Candidate data is more abundant than ever. Big data in recruitment isn’t new, but candidates have more public information that’s spread across more platforms than they ever had in the past. The process of recruiting, and more specifically, the outreach stage of your sourcing cycle, has evolved to the point where personalized conversations are necessary to engage talented candidates.

The only way to craft engaging candidate outreach is by first arming yourself with the proper data. Let’s look at candidate data, who has it and how you should use it in the increasingly competitive and convoluted field of recruiting.

Candidates have as much information as you (sometimes more)

Data isn’t proprietary anymore. In fact, candidates may have the upper hand in this particular area. While you have to research and engage dozens, if not hundreds of candidates (who are often complete strangers), they have to research:

  • The job
  • The company
  • The market
  • You

The odds are in their favor in regards to understanding the offer and their worth respective to it. A qualified candidate can spend a few minutes and research the above factors to determine if they want to humor the opportunity.

This is great in many ways, since uninterested candidates can quickly decide if the job is worth their time (and yours). In a perfect world, it saves you from unnecessary headaches. However, it’s challenging because you’re playing cards with someone who can see your hand. It only takes a few moments and a couple Google searches to see if your “great opportunity” is as great as you say it is, if your offer is fair and if your company’s reputation aligns with your descriptions of it.

It takes you much longer to find the candidate, establish their basic qualifications for the job, create a full picture from available social sites and then reach out to them with a cold email or call that entices them.

The point is, “recruiting data” is everywhere and on both sides of the candidate/recruiter table. You must efficiently use it to determine job fit, and maybe more importantly, prove to the passive candidate the offer’s legitimacy. Before you can assess fit though, use this data in your outreach.

Use candidate data to personalize conversations

Most qualified candidates aren’t looking for work yadda yadda yadda. Many qualified candidates will talk about their work and even career aspirations to someone who understands their language though. So goes the momentum in recruiting… candidates who don’t have to waste their time, won’t. And unless you’re leading with the grand slam of cold emails that lands right on the lap of the perfect candidate who thinks your offer is ideal, you’re going to need to focus on personalization.

It’s a conversation that you’re after with your candidates, and the only way to hold meaningful conversation is by learning about the person conversing with you.

Manage your data sources

You probably have your favorite candidate sources. Maybe it’s LinkedIn, or maybe you have a niche blog or online community for your industry. Browsing multiple social profiles is faster than ever now, so it’s not a horrible inconvenience to quickly peek at a candidate’s online presence. If he or she has the right qualifications on LinkedIn, you don’t necessarily have to lead with that fact in your cold email.

All of this public candidate data gives you added flexibility when contacting talent. You can always reach out around a specific point, which may or may not be directly related to the job at hand.

Introduce yourself with a hook

Maybe “Perfect Candidate Person” has all of the right skills and qualifications on LinkedIn. You’re off to a terrific start, so quickly look at the other social profiles associated with “PCP.” You can do some Google searching, dig around in the respective search functions or use a Chrome Extension like ours to find the related social profiles. However you do it, try to find a specific point that would give you a reason to say hello.

Your reason could be:

  1. A comment on a news article
  2. A piece in their online portfolio
  3. A blog they commented on or published themselves
  4. An industry-relevant picture or post of some other kind (just make sure you’re not going too personal: “Cute kid, want to learn about a job?” for example…)
  5. Some other professionally relevant piece of content publicly shared by the candidate

Find the candidate, determine if they fit the role, and then use the same data leveraged for determining fit to provide a reason for saying hello. You are using a few key pieces of public information to provide the background needed for creating personalized, compelling introductions.

Maintain relationships through data

You may not need the same kind of hook for existing connections or for those candidates in your pipeline. You do need to make sure you stay in contact though, so a relationship grows over time (and you don’t need to constantly re-introduce yourself.

Consider your workload. You obviously don’t have time to hold the hand of every single candidate in your pipeline. It would be wonderful, it’s just not possible. What is possible is creating a cadence to your communications and tracking individual conversations over time.

The only way to manage relationships through scheduled communications is with the right tool.

Head’s up for our shameless plug…

Jobjet Message lets you schedule emails, update email cadences, and track full candidate conversations all in one place. It even works with our Chrome Extension to quickly message candidates after you discover hidden email addresses, phone numbers and social profiles.

Ok, end of plug. WHEW!

Other tools may help you converse with multiple parties over time, but the fact remains you will need some kind of tool to help you do this task. A spreadsheet won’t cut it and an inbox will surely send you off the deep end.

You don’t need to send an email every week, just be sure to send some kind of friendly hello or update frequently enough so that talented candidates see your activity and/or success. When they’re looking for work in the future, they’ll know who to call. When you find a perfect opportunity for them, they’ll recognize you.

Maintaining candidate relationships can’t happen if you have dirty data though.

Maintain usable data

Even the most impressive pipelines with enormous amounts of candidate data become obsolete with enough time. Increasingly, that “time” window has become smaller and smaller. You already understand the importance of maintaining verified, usable data inside your pipelines or ATS. There are two main ways to keep relevant resumes and candidate profiles in your system.

  1. Manually updating resumes one-at-a-time
  2. Bulk enriching multiple candidates at once

The following explanation is paraphrasing text from last week’s post, Improve Your Sourcing Results by Refreshing Outdated Candidate Data. Take a look at it after finishing this post for more tips on maximizing your data.

Manually updating candidate data is a tedious process that typically requires comparing dated resumes with updated LinkedIn profiles to log candidates’ new skills and updated contact information on a spreadsheet or inside your ATS. It’s time-consuming, but you can generate new (or “renewed”) leads from it without going through the early steps of a standard sourcing cycle.

If you were interested in refreshing yourself with the contents of your pipelines, this isn’t a terrible idea since you’ll be killing two birds with one stone. The manual approach really isn’t feasible for anyone who’s been in the game for an extended period of time though. Looking through thousands of resumes simply doesn’t make sense from a time/cost view.

For 98% of active recruiters, automation in the form of bulk enrichment is your best bet.

Another plug alert…

We offer bulk enrichment for Jobjet users because our customers have told us how important updated, usable data is for them. With our Bulk Enrichment, they can take old unusable candidate databases and turn them into up-to-date pipelines that are ready for action. Whether you have a candidate database of 10 profiles or 10,000, bulk enrichment is your most efficient option.

You upload one list of candidates, and bulk enrichment automation returns candidate profiles with full, verified data.


Candidate data is a critical part of the modern recruiting process. There’s more available information today than ever before, so it’s never been more important to understand how you can efficiently leverage this information and maintain organized (and relevant) data over time. Stay tuned as we continue to explore the recruitment data topic here at the Jobjet blog. It’s a great subject with huge implications for the future, so we’re going to revisit it pretty often.

Happy recruiting!