if you don’t know someone, don’t claim to or try to pull one out of thin air (friend of a friend of a friend). State why you want to connect and what you have to offer; that is far more compelling than trying to leverage a connection that is not easily made by the candidate

Image Credit

Loxo Blog

Boolean Logic 101

Loxo Blog

Alas, April Fools’ Day is almost upon us. But can I share a secret? Sometimes I feel like this day has become a year round bonanza when I research how to become a better recruiter or how to leverage the latest tech breakthrough to grow one’s recruiting business. Boolean logic? Black belts? I thought people got into the recruiting business because they liked problem solving, finding the (human) puzzle piece that completes the (company’s) puzzle. Helping people find a job they actually enjoy while also empowering them to provide for their needs and wants!

I do not remember signing up for a ‘coding bootcamp” or joining the cast of Scorpion (however much I enjoy watching it) and the closest I’ve come to a black belt is watching “The Karate Kid” back in the day. But Google is telling me some people are using ‘synonym’ research and manipulating LinkedIn’s code to gain an advantage. While I want to use the latest technology, there’s gotta be a better way, right??

Loxo Blog

We all know that finding the proverbial needle amongst the haystack is critical to recruiting success and the vast amount of data available today has greatly expanded our talent pools. However, I generally prefer to focus on what I’m good at (the people side) and find the right tools to help me match candidates to my job orders.

Enter Ilia, Loxo’s CTO and self-described “technology polyglot” who is fascinated with solving extremely hard if not impossible problems. He’s also an expert in web development, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Or as I prefer to simply call him, our programming ninja and savior. One of Ilia’s passions has been creating what we like to call “delightful search.” In plain-speak, it’s simple, powerful, fast searching. In tech-speak, it’s our state-of-the-art indexing and full-text search system that searches across your entire database, including resumes, personal candidate notes, tags, key words, parsed fields, and information pulled in from across the web. Result? It ensures you never miss another candidate hidden in your database again.

And with all of your new free time, you can now deploy any of these amazing Buzzfeed pranks on unsuspecting co-workers, significant others and anyone unfortunate enough to cross your overly productive path.

But what’s your perspective — does being a top recruiter mean you have to master coding and Boolean Logic? Or are there a better ways to leverage technology to grow your business? Join the discussion below or tweet us your thoughts @lox_o!

Interested in trying Loxo? Just click “Get Started” at the top of the page to get a demo and get ahead of the curve!

Image Credits: April Fool’s Day, Boolean Logic

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Can you feel the MADNESS?

Loxo Blog

It’s that time of year again! No, not Spring Break, but March Madness®. Ok, maybe you’re not one of the 40 million Americans placing a bet on the Big Dance, but this is a good time to check out the parallels between our business and sports.

The lifeblood of programs with long-term success, like the University of Kentucky, is recruiting. Coach Cal has adapted to the every-changing landscape of the NCAA and has actually worked the one-and-done rule to his advantage (“Want to be NBA-ready next year? Come play for me.”)

Just like an elite coach is the face of a basketball program, you are the face of your business. Your charisma, your persona, your network enables you to identify and recruit the ideal candidate to fill your open job order. Yet, the tracking tasks take you away from this core competency! Wouldn’t it be great to find an intelligent assistant who simplifies the data and administrative side of applicant tracking, allowing you to focus on your passion?

Or maybe you’re more like the mid-market team, building your business and looking for innovations to help you close the competitive gap with the big dogs? A recent article in the New York Times reveals how mid-market team Davidson has partnered with the university’s math department to use statistics to improve their game plan (and not surprisingly, winning percentage). The team now better understands what set of 5 players is most efficient, how efficient individual players are and what to expect from their competition. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a talent warehouse with deep analytical capabilities instead of a collection of spreadsheets?

Meet Loxo, the talent intelligence platform. Quickly get your disparate data into one place. Finally have an easy-to-use, elegant, simple platform. Leverage big data and analytics to automatically create a talent pool and find that right candidate.

Whatever stage your business is at, Loxo can help you build a competitive advantage. Wouldn’t you rather invest in the right tools to set your business up for success? Or do you want to place your bet that you’ll be the Cinderella?

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A new way to share your job posts — it’s never been so easy!

Loxo — get ahead of the curve. It’s simple to use, fun, powerful — and it has everything you need as a modern recruiter all under one roof.

When we first started building Loxo one of our goals was to commit to building Loxo into the #1 recruiting platform on the market. We want to build a product recruiters love using.

Loxo Blog

Today we are pleased to announce a new feature which is just the latest in a long line of cutting edge initiatives on our product roadmap.

Loxo now integrates with Indeed.com, Glassdoor, and SimplyHired.

Our customers can share their jobs directly to the worlds largest resume aggregators and job boards –and the best part is that it requires 1 click. Oh, and did we mention it’s completely free with any Loxo account!

Loxo Blog

14 Recruiters to Follow on Twitter in 2015

Want to step up your recruiting game and become a leader in your niche in 2015? Start the new year off on the right foot by following the sharpest recruiters on Twitter.

1. @jjbuss — 51.7K

Jason Buss is a veteran recruiter, blogger and HR guru and the creator and editor of Talent HQ — a blog for the Recruiting and Human resources communities. Jason is the Director of Talent Acquisition at TriNet (provider of cloud based HR solutions) and is on the advisory board of EmployeeReferrals.com.

2. @StacyZapar — 32.1K

Meet Stacy Donovan Zapar — the most connected woman on LinkedIn. With 15+ years of recruiting experience, she is the founder of Tenfold (a boutique recruitment strategy, training and consulting firm) and currently serves as a recruiting and sourcing strategist for Zappos, TripAdvisor, Sugar CRM & Restoration Hardware. Stacy’s innovating thinking is evident in her work with Zappos where they got rid of job postings.

3. @GeoffPeterson — 25.6K

Geoff Peterson is the Manager of Sourcing & Recruiting Operations for TriNet and author of The Sourcer’s Playbook. Geoff has recruiting management experience and has sourced for professionals in IT/IS, software, finance, accounting, sales, HR, healthcare and government. Geoff has managed recruiting and sourcing teams and implemented sourcing programs for building active and passive candidate pipelines across search engines, social and business networks, career sites and databases. He’s trained thousands of recruiters, sourcers and HR professionals on sourcing tools, strategies and social media.

4. @TimSackett — 25.2K

Tim Sackett has worked in HR and recruiting for over 20 years and is currently the President at HRU Technical Resources. He’s a pro at finding the best talent and has a diverse menu of industry experience including Healthcare, Automotive, Casual Dining and Retail. Tim’s specialties include: talent acquisition, employment branding, performance management, employee development & succession planning.

5. @GlenCathey — 20.8K

Does this all star recruiter and blogger really need an introduction? Ok, ok… Glen Cathey is a sourcing and recruiting leader that serves as the SVP of Talent Acquisition Strategy for Kforce. He is the creator of Boolean Black Belt — one of the most useful (tons of recruiting tips!) HR and recruiting blogs on the interwebs; he writes about sourcing, recruiting, big data, analytics and LinkedIn.

6. @braingain — 19.6K

Irina Shamaeva is a master sourcer, recruiter and speaker. She is the founder of the Brain Gain Recruiting agency, founder of the People Sourcing Certification Program and creator of an online sourcing community with over 27,000 members called Boolean Strings. She blogs about recruiting, boolean searches, data mining and sourcing at BooleanStrings.com.

7. @BillBoorman — 19.5K

Bill Boorman is the founder of the #Tru Collective — an on-going series of recruiting, HR and technology events held across the globe. Bill is a leader in social recruiting and consults with companies on recruiting strategy. Bill blogs at The Recruiting Unblog. Here’s a random fact about Bill: he never wears a suit, but often wears a hat.

8. @LevyRecruits — 17.5K

Steve Levy is the Recruiting Lead for Kaltura. Steve is a talent acquisition leader, workforce planner, hands-on recruiter, talent community builder & pipeline sourcing magician. He was recently featured in LinkedIn’s new guide for recruiters: The Modern Recruiter’s Guide. Steve believes in recruiting to retain, he mentors recruiters and hiring managers to think and perform better; he trains employees at all levels to become talent scouts. As builder of talent communities, he prides himself on knowing Purple Squirrels and what they eat. You can check out his blog at RecruitingInferno.com

9. @jrkuhns — 17.3K

Jay Kuhns is the VP of HR at All Children’s Hospital. Jay believes that a core responsibility of a leader is to be a brand ambassador; this tenet manifests in Jay’s social recruitment work and on his leadership blog No Excuses HR. Jay was featured in the book A Necessary Evil, Managing Employee Activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…and Hundreds of Other Social Media Sites. He made multiple guest appearances on Drive Thru HR — the #1 HR radio show.

10. @SourcerKelly– 13.4K

Kelly Dingee leads the candidate research team at Staffing Advisors (retained search firm based in the DC Metro). Kelly is a contributing writer to FistfulofTalent; she writes about topics related to sourcing and recruiting.

11. @mattcharney — 10.8K

Matt Charney is the Executive Editor of Recruiting Daily. He’s a razor sharp at marketing and communications and is a self proclaimed HR & recruiting nerd

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12. @bryanchaney — 9,002

Bryan Chaney is the Recruitment Sourcing Executive for IBM. Bryan has spoken at SHRM, Social Media Club, SourceCon, RISE, ASTD, and PubCon, on multiple topics:

  • social media
  • career strategy
  • talent sourcing strategies
  • talent acquisition strategies

He leads the Austin chapter of the Social Media Breakfast series.

13. @LouA — 7,279

Lou Adler is a veteran recruiter and CEO and founder of The Adler Group — a consulting and training firm helping companies implement the Performance-based Hiring system for finding and hiring exceptional talent. More than 20,000 recruiters and hiring managers have attended Lou’s workshops. Lou is the author of the Amazon top-10 best-seller, Hire With Your Head and The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired.

14. @willstaney — 6,299

Will Staney is the Head of Talent Acquisition at Twilio. He is a contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine and Blogging4Jobs. Will is an influential voice in HR and recruiting; he speaks on new media marketing, recruiting strategies, talent sourcing and employer branding.

Loxo Blog

An entrepreneurial journey in finding Loxo’s Co-Founder and CTO

Loxo Blog

I will always remember the day we finally made it Linkedin official. Its that milestone you reach as a partnership where you make it public on social media — a la “Facebook official” for couples when you know it’s getting serious. I deeply value transparency, and it’s a core element of our cultural DNA at Loxo. From time to time I’d like to share my perspective on the entrepreneurial journey to not only celebrate key milestones with our team and rapidly growing customer base, but perhaps most important to help other aspiring non technical entrepreneurs who are faced with the same challenge I was.

Finding the right Co-Founder is a lot like dating after the age of 30

You know what you want, and conversely what you don’t want. However, you’re battle tested and introspective enough to know the outcome if you were to drive up to the hottest LA club in your Subaru wagon, and expect to attract the blue-eyed super model at the front of the line — simply because you “arrived.” Unless you’re fortunate to be at the top of the entrepreneurial pyramid, you’re going to have to take the hard road in order to identify and court a partner who you feel matches your selective criteria and has what it takes to grow stronger as time goes on in order to make it through the intense highs and lows that epitomize startups.

Never settle

There is a difference between being dogmatic, and being persistent, however finding the right co-founder is the most important thing a non tech founder will do in the formative years in a tech company. The success of any industry leading organization or championship team comes down to the individuals on that team; for startups this is magnified by 100x. When you are a big name company who can write blank checks attracting talent is relatively easy, however that doesn’t mean early stage startups should be less selective simply because it’s extremely hard and a lonely endeavor.

Loxo aims to evolutionize the hiring model. Our software will enable our customers to build a next generation talent warehouse — making it possible to easily find the best talent for any position. If our mission with Loxo is helping our customers identify the best possible mutual match, and we don’t eat our own dog food — what is that saying not only about the validity of our own capabilities and product, but subsequently the message of why the quality of hire and cultural fit is the most important measure in talent acquisition and team building.

To answer the question you may have — yes, I discovered Loxo’s Co-Founder by using Loxo!

Put your true self out there and realize nothing worth having comes easy

Finding a life or business partner should take time and if you happen to serendipitously come across “the one” on your first pitch, then head straight to Vegas and keep rolling; don’t even worry about the startup stuff.

Unless you have a next generation talent warehouse, you’re going to have to get out of your comfort zone, cast as wide a net as possible and be methodical about the hiring process — identifying, engaging, going through the learning loop and having dozens if not hundreds of two-sided interviews to truly find the optimal fit.

For me, it was a major learning curve and the single most stressful and exhaustive thing I’ve done as an entrepreneur. We’ve been building Loxo since 2012 and I was fortunate to work with some of the most talented consultants in Denver and Boulder’s tech scene, but finding someone who exhibited the talent, ethics, and humility combined with the founders mindset was really hard, and the longer I went without a tech Co-Founder the more acute the pain was. As I mentioned, it’s kind of like dating in later stages of life — you refuse to settle, but at what pain threshold are you willing to say maybe I’m being too picky. In retrospect, if I didn’t spend my weeknights going to TechStars affiliated BDNT and Colorado startup events starting in 2011, if I didn’t have hundreds of conversations with different developers, and if I didn’t have a tool like Loxo that enabled me to methodically map the talent market, I would not have met my current Co-Founder and definitely wouldn’t have known when I came across the best possible mutual match.

You know it when you see it

The colloquialism rings true with business partners and hiring as it does in the dating world. If you’ve found your match you may be nodding your head in agreement, and if you haven’t yet hopefully sharing this personal journey gives some insight and credence that if you commit to the process and refuse to settle you’ll find who you are looking for, and the rest they say is history…

The most interesting thing we discovered in our first face-to-face conversation was not only how well we hit it off on a personal and values perspective, but that we were both extremely passionate about an unbelievably narrow emerging field — AI, machine learning and predictive modeling. While I was learning everything I could for the past 5 years on this emerging space from a business perspective, he was coincidentally solving extremely complex mathematical driven problems and quickly becoming an expert on architecting these AI driven software systems. Marrying the unique combination of business, operations and tech was like we were purpose built to solve this exact problem.

Have your eyes wide open

If you don’t get out on the dance floor and don’t have an open mind you’ll never find who you are looking for. However, be willing to consider new ways of thinking and alternatives which will dramatically improve your ability to solve your problem and in far less time. In my case, if I never went through that lengthy learning process, Loxo wouldn’t be anywhere near as strong a position to achieve the goal and vision we set out to do. After all, we’ve developed a tool aimed at solving the problem we’ve personally dealt with, and are helping our customers be significantly more successful in mapping the talent market and ultimately creating a repeatable process that ensures the best talent and organizations find one another in far less time than ever before.

Build for the long-term

The good news is that Loxo exists so that it doesn’t have to be as hard or require such an exhaustive process to find these needles in the haystacks for all parties involved; recruiters, hiring managers, and ambitious individuals looking to accelerate their career trajectory. The future of recruiting and talent acquisition has never been more exciting and as Loxo grows we’ll continue to pave the path with our own internal hires and stop at nothing in solving this, because after all — talent and human capital is the single most important asset and driver of an organization’s long-term success.

Loxo Blog

Loxo UI Design

Loxo Blog

The first thing anyone will notice about any software is the user interface. In the space of a few seconds to a few minutes, a user will be pleased, nonplussed, or disgusted. A good user interface and intuitive user experience always translates into happy users. This automatically means better retention, less churn, and more referrals. Think back to 2004 and the early days of GMail–everyone was clamoring for an invite because of how much better it was than existing email solutions.

Our philosophy at Loxo is to focus first and foremost on making users happy. Hand-in-hand with providing unmatched customer service, the best way to do this is by making software that works the first time and does the right thing every time. If a button does not do what it’s expected to do, that’s a problem. A good user experience translates into lower training costs, a smaller learning curve, and an overall faster workflow. We win because our customers are happy and they win because they hit the ground running from day one with no training or sunk cost.

This user-pleasing philosophy echoes throughout Loxo. Instead of providing endless buttons and filters, we have a powerful search. After all, who wants to open a list of location filters and hunt through them when typing “Denver, CO” into a search box is enough? Another example is how we expose functionality that is rarely used; these things go into a quick list of shortcuts that most people never ask about. This way the power users are happy with their sharp toolkit and the casual users are happy with their simple workflow. In other places, advanced functionality only comes up when hovering over a certain piece of content. When software intuitively helps along the way to a goal, that’s really pleasing.

Doing all of this right presents a challenge. Sure it’s easy to just throw in every button and checkbox in the world, but we would feel embarrassed to force our users to stare at a monstrosity. Every feature we add leads to our core team sitting down and asking difficult questions of each other. Who do we want to be? What are our goals? Does this fit in with our vision and mission? There are a lot of hard questions that need to be answered every time we add a new feature. The second-hardest part of this is deciding a feature doesn’t belong and then saying no. The hardest part is removing an existing feature that no longer fits into the puzzle.

The end result is that our users are happy and we are happy. They have an easier time doing their job which frees up time for them to enjoy their lives. Even though our internal conversations are harder, we have an easier time maintaining Loxo–after all, software tends to reflect its user interface to at least some extent. A clean user interface and sensible user experience hint at a good software architecture. It’s certainly not easy, but nothing worth doing is ever easy, especially when the goal is to build world-class software.

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