One skill that a good recruiter must develop is recruiting passive candidates. One way to do this is to use LinkedIn. There are many ways to contact candidates on LInkedIn, but once you do the first moments of contact with them are crucial to the sucess of the encounter.
According to recruiting expert Lou Adler:
There are two prerequisites when using any of these techniques. First, you must get the candidate to agree to enter into an exploratory career discussion as a condition for beginning the conversation. Second, with this permission granted, give no more than a 20-second overview of the position, and then immediately ask the prospect to provide some preliminary background information.
The key then is to first ask the candidate permission to have an exploratory career discussion. This means to ask the candidate if they are even open to the idea of talking about their career. Once they say yes to that then give brief (no more than 20 seconds) overview of the position you are presenting to them. As soon after you do than, ask the prospect to provide some initial background information.
Why does Adler stress the importance of these two intial steps? Becuase it establishes you as the seller. ANd as the seller you can say no to a candidate and not the other way around.