SUPER RECRUITER

Rachel Saunders ’11 nabs the attention of exceptional talent for Yahoo! by doing something others don’t.

Making LinkedIn’s list of 150 “Next Wave Top Professionals 35 & Under” almost seems like faint praise for a recruiter renowned for locating and landing people with “superpowers.”

No, Rachel Saunders ’11 doesn’t work in HR at the Hall of Justice (home office of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, et al.). She’s a recruiter for Yahoo. “Superpowers” is the term Yahoo uses to refer to people seen as having the ability to exceed expectations in a role.

What makes Saunders famous (in tech-recruiting circles anyway) is how she personalizes her head hunting. Instead of emailing dozens of potential candidates, she’ll customize her approach to a select few. That sometimes means spending hours scrutinizing social media and other public sources for clues about a target’s hobbies and passions.

“When I send a mildly tailored email, I usually get a 25 percent response rate,” she says. “However, when I really customize the email and show the candidate I’ve done my homework, the response rate jumps to 60 to 70 percent.”

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