5 Tips for Getting Candidates to Respond to Your Emails

September 10, 2018 By: Dave Rietsema
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Getting candidates to respond to emails is a critical step in the recruitment game. Even if a potential candidate only responds to say that they aren’t interested in a position, it can help to get the ball rolling on a position that they may be more interested in, or at the very least allow us to move past that candidate. The following are a few tips that can help to improve response rates.

1. Make It Personal

Email templates are not the best way to go when you’re scouting for candidates. Most people receive tons of spam emails and view dozens of ads – including job ads – each day. All of this communication clutter makes it necessary for people to filter out the things that seem unimportant.

Personalizing your communication and taking the time to review an individual’s resume or LinkedIn can give you the ammunition that you need to write a message or email that will catch their attention. It’s not necessary to spend tons of time, but just a few minutes spent reviewing some information about each candidate before approaching them can greatly improve your response rates.

2. Keep Communications Brief

A long, drawn-out email will be more likely to go unread than one that is short and to the point. No one wants to spend a lot of time figuring out what an email is about, so most will skip it if it’s not immediately attention-grabbing. Conveying your message in a sentence or two will generally warrant better response rates than 300-word emails.

3. Be Funny – or at Least Engaging

If you can find a way to sneak humor into your message or subject line, individuals may open it up just to have a laugh. This gives you an in, allowing you a chance to make your impression and coax them to respond. If you can’t figure out how to infuse humor, try to at least present them with information that will be engaging based on your observation of their profile or experience.

4. Be Direct with the Subject Line

Emails and messages with vague subject lines and unfamiliar sources generally tend to get deleted. Since you are inevitably an unfamiliar source, make sure your subject line tells them what you want or prompts them to open it in some way.

Honesty is the best policy in theory, but passive candidates that are relatively content with their jobs may bypass an email entitled “Looking for a New Job?” or “Position Open at —“  It may work to dig a little deeper and address the qualifications that attracted your attention in the first place. Asking about specific experience they have in the subject line may help to open communication lines.

5. Make the Next Step Clear

Including a call to action in your emails is a small detail that can make a big difference. The best call to action is an icon that is obviously clickable and directs a candidate to the next step – applying for a position or responding in some way. Keeping it simple can help you get the response you’re looking for in this fast-paced society.


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