Having Trouble Getting Message Reponses? Candidates Not Responding to Your Messages? Tips to Get a Better Response Rate

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In recruiting, there’s one common goal for all cold emails or social media messages to a candidate: get them on the phone!  Here are some tips to help reel in some of those great candidates with whom you’ve had trouble connecting:

  1. Keep it short and sweet

No one wants to read a five-page email.  Imagine you’re the candidate or customer.  If you were to open an email that is pages long, you would probably ignore it.  You need to keep your candidate engaged in the email.  If you’re a LinkedIn user, you may have noticed that at the bottom of their Compose Inmail window they actually suggest keeping your message under 500 characters in order to get a better response rate. I’d even take that a step farther — keep it under 300 if possible.

  1. Don’t give too much information on the position or product that you’re offering

In the case of a candidate, you don’t want the candidate to 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 that will sway their interest in a position, such as company culture.

  1. Propose a specific time, but be flexible

You don’t want to be too demanding about setting up a time to talk further, but you also don’t want to leave the matter open-ended.  Avoid asking the candidate questions like, “Would you be interested in this?”Instead, try to use phrases that suggest a specific timeframe. For example, “Let’s try to speak this week,” or “Let’s try to speak today or tomorrow about the role.”

  1. Make it as personal as possible

When sending the same email to a lot of different candidates, I like to use mail merges, which allow me to insert the recipient’s name into the email, or even insert specific details about where they work or what they are currently doing. Try not to make the email sound too formal or the candidate will most likely assume that it’s a mass email.  Also, avoid bolding, underlining or italicizing job titles or locations. It gives the impression that the words are being inserted into a template that you’ve used a thousand times.

Some recruiters have used the BCC function when sending a mass email, but it’s very temperamental as some emails are sent to the recipient’s spam box.  When I first began my career as a recruiter, I would copy and paste a template email with a job description into an email using the BCC field. My response rate was terrible.

Little tweaks like the ones I’ve shared here can really get your response rate up and get you quality candidates.  Apply them to your outbound emails and social media messages and you won’t have to wonder about all the great candidates you’ve been missing.

If you’re interested in keeping up with my recruiting world, follow me on Twitter at @rtpsrpo OR connect with me on LinkedIn!

By Ryan Tarriff | People Science Sr Talent Advisor


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