How to Make Your Recruiting Email More Effective

Cold emailing isn’t a simple process. You gather and process the data of multiple individuals, search the highs and lows of the internet for suitable talents, and finally, you send your mails. But most times, your mail gets no response, or even worse, the mail may bounce off (invalid email)—all in the day’s work of a stressful Talent Recruitment Officer.

Don’t fright; you have come to the right place. This article will explore some things you should know (and do) before emailing your next candidate.

Do Your Research

This point sounds obvious, but most people don’t research their candidates. Some even buy email lists online without verifying if the contact information is correct. You can easily find verified contact information by using a Google Chrome extension to help.

There is the belief in the industry that sending generic emails to a large pool of candidates will produce the best result. This statement cannot be further from the truth. In reality, doing a careful background check and targeting only those qualified helps your mail open rate. Candidates can smell generic mail from a mile away.

How to Make Your Recruiting Email More Effective

Use a Killer Subject Line

The subject line is as crucial (If not more important) as the content of the email. The subject line is what the candidates see when they open their email and, having a good one can help increase your open rate and response rate. Some things to consider are mentioned below.

  • Length: Make it short. 2-6 words will be ideal.
  • Clarity: Don’t get clever by using ‘RE:’ or ‘FWD:.’ The mail is going straight into the trash.
  • Non-Spam like: Don’t go using bogus words like ’20x your Income’ or ‘Your last chance to change your life.’ your mail is taking a one-way trip to the trash.
  • Personalize: Using the person’s name can be effective. Also, consider the employment location as most people don’t mind changing jobs if it means staying in their city.
  • A Shared Connection: If a shared connection exists, you can chip in the person’s name.

Overall, under subject lines, a trial-and-error approach will suffice. There is no magic formula for this one, as various factors like the industry, position, and even the company atmosphere can influence how you write the subject line out. The important thing is to consider these factors, but more so the candidate you are emailing.

Personalize the Mail

If you have gotten this far, you must know how we have stated how crucial personalizing an email is to the candidate. Saying things like their last achievement or a project the candidate worked on can be a giant plus for you. You can tailor the letter to specifics like linking a job responsibility to the candidate’s current one.

Make sure not to go all weird and mention what the person had for dinner last week. That will make you a stalker or, worse of, a total creep.

Make It Short and Clear

A Boomerang study revealed you have up to a 50% response rate if you write like a 3rd grader, make your emails between 50-125 words (not over 200 words), and your tone should have a bit of negativity or positivity about it but not neutral.

The candidates already have busy lives with many emails trying to get their attention (plus the world). So, your email must be able to pass sufficient information to the candidate within seconds. If not, yes, the trash.

Get straight to the point, let each sentence answer a question in the candidate’s mind and avoid loading your emails with company success stories and an about us. The mail is likely to end up in the trash if you go this route. The candidate is thinking, ‘what is in for me?’ and not looking for a mini autobiography of the company.

Another vital thing you should consider is to make sure your mail is mobile-friendly. By mobile-friendly, we mean to make sure that the mail opens well on a mobile phone. You can do this by sending a test email to yourself and see if it opens alright on your mobile device. This step is essential because today, one in every two emails opened is on a mobile device.

Use a CTA

A call to action is a crucial part of your email. When you email a candidate, you want to be sure the candidate knows what to do next after reading the mail. It’s easy to forget your mail if you do not present an action to take before the candidate. Using CTA is more of a behavioral science than an art. The reason is not far-fetched, as CTA requires several trial-and-error to get a winning formula.

As a Talent Manager, you will need to carry out A/B testing to see which one converts into calls or meetings. You should also note that the aim of the email is not to get the person to sign-up for a test to enter your company. It is to make contact. So, what follows should be a phone call, zoom meeting, or a meeting in a cafe. Note this when coming up with a call-to-action phrase.

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Make Use of Your Signature

Your signature can be a good way of passing on important information. Earlier, we spoke about not loading the content of your email with too much information about you or the company but keeping it short. But with your signature, you can pass subtle messages to the candidate.

The items to be included are;

  • Your Name: Putting your name lets the candidates know it is a person who emailed them. It also gives the mail a little personal touch. The candidate can easily google up your name and do a mini search on your person.
  • Your Job Title: The candidates will understand your role in the organization.
  • Your Company Name and Logo: A curious candidate can look up your company online.

It is important to note that your signature is not the place to put company awards, industry statistics, or an about us. It is a place where a candidate can decide if they want to check the company or not. Remember our last point. An email aims to establish contact and not overload with information. If a candidate responds positively, plan for a meeting where you can explain more about the company.

Follow Up

Following up sounds like a logical thing to do, but did you know 60% of customers say “No” on their first four follow-ups? Did you also know that 48% of salespeople don’t follow up, and 44% give up after the first follow-up?

I know what you are thinking. The article isn’t about sales, but I see similarities between a salesperson and a talent recruiter. I believe both use similar tactics to meet their goals. I brought out this statistic to show you that knowing what to do and doing it are often not the same. A follow-up is sensible, but you may end up not going the extra mile.

As a recruiter, there are many reasons you don’t receive a response. The candidate may have deleted it by mistake, may not open the email for days, or the mail went to junk. Whatever the reason is, the next thing to do is follow up. In following up, you are to re-forward the former mail and point that out to the candidate in the new mail.

You can also write two texts for the candidates to choose from, showing whether they are interested in the job. Something like “I am interested and would love to get in touch.” (1). “Thank you, but I am currently not interested.” (2). You can then ask for the candidate to choose one or two. This method can be an effective way for both parties. I would recommend doing this if you are on a 3rd or 4th follow-up and want to get a quick answer from the candidate.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, understanding some basic principles can save you a lot of time and resources. It can also lead to a better response rate and even get some candidates on calls and meetings. If you are still a little doubtful about your method, you can read on crafting effective cold email templates. It should help with clarifying some of those unsettled thoughts.


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