Technical talent acquisition is more candidate-driven than ever before. As the unemployment rate hovers in the low single digits, and job seekers become more conscious about company image, hiring professionals are faced with a shortage of talent in the job market. Although the development of advanced recruitment systems has lessened the pain of sourcing, competition for top talent remains high.
One option, personalized emails, cuts through the noise. They give you the opportunity to show genuine interest in the candidate and let them know you’ve done your research on their experience and passions.
If you can connect with your candidate and make them feel they have the potential, you increase the chances of receiving an actual response.
Here are seven actionable tips to get people to respond to your recruiting emails:
From a psychological viewpoint, communicating with qualified candidates is best approached by adding an element of human emotion in your outreach efforts.
Today, email continues to be one of the best platforms for personalized messages. It works better than social media in the world of recruitment. But keep in mind that emails that sound too automated rarely persuade job seekers to finish reading the entire invite, let alone apply for the job.
Make sure to address them by their name and try to be specific. You could start by saying, “Hey [Candidate’s First Name], I came across your LinkedIn profile, and it’s not every day that I find someone who can do both graphic design and web development.”
How’s your subject line?
The subject line is a fundamental part of your email as it is the first thing the recipient notices. The challenge here is stringing together the right words to compel the reader to read past that notification on their screen.
Convey the summary of your message in the most creative way possible while maintaining a voice that perfectly represents your company’s brand. It should be full of promise, but be careful not to make it sound too much like a sales pitch. For example, you could use “Your Dream Job Is Closer Than You Think,”or something more personalized, like the example above.
To prevent your message from landing in the spam folder, avoid promotional and misleading terms. It also helps to use an email address containing a real name rather than a nonhuman one.
The point of sending personalized recruiting emails is to let candidates feel you are convinced that they have the qualities you’re looking for. Mention experiences and skills that caught your attention and state how you believe these are suited to the job opening. Compliment them on their credentials to not only encourage a positive response but also influence their outlook on your company in a good way.
In the middle of your email, you could say, “Our Marketing Specialist sent me a copy of your portfolio and I was really impressed by your designs, particularly the project you did for [insert name of organization].”
Straight to the Point
Although a well-written introduction—for example, citing trends in the industry—can paint your company as professional and entertaining, quality candidates will also want to get straight to the point. Top talent, if not nearly every working professional, receives dozens of emails per day so it’s important to send a clear message early on in the body of your email.
The most sought-after candidates actively searching for a job are probably skimming through multiple job invitations at a time. You would want to consider the candidate’s time by highlighting the position available and the specific skills you’re looking for. Reveal only the most important information about the job and be as concise as you can.
Here’s an example of a first line that goes straight to the point:
“I’m looking for someone proficient at SEO to fill a senior Marketing role, and I believe you’d make a great fit.”
Your company’s edge
Find a way to make your company stand out by emphasizing your edge among the rest in the industry. What can you offer that can pique every job seeker’s curiosity? A strong employer branding is one of the many recruitment trends you can implement to attract top talent.
Every company specializes in one thing. Be sure to incorporate this into your email and delve even further into the position you’re offering. The very act of persuading a candidate is, in a way, establishing a relationship with them, and the best way to do this is to make them feel special. Make the job opening and invitation sound exclusive to get them to contemplate on an offer that may not come as frequently in the market.
Here’s an example of a statement that highlights a company’s competitive edge using a tone of exclusivity:
“[Company Name] has worked with over 1,000 brands, including Fortune 500 companies, in developing their dream website. We usually prioritize referred candidates, and since our Production Manager was very proud to recommend you, I’d like to know how you feel about working with us.”
Candidates often respond to a follow-up email after ignoring the first. In this regard, persistence is key as long as enough time has passed (i.e., five to ten days). A follow-up email should sound polite and not too demanding. Most recruiters agree to a maximum of three follow-ups. In the first follow-up, you may provide a link to the job ad. The second one can serve as a reminder in case they simply missed your emails, and the third could contain well wishes for their future endeavors. With each follow-up sent, you increase your chances of getting a response.
Here are a few examples of follow-up messages:
“Hey [Candidate’s First Name], I’d like to make a gentle follow-up on this. Would you be interested in the job opening?”
“Hello [Candidate’s First Name], Please see the link below of our official job ad for you to get a better understanding of the role.”
SMS is your inroad
Candidate response times when an SMS is sent to the prospect advising them that an email has just been sent are 5 times faster.
So if speeding up the process to get a quicker response or to get tasks completed faster is high on your agenda, we recommend using SMS to compliment your email strategy.
Any recruitment challenge can be answered by understanding a candidate’s perspective. There’s a reason why candidates don’t usually answer emails that seem cold and impersonal. The best way to get a prospect to connect with you is to ensure your messages are tailored for each of them. In this way, you can persuade candidates, both active and passive, to give your company a chance.
Below is a short sample email for reaching out to a qualified candidate:
Subject Line: The Web Design Job of Your Dreams
I’m Lauren, Talent Acquisition Officer at [company name]. Our Marketing Specialist sent me a copy of your portfolio and I was really impressed by your designs, particularly the project you did for [insert name of organization]. I also came across your LinkedIn profile and found that you are highly adept at Adobe Dreamweaver and Bootstrap among other relevant web designing tools.
At [company name], we’ve been providing web development solutions for small to medium businesses for over seven years now, and we always have room for exceptional talent in our team. We currently have an opening for a senior web designer role, and I feel that your experience and skills can add significant value to what we do.
If you’re interested, please let me know so I can give you more details about the position.