How to Boost your Recruiting Emails Response Rate: Quick Tips

Any more or less experienced professional got at least one recruiting email that did not look professional at all. Often, the recipient’s name was missing, or the skill set did not match, or the ‘candidate’ was not at all interested in a new job search. The more experienced employees get, the more emails like these they receive. Obviously, all of them are left unanswered — sometimes, even unopened.

Recruiters who want to have their emails opened and preferably answered, never use such an unprofessional, generic approach. While sending a personalized message already boosts your chances of a reply, there are a couple of other tips that can help nail your recruiting process.

Work hard on your headline

Email header is the first thing that catches the eye, so it’s no wonder emails with generic or irrelevant headers end up in trash or spam. When looking for the best applicant for a new job opening, it’s best to include the position you are trying to fill in the email header. After all, ‘looking for senior C++ developer’ is way more specific than ‘looking for talented developers.’ Besides, if you do your research right, there is no need to cast a wide net. You can always look up several suitable professionals for the right job and mail them directly. Making sure your message is addressed to a potentially interested person already boosts your chances of getting a reply.

Do not send identical messages to people who know each other

Sending identical messages is not a good idea, to begin with, because an effective recruiting email is about personalization. So, sending generic messages to people in the same company can mean the end of your recruiting campaign. While you can stay pretty sure that not everyone will scream about a new job offer at their current place of employment, you can also stay confident that some colleagues may be friendly outside their workplace. And they will talk to each other about such offers. So, if two people in the software department will get an identical email from the same person, none of them will take this offer seriously. And what if you mail a dozen people in the same department?

Of course, mailing people with similar skill sets at once may seem tempting, especially when working with a detailed contact list. Still, if you do so, you can at least contact people who work at different companies. Today, hundreds of tools give a chance to get the data for almost anyone, and it’s always best to do your research before reaching out to a prospective candidate.

Never start with a long email

You may be tempted to tell everything there is to know about your job opening and your company, but bombarding strangers with too many details at once is not the best call. After all, the person you are contacting may not be interested in your offer, and a lengthy email may just annoy them, losing recruiters a good candidate for some other opening somewhere along the road.

So, the best approach when contacting strangers is to send them a short but comprehensive message about who you are and what you want. Also, mention how you came across this person’s profile. Even when using specialized tools like SignalHire.com, recruiters first look up candidates on social media — mostly LinkedIn. Make sure to have that part in all of your introductory emails; otherwise, you may come off as a fishy stalker.

Personalize but stay professional

Speaking of coming off as a stalker, you shouldn’t include too much personal information about your prospective candidates. While people these days ignore impersonal messages that do not mention their name and current job title, they will still get alarmed if a recruiter mentions every little detail of their career, including their current living situation. So, stay professional.

Of course, keeping a balance between personal and professional tone may seem tricky at first. The best tip would be to address people casually as if you would talk to a colleague or a neighbor (but not to your best pal). Always address a person by their first name and make it clear that you understand where they work and what skills they possess. As you do this research, you will get some idea about the candidate’s level of experience. This, in turn, will help you find the right words to gauge their interest.

Offer several means to contact you

There are few things more annoying than a recruiter who offers limited contact means; except, of course, a recruiter who has fixed office hours for a voice call/text chat. This conveys a clear message that is not in a recruiter’s favor because it shows prospective candidates that this recruiters’ time is valuable and theirs — not that much. Do not be that person. Not everyone is fond of writing emails, and not everyone can be on your favorite messenger. So, allow potential candidates some room for flexibility. Most importantly, never put them in an inferior position where they have to beg for a minute of your time because very few people will bother to do that.

Bonus: a brief recruiting email template

Hello [First Name],

My name is [first and last name], a recruiter at [company name]. I came across your profile at [social network/job board] and would like to tell you about a potential opportunity that matches your skillset. [Give more details here].

We at [company name] are looking for [job opening]. Given your past experience, I believe you could be a great fit for this offer and our diverse team is always happy to meet qualified experts like you.

Would you consider this opportunity? If so, get back to me whenever you feel comfortable, and I will provide more details.

You can reach me over this email, [phone number], or simply book a personal chat on my [calendar link].

Best Regards,

[Your name]

Finally, remember that none of these tips guarantee that absolutely all of your recruiting emails will get the replies you are looking for. However, they are quite sufficient to boost your recruiting email response rate and bring you valuable connections — even if the applicant will not prove a perfect fit for your job opening.

Fabrizio VanMarcino