3 Email Hacks To Win over Job Seekers

Employers & Recruiters June 14, 2016

I cringe sometimes, when I see some of the messages recruiters send to candidates. No offense (believe me I’ve been just as quality)! The ones that are the worst are the long winded email that is clearly copy + pasted, generic, and unpersonalized. Yikes…surely that’s one way to scare off quality talent (but don’t worry I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of this before). That being said, I don’t condone sending copy+pasted email templates, sometimes templates like these can actually be very effective if done right and can definitely fit very nicely into your hiring strategy. But generally an effective copy+pasted template (that gets results) usually requires some marketing power, thought, effort, and some degree of personalization. But overall, in my opinion nothing usually beats a good old fashioned personalized message to a job-seeker.

After going through many trials and tribulations with RZ’s hiring and working closely with many of our headhunter & HR clients one thing is definitely apparent – there are WRONG ways to reach job-seekers and RIGHT ways to reach out to them. Overall, emailing job-seekers is a topic that I think is massively overlooked, and it plays a very critical role in the hiring process. We’ve seen ourselves and our clients vastly increase their hiring results by 50% or more by making tweaks to their emails or follow some of the tips below. But quick disclosure before I get into this topic: attracting job-seekers via email marketing is not an easy thing to pickup, I definitely recommend you do some research on it!

Anyways, the tips below on this topic, are sourced from client conversations, research, and most importantly things we test with our own hiring process (we always preach what we try out). That being said every company is different, and although one thing might work for us or our clients it might not work for you. So test, test, test, and test some more to see what works for you (and then share it with us and everyone in the comment section 😉 )

So with that out of the way, let’s jump right into it the 3 simple tips that can help increase job-seeker response rates for employers/recruiters: 

1) Deliverability.
Are your emails even going through? We always urge our clients and urge you to test your email scores to make sure their emails are reaching job-seekers inboxes, and being delivered (we use MailTester to test this sort of thing, it’s free so try it out on your email now – https://www.mail-tester.com/). You’d be surprised how big of an issue this really is across many industries. I hear about it all the time. I won’t get into the whole technicalities around why this happens (unless you’re interested ask in the comments), but it’s something that we even check ourselves daily. If you are emailing a lot of candidates from a resume database or in general, I urge employers & recruiters to definitely check your email score on Mailtester. The great thing about the Mailtester app is it will show you what you need to repair to improve your score and deliverability. To ensure better deliverability make sure to connect with your IT folks or hosting service and share this report with them. If you’re sending email campaigns to multiple people at once, don’t do this from your email client, instead give MailerLite a try or MailChimp. We use MailerLite (they’re awesome, amazing customer service too). Services like this solely focus on high-volume email deliverability and make sure larger percentages of your emails make it to people’s inboxes. This is critical if you are sending large volumes of emails to many job-seekers (e.g. 1 email template to 100-200 resumes/job-seekers per day or something like that). 

2) Keep your email short and sweet, and get the candidate on the phone!
If your email is a page long, or several paragraphs long, candidates won’t read it all! Their eyes will glaze over. Remember your job no matter what is to market this position to attract the best, so keep it short and engaging with a ‘call to action’.

Below is an example of mass email-campaign we did a while back, on behalf for a fast-casual restaurant chain out of Las Vegas, NV. The chain needed serious volume of options for several openings. We kept it VERY simplistic, as you’ll see. The results were pretty awesome, we sent it to 300 active/passive job-seekers. 60% opened, and 50% clicked-through & responded opting in for an interview (CLICK THE IMAGE TO ENLARGE).

Job Seeker Email Template Sample Trim

Your email template should not include heavy screening questions or be long and elaborate. This will just scare off the quality “A-player” candidates that you’re looking to attract. If you are going to screen via email, we’ve found that use a max of 3 simple questions or less to be effective and still yield have had good response rates (and it did save us time in the process to weed candidates out). But nothing too elaborate. Just keep your initial email simple, addressing the job-seeker by his name, pointing something out specific to them, and then getting them on the phone call ASAP (remember most quality candidates have options, so urgency is important). You can keep your first interview to 15-30 minutes long and do more of the heavy screening there. Again its usually recommended to leave that out of the email, it will just affect your response rate. Some of our clients find the most success with keeping emails short and getting clients on the phone immediately to interview them. This is something, we even practice when we are hiring. When we see that high quality candidate, we make sure to get them on the phone right away. Plus remember, rapport is best for in-person, second over the phone, and lastly email. It’s all about human interaction to move things in the right direction 🙂

3) Personalize, Personalize and Personalize more!
Do you personalize your messages to job-seekers & applicants? There have been studies from Indeed.com and others that show results can be 50% better when you are adding personal elements in your message, especially when reaching out to job-seekers. Addressing them by their name, commenting on a specific detail in their resume, building slight rapport, or any little special/’personalized’ touch makes a massive difference with increasing your response rates (and getting more interviews). Typically, avoid copy+paste emails. The best way to evaluate your email template is to ask yourself, does this look like a copy+pasted template? Is this something I would open up and read or delete? Doing this own self-test will drastically improve your email quality. Finally, remember to make sure your email-copy is ‘candidate centric’ – remember we talked about experimenting with this style of writing in this blogpost here (and how it can increase your job advertising results by 185%).

One last thing, avoid looking “desperate” and “needy.” You’d be surprised how sometimes one can give off this impression without even consciously realizing it. We’ve seen clients email job seekers asking, “Why haven’t you responded?? I really liked your resume, can you please do an interview with us? You seem like the perfect match” Naturally this tends to scare job seekers away. They don’t want to be employed by someone like that. Your goal should be to inspire them with your company mission, vision and goals. Tell them why you exist and why they might be a good fit.

By keeping these things in mind, I think you can definitely improve your results and ultimately score more interviews with the candidates you want. But that’s all for now, leave us a comment if you like and as always have an awesome week!

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