Let’s imagine you meet a person and, whatever the reason, you start liking him/her —for what he/she does, says, thinks or just for how he/she is, for instance.
At that point, you cannot know if you are going to fall in love with this person, you might not even wonder if this is going to be the love of your life: after all, it’s just a gut feeling.
So, let’s imagine that it’s your lucky day and the other person, who is experiencing exactly the same intuitive emotion, is brave enough to ask you for a date.
What would you do?
Would you say “yes”? Probably…
Would you say “no”? A kind of weird (in this case) but valid answer too…
Would you say “let me think about that [for a reasonable while]”? It might be…
Anyway, I’m pretty sure that what you would never, ever do in this situation is ask the other person to put his/her request on paper or, in our modern digital era, to fill in a form for that, unless what you really want is make this fellow run away…
So, why, as a recruiter, would you do that while spotting talent?
If your answer is “because we have a company policy that all interest has to go through our careers web site”, you’d better start thinking about getting rid of it, since it probably does not make any sense.
Chances are that such a constraining policy will just make the talent spotted by your wise and valuable gut feeling vanish or, in other words, get eventually spotted by someone else.
What about having a chat with the other person, just to give it a try and start checking if both parties’ gut feelings are confirmed?
After all, if they are not, you can always stop “dating” this person.
On the other hand, if you already know that, at some point, you are going to need a “prenuptial agreement”, you can always ask for it later; but please, don’t do that before your first date: you might be killing the spotted love/talent of your life/company!