We are speaking here of the process of bringing applicants from the point of initial contact to going on interviews and providing referrals and/or leads. Applicants who answer ads have already been partially developed. Much of the development work is a culling process; remember you are looking for people in the top 10% of their peer group, they usually don't look for positions! They have to be found, called upon, chitchatted, corresponded with and schmoozed; you have to probe for strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Gopher provides the correspondence tools for staying in touch with the good applicants, but it must be used together with phone work or it works against you as a negative if you do not call.
Every time you call someone who is not looking yet, you should always get a little more information than you had before:
• Salary, when was the last raise; when is one expected; when is the next promotion; is there competition for the promotion?
• Do you have an accurate skill set for him/her, what is the hottest thing he/she is doing right now, do you know what the hottest thing was when you talked to him/her last?
• Referrals, who is the best manager in his company?
• Is his/her company hiring: has anyone left lately, where did they go?