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December 14, 2017

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Direct Sourcing and Networking Initiatives (DSNI)

When direct sourcing or networking for candidate leads, it's best to keep an old saying in mind..."It's better to give than to receive." Let me explain how.

We all know that what separates the good "application processors" from the good "recruiters" is the ability to design and implement effective direct sourcing and networking initiatives (DSNI) that will penetrate the hidden candidate markets and uncover the talent. In fact, as the market continues to get more and more competitive, the ability to direct source and network for candidates may be the only way to find skill sets. A successful initiative depends on two basic steps:

  1. Building a good list of names to call
  2. Being effective at processing the list

Let's assume you've built a really good DSNI list to process, or call on. Keep in mind, it's no easy task to build a good list, and the quality of the DSNI list can either lead you to hidden talent or waste your precious time. But, once a quality list is created, it's up to the recruiter to make something out of it.

The best way to do that is to make sure that each and every person you interact with is offered something, BEFORE you ask for something. Too often, recruiters make DSNI calls with one thing in mind; how can the person on the list help me? They contact a total stranger and before they even get to know them, they're asking for help.

That approach goes something like..."Hello my name is Harry Swanson and I'm a recruiter with ABC Company. I was doing some networking for a software engineer for one of my clients and thought maybe you could help me." While that approach is straightforward and evokes a person's natural instincts to help, it's also intrusive, disruptive and can easily turn off the lead before you truly get to solicit their help. This is especially true if the person gets calls all the time from recruiters and may be tired of being everyone's helper and may wonder what's in it for them.

Watch how different they respond when offered something first! "Hello, my name is Harry Swanson, a recruiter with ABC Company. I was calling to let you know I'm currently representing a fast growing, highly successful SW firm that's looking to add new talent to their team. It's a really good position that offers a lot to their employees. They offer 3 weeks of yearly training, have an excellent Employee Value Proposition and are currently designing the next generation of SW for the XYZ industry, some real bleeding-edge stuff. I was wondering if you had any friends, family or colleagues that might benefit by knowing about this great opportunity."

Can you see the difference? This person might be so intrigued with your "pitch" that they'll want to hear more about it and become your next candidate. If they're not interested, they may be more willing to share this information with a friend or colleague they feel would be happy to receive it.

The first approach is like going around with your hand out, looking for someone to fill it with something. The second is like reaching out to people with your hand full of something good that you want to share with them. The first is more about receiving and the second is about giving. The people you call on will feel that and respond accordingly.

Here are some helpful tips to remember when you are preparing DSNI:

  • Start by creating a meaningful list of people to call
  • Compile at least 50 names to get any traction
  • Study your client's Employee Value Proposition
  • Make a list of anticipated objections and prepare your rebuttals in advance
  • Clear a two-hour block of time on your calendar
  • Prepare to do a lot of note taking; good calls often lead to more names and numbers!
  • Begin your campaign with enthusiasm and confidence
  • Engage each person with something to offer
  • Follow up by asking each person for their help in reciprocation
  • Prepare to deal with rejection
  • Appreciate everyone, regardless of the outcome
  • Never give up

- Scott Beardsley

Scott Beardsley, Co-founder, Recruitment Practice Principal and Vice President - Recruitment Services Q4B, Quantum Solutions for Business 512-767-6845 scott.beardsley@q4b.com

Scott Beardsley has over 16 years of experience helping companies achieve their growth and talent objectives. His background in building effective Recruiting Engines for companies ranging from high tech start ups to Fortune 50 Corporations gives him a unique understanding of the market and how to successfully grow a services company.