When we put advertising in the media, we would like to attract the best talent to work in our company. If your company has previously known as blue chip company and famous for the best company to work for, then you have problem to filter too many candidates. It is a good problem. But if your company is not, then you will get so many crappy resumes from people that need a job and when we want to do the interview to the best potential candidate, many of them won’t show up because the best one already get a better offer and won’t be interested in your not so interesting company.

When I first start, I believe that since we are a small company, then we can only afford to employ and hire mediocre talent, or we will recruit fresh talent from the school and groom them to become a good leader. Now after 20 years in the industry, I completely change my thinking. If you are a small company, hunt the value of the talent that you need to grow your company as soon as possible. And when you are a big blue chip company, then you can afford to recruit the best fresh talent from the school and groom them.

Start With Ideal Profile and Hire From Top Down

You start the most important position, it can be a Co-Founder, Director or General Manager position. What is the ideal profile that suitable for this position? What value that you need the most? Should the talent have a strong background in Sales/Marketing, Operation, Products/Logistics, Finance, HR? Pick one, not all! What companies background that you love the most to fill in this position? As an example for admission position in my education company, I need to capture the network and track record of a person from big university, education consultant or education chain. For sales position in digital agency, I need to capture the network and track record of a person from television, magazine or radio as they have the widest advertisers network. Even though this person not necessarily have a strong understanding about digital, we can give them a team that will complement them. By then, you can define what the ideal company that you want to get this talent from. You cast and leverage your social capital by asking friends that have this similar network. Now with the age of LinkedIn, it’s quite easy to look for people with a specific profile.

Sell the Value of the Opportunity, Not the Current State of the Company

After you find the ideal profile and the target, the big question is always why would they leave their current position to work with you? What’s in it for them? If this talent comes from your network, it’s easier to convince since you can ask your friend to sell the opportunity and the value to work with you. But if you just start your company and there is no way to tell, then you should do your own job to sell the opportunity. Let say for my education company, the school is partnering with Australian big university, so whenever I introduce myself, I always sell this partnership to convince the talent. And for the digital agency, I sell the idea to work with a cool team and projects, not to mention the support from the big company behind it.

How Do I Use LinkedIn to Recruit?


Start with your own profile. If you want to recruit the best talent, your profile need to be impressive! Spend time to build a good story for your own LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have one, then you can ask one of your team that already had a good LinkedIn profile to help you.

After researching the right profile, I will connect with them. Don’t use LinkedIn default message, write your own and sell your value from day one. To give you an idea, I use this in the past:

Hi, I am interested in your experience in education. Kindly connect.
– Andi S. Boediman, IDS Education – partner of Griffith University, Australia

Hi, I am interested in your profile in e-commerce. Kindly connect.
– Andi S. Boediman, Ideoworks – partner of Shopify, Canada.

So I am not just a random guy adding new contact. With this kind of message, out of 20 to 30 profile I connect, at least half will connect back within 1?—?3 days, and usually more. This will depend on how good your LinkedIn profile is. Then you can send the message through LinkedIn or direct to their email.

This is a sample on how I send the message when I recruit Admission Manager for my school.

Subject: Admission Manager for Griffith University International Pathway Program

Hi ….,

My company, IDS Education, is partnering with Griffith University Australia through the International Pathway Program. Griffith University is a public university in Queensland and has campuses located on the Gold Coast and Brisbane. You can checked the partnership at our IDS Education website

We are recruiting an Admission Manager responsible for the International Pathway Program.

If you are interested, kindly reply to my email andisboediman@…

Andi S. Boediman
IDS Education, partner of Griffith University

This is other sample that I successfully use when I recruit Merchant Acquisition for Shopify.

Subject: Merchant Acquisition for Shopify

Hi …,

I got your name and contact through a friend, ….

My company, Ideoworks, is recently partnering with Singtel to bring in Shopify, a very easy to use e-commerce platform from Canada, for Indonesian market.

I am very interested in your profile to fill in the merchant acquisition position. I am interested to meet you for an introductory meeting and interview.

I arrange the meeting on Monday 3 pm at Starbucks. Please confirm to my email andisboediman@… and my cell …

Andi S. Boediman
Ideoworks, partner of Singtel & Shopify.

How To Do The Interview, Selection and Decision?

I arrange the first meeting at public area, Starbucks located at the city centre. Meeting casually at public space makes your candidate feels it is not a serious commitment since they want to know more about the opportunity. And by putting it at a central location, it always easy for them to spare 30 min to 1 hour for a casual meeting. I arrange not more than 30?—?45 minutes per candidate for the meeting and casual interview. I allocate 3 hours for 4 to 5 candidates. I don’t require their CV in advance since I already read them at LinkedIn. But you can always ask them to send later for your HR Department. And since you are at public location, you can always ask the other candidate to wait at the other table if they come early or your interview running late.

I sell myself and the opportunity within the first 5 minutes, why us and why the partnership. This will give them the confidence to open up. What I always ask is the role and responsibility of what they are currently doing. Then what is their Key Performance Indicator. Sometime I ask about their organisation structure and who is they are responsible to. If you need to learn about the industry, then you can ask quite number of things about the industry related question. It always a good information will be shared during this discussion. As a closing, I always ask what is their current salary and incentive to fasten the recruitment process when I need to prepare for an offer.

I make small notes to remind myself later, especially name, position, KPI, salary, etc. Sometime I get some very good industry related information during this interview.

It takes me 3 or 4 times to cover all candidates doing the first introductory meeting before I decide to follow up only to 2 or 3 candidates for a second meeting. Even when you don’t get a suitable candidate, you might get lucky that they will refer someone else to fill in the position.

On the second meeting, invite them in your office and bring in more people related to that position, who is this candidate will report to, and the HR department. Decide which candidate you want to offer and then give this candidate an offer.

The entire process should finish not more than 3 weeks.

I always learn so much meeting these people, and have many more network that I can utilise later on.

Happy hunting!