Pro Moves for Recruiters.

Some people are hard to reach. I’m not. My details are all here — — phone, IM, email.

The only wrinkle, I am very hard to hear back from if I don’t want to
talk to you. I don’t answer my phone, don’t return voicemails, don’t
even open emails unless I know who or why or what.

But not because I’m too busy or behind on my calls or something.

The people I know get 100% reply rates. I know because an analytics
app I tried this week told me my reply rate is in the top 0.1% of many
thousands of users in their sample. I literally reply to everything
and usually in a few minutes. If you need some task done maybe I am
back to you in a few days. This is how super busy, highly productive
people operate in the modern age. Route everything to inbox, reply
from phone of if docs needed reply when at desk.

So imagine how curious recruiters must be when they never ever ever
hear back from me.

Here’s what I know they are doing: look for venture-backed companies,
look for top management, look up public emails, send emails.

I am guessing they think something like:
– this guy raised money
– he needs people
– I can help
– so I will write a friendly email introducing my firm
– and hey, if the person is in the market I’ll hear back!

But there are a few things they are NOT thinking. And these are my
secrets for you. The things I actually respond to or specifically

1. They ask for my time – usually a phone call. No way. Not on a first date.

2. Sometimes they actually call me directly. Even more outrageous. I
am doing something. If I pick up it was because I thought it was my
kids doctor or my lead investor or something important. Never call me.

3. What’s in it for me? Usually zero. Meanwhile, real estate agents
are really good at giving information as part of their relationship
building. Market report. Last ten placements. Hot sectors of growth.
Tools for your internal team to know about.

4. Better yet what about actual candidates? Real people. The “guy you
may be looking for”. Or the last one you placed? Show me who is
actually out there.

5. Or maybe a tool or resource. Are you guys good? What’s your app I
can use? What hint or suggestion do you have that will help us
identify the right people or prioritize the right candidates? Point me
to an app like or Zenefits or WorkMarket that help me run my
business or identify the right people.

6. Offer me some help with something that everyone else doesn’t do.
Talk to me about retention or cultivating the right staff. You are a
recruiter, fine. But I don’t care about you because there are
zillions. But what if you did a training session for my top managers
on how to develop top engineers? Or on keeping key staff and
anticipating their needs.

7. Bring me ideas. New ways of doing things. Things that CEOs talk
about but engineers never do.

OK so enough about the content of your cold outreach to venture backed
CEOs. Here’s another thing:

8. Because it’s so obvious that “venture backed CEOs” are ripe sales
targets, the moment of raising a big round is a moment of a) intense
pressure to do a lot and b) intense marketing by every other schmuck.
The messiness of the marketing to such people ensures that you will
bounce off the marketing-armor if you ping off this trigger. You need
to go earlier and broader. Not everyone raises, but you need to think
of ways to market to the desperate, lonely, nobody-gives-a-crap phase.
Use bots. Use tools. Use lists. Break out.