- Keep it short and sweet
No one wants to read a 5-page email. Think about being on the candidate or customer side of things. If you were to open up an email that is pages long, you would completely ignore the email. You need to keep your candidate engaged in the email. LinkedIn, at the bottom of their Compose Inmail window, actually suggests keeping it under 500 characters in order to get a better response rate and I completely agree; I’d even say to keep it under 300 if possible.
- Offer Something to Them
At the end of every message or email that I write to a candidate, I always offer the opportunity to network. Maybe I have someone in my network that they’ve been trying to reach out to for a position that they’re working on or even for a position that they’d be interested in. You’re a click away from an introduction and it’s really a great gesture. Otherwise, why would they respond or give referrals?
- Do not give too much information on the position you’re offering
In the case of a candidate, you do not want to have the candidate rule themselves out by reading a job description. A lot of times, there are things that you can talk about with the candidate on the phone such as company culture that will sway their interest in a position.
- Propose a specific time, but be flexible
You do not want to be too demanding here but you also do not want to leave it open-ended for the candidate. Avoid asking them questions like “Would you be interested in this”; instead, try to use phrases that would suggest a specific timeframe, for example, “let’s speak this week” or “let’s speak today or tomorrow about the role.”
- Make it as personal as possible
I actually like to use mail merges when sending to a lot of candidates in order to insert their name into the email; using BCC is very temperamental as some emails are sent to their spam box. Try not to make the email too formal or the candidate will most likely assume that you are mass emailing them. Do not Bold, Underline, or Italicize job titles or locations – it looks like words are being inserted into a template that you’ve used a thousand times. For Linkedin messages, just throw in a “Hey [Name]” before you paste your message in
When I first began my career as a Recruiter, I would always copy and paste a template email with a job description included into a BCC email and my response rate was always terrible. Little tweaks like these can really get that response rate up and get you quality candidates. I’ve even been complimented on my message and I’m sure that it’s floating around the Talent Acquisition universe somewhere. You never know which great candidates you’ve been missing out on when applying some of these tweaks to your outbound emails!
By Ryan Tarriff | People Science Sr Talent Advisor