Recruiting Emails: Beyond the Basics

Recruiters and companies have gone to great lengths to stand out when reaching out to candidates. Spotify recruiters have made entire playlists that spelled out a hidden message, telling the candidate “We need you!” and asking them to “Join the Band?” The president of gaming company Red 5 Studios sent 100 candidates a package filled with nested boxes, smaller and smaller, each with a verse of a poem printed on, until the final box–which held an iPod shuffle with the candidate’s name on it, pre-loaded with a personally recorded message from the company president himself. Each message was customized to the candidate’s interests, skills and field of interest. One recruiter even sent candidates customized, hollowed out books with poaching phones in the pages. The company’s executive creative director’s number was programmed into the phone. The call to action was clear.

These methods are unique, to say the least, but effective. That gaming company had 90 candidates respond. That’s a 90 percent response rate! That advertising company added four top team members. While you may not have the time or budget to go to such elaborate lengths to reach out to candidates, you probably recognize the common thread in these uncommon recruiting methods: personalization. As recruiters, our goal is to connect with candidates to sell them on an opportunity your client is offering. If you’re not personalizing your approach, you could miss out on making a connection and forming a relationship.

It’s Time to Get Personal

The most common method for reaching candidates is with recruiting emails. The average email response rate is about five to eight percent and it’s not hard to see why that rate is so low. Ninety percent of recruiting emails aren’t personalized at all. While having a basic outline and an idea of what you want to say to a candidate is great, a typical recruiting template can get you into trouble if you forget to actually fill them out (we all make mistakes, but don’t make these mistakes).

When sourcing candidates, you’re probably spending hours looking at their social media, LinkedIn, portfolio and any other source of information about them you can find. Show them you’ve done that research. Identify, if you can, their hobbies, interests, quirks, where they went to school, literally anything you can find that makes the candidate unique. If it’s important to them, it should be important to you.

Email 101

Once you identify the personality of the candidate you’re addressing, you can go ahead and write the rest of the email. Odds are you know how to write an email, but are you using the most effective methods to do so? Is the content of recruiting emails grabbing the candidate’s attention or simply outlining a job description? When writing to candidates, try using the AIDA method. Get their attention, make them interested, create a desire for the position and encourage them to take action.

To grab their attention, focus on those skills and interests we just discussed. By demonstrating you’ve done that research and pinpointing their personal characteristics, you show that you care and instantly grab their attention. Pique their interest by telling the candidate what they get from this position first. Opportunities to really show off their skills? Possible travel? Include those opportunities first. Make the opportunity sound so good they can’t say no. Put yourself in their shoes. What would you desire from the perfect career? State those things without over-fluffing the position, and then give them a course of action. Tell them to call you, reply to your email, send a carrier pigeon—whatever they need to do to tell you they’re interested in.

Once a candidate sees your email tailored to them, there’s a chance they will research you. They’ll want to make sure you’re legitimate and trustworthy. Odds are, they’ll start on Google and find your website. Your website will be the second impression you give, so make sure it’s a good one. If your website needs a facelift, contact the team at Recruiters Websites. We are here to make sure you make a good impression on candidates and your clients. Give us a call today and let us know how we can help your business keep—and attract—the candidates your clients need to succeed.

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Breanne Bleichroth

Breanne Bleichroth is a copywriter and SEO expert. She uses her journalism experience to create fresh, compelling and custom content for our clients—always with the reader in mind.

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