Talent Acquisition

Recruiting Tools: Use Them, Don’t Be One

There was an intriguing discussion on Facebook amongst some recruiters that I have great respect for (even when their opinions differ!): Casey Kugler had just got access to LinkedIn Recruiter for the first time and he was, of course, rather excited! Some others weighed in with their opinions about the validity of the tool, if he should be that excited and about the use of something like LinkedIn Recruiter in the first place. I’d like to venture the following opinion.

All the tools are equally great and all of them equally suck – it depends on what you’re using them for. Like I advise on resumes – every opportunity is different so every resume you send should be tailored for the role. The same is true for where we find our candidates: every opportunity is different so we need to use different sources, or use our sources differently.

I will never put a recruiting tool into the DNU box. Granted, I haven’t used a job board in 5+ years but that doesn’t mean I won’t. I haven’t had an opening where a job board like Monster will be useful. I have the places I like to hit first, how I hit them and it is all combined with the unique style (and humility) I bring to the table…

Finally, there is only one way of making a placement. Everything else is just a means to that end. The only way of ensuring everything in the process is by building a relationship on an individual basis. Having multiple professional relationships no matter how or when you make them is how you find qualified people. LinkedIn Recruiter, the Monster Board, Indeed, Twitter, Facebook etc. are means to an end – they are not the end itself. The end is the relationship.

How to Use LinkedIn Recruiter:

So without further ado, here’s one way of using LinkedIn Recruiter. It is one way that I handle this tool in our arsenal. YMMV both because of who you are, because of who you are recruiting and because of the vagaries of the universe.

OK, I spoke to soon. First, a little bit of “Ado” about pipelining.

Pipelining is all about getting people for roles that may open in the future. Heck, even for roles that might never be but they were people who you could see working with. Placements often will go not just to the best candidate, but the best candidate who was also the first candidate.

Here at Mobiquity, we are always on the lookout for Mobile Architects, Mobile Developers and other people with a specialty in the Mobile Universe.  Hence, even if I don’t have an open role, if the person I am speaking with has those skills, I put them in 2 databases. The one in my head and the ATS in the cloud. Because my head can often be in the real clouds, that’s a safer bet. In fact, I’ll even “mental rolodex” someone who doesn’t ever have skills we have needed yet at the MOB as a just in case. If they fit the culture, if the work skills are positive ones – well, you never know what might happen!

In order to create pipeline, you need to network. How do you develop a network? There are many ways.

  1. Always ask for advice but never ask for referrals. Say, “Where would you look for an iOS expert?” as opposed to “Do you know anyone for whom this role might fit?” No matter what, ASK SOMETHING

  2. Attend events. Get your name out there. Go to meetup and look for groups in your area. When you go, however, take your recruiter hat off. Just be yourself, listen to the speakers and make friends— don’t head hunt. Nothing will turn the group off more than an aggressive headhunter in their midst. Be an interested, casual observer— and not a jerk

  3. Remember that there is no bad candidate— just people you cannot place today. Remember names, make lists and keep a database

Your personal network of people you know and have met is what it is all about. The pipeline is my name for all of that network.

“But, Newman,” I hear you ask. “I have never recruited for this role before! In fact, I never even recruited in this geographic area before. I have no network! Where do I begin?” Well, I can share with you what just happened to me this month. My boss asked me who I knew in Dallas, Texas. Well, the answer to that is no one. In fact, I know maybe 10 people, total, in all of Texas. They are all in Austin. Nonetheless, I am tasked with doing all the recruiting for Dallas. Recruiting from San Francisco, where my Network is only now starting to grow, after relocating from NYC less than 6 months ago. Well, I do like a challenge….


My first stop was LinkedIn. I am a LinkedIn Whore. I will connect to anyone and everyone, as it isn’t those people you’re looking for. Your LinkedIn Network should be as much about your 2nd degree and 3rd degree connections as it is about the people you actually know. This is for both recruiters and job seekers. In this case, size does matter. I chose the Creative Director as my first role to work on. I used LinkedIn Recruiter to narrow down my search. Bottom line, I came up with about 75-100 people who were pretty on target, at least for an initial phone screen.

Now what? Everyone hates a spammer. Everyone hates being solicited, being asked for something that you might not be comfortable giving. So, I present you with my template that I sent to these 100 people:

Subject: Alas, alas—It’s a  mass email— Sometimes needs drive methods…. (forgive me!)


First, forgive my use of the mass email. If we end up connecting, you’ll know it isn’t my style. However, sometimes you have to use tools from the box that aren’t your favorite. This is one of those times.

I will spare the usual sales BS (well, I’ll throw in a little) but here’s the basics:

Mobiquity is opening a new office in Dallas. We have over 330 people, over 10 offices and are doing pretty well— Not bad for a 2 year old startup. I was asked to help bring the Dallas office into being. Right now, the only Dallas Employee is Carlos, our GM. He is looking for his first few hires to be people who will help not only drive their role— but help invent the Dallas Culture.

I have about 4-5 roles looking to start in January, but the Creative Director role is the one I am most excited about. CDs tend to bring culture with them and are often the heart of a firm like Mobiquity.

Why the mass email then? Well, I do most of my recruiting via networks. My Dallas Network is, shall we say weak?

I am hoping that even if this role doesn’t hit you, you might know someone. You might even know Account Execs, Client Partners, Mobile Architects or Project Managers— Most of all, I would love to connect and see if we can help each other.

Dang, I made this all about me! I am an upfront no BS guy, so it happens sometimes. Please check me out, forward my info on— or just delete it. I am not a stalker even if I am a recruiter. (and apparently a mass emailer)

Here’s a link to Mobiquity and one to the CD role …

I hope we end up chatting,


The keys here are that it is written in my style. It reads authentic. I own the mass email aspect. I own all the crap that people would initially think about being spammed like this.

Out of the 100 or so people inmailed, I got over a 30% positive response. I have already conducted about 12 screens, gotten a bunch of referrals, and have someone going in for a final in-person with the General Manager.

It was spam. However, it was well targeted spam. Plus, I feel that owning up to the practice made it more honest and less salesy. Honesty is the only way to go. It was also a great way to start opening up my Network. A way of getting my name, and Mobiquity’s name, out there.

We can talk about other places where we hunt people. LinkedIn recruiter is just one of them. We could talk about the best ways to use github, StackOverflow, trolling who has what Patents, who is the author of this app and then how to hunt them down. Everyone one of these is a great method and works well— in its place.

What we cannot lose sight of is that they are means to the goal, and not the goal itself. The goal is to build a huge network, composed of 100s of individual relationships and that will lead you to the right person for the opportunity. That it isn’t the tool we are using or even how we are using it. It is the question of is this expanding my network not just for this role, but all roles.

By Jeffrey Newman

Jeff Newman a.k.a. The People's Recruiter, has been a Full Life Cycle IT Recruiter and Full Desk Placement expert for over 14 years. He prides himself on always making sure that what he is offering a candidate is an Opportunity and not just another job. He is a Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist at Mobiquity. Watch Jeff live on stage: "Recruiters: The Good, The Bad, and the Devious."