3 Tips for Getting Candidates to Respond to Your E-Mails

In today’s competitive candidate market and with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), aka “the robots,” we tend to forget about the human elements of recruiting. With the emergence of sourcing tools, finding top talent today is easier than ever. The hard part is getting them to respond. Can we create a compelling enough message that will get answered? Many of us have faced this problem.communication

Let’s talk about the challenges of sourcing and how we can get candidates to respond. Here are my three tips:

Tip #1: Personalize Your Message

You have to personalize. You’re out there looking to find some people. You want to customize the message that you’re going to send out. Whether it’s an e-mail, an InMail, or a direct message on Facebook or Twitter, you want to make sure that it’s personalized to the candidate.

For example, “I see that you play the guitar. We’re looking to add a guitar player to our team.” Things like that, as opposed to “I have a great job opportunity.” You’re probably wondering where you could find out something like that to hook that candidate. Have you heard of social media?

You can go to Twitter. (I’m always on the Twitters!) You can go to Facebook. It’s amazing where a simple Google search can take you. Or even picking up the phone! Have a conversation with the candidate. Once you get that point, all you have to do is ask. Ask him or her what he or she likes to do outside of work.

Tip #2: Keep It Entertaining

I think you have to keep it entertaining, right? You’ve got to make it fun. Tell a joke. Don’t just make it about the job. Find something interesting to write. Nobody wants to receive a message with a tedious job description.

Top talent is continually getting recruiting-related requests. Sending another generic message with a long and monotonous job description will not result in a personalized response. They won’t even read the message, let alone the job description. They won’t open the message, especially if you hit them up with a subject line like “I have a great job opportunity.”

Nobody wants to hear that today. Instead, have a compelling subject line that will entice the candidate to read more. After all, that is the first thing the candidate will see. You’ll need to be creative to make contact.

Tip #3: Keep It Real

Be transparent about the whole process. Let them know that this process could take a little bit longer due to travel schedules or budget approvals, etc. Again, there are so many tools out there, and we will have to use some of them, but we can still keep it real. We don’t need a tool to ask a candidate to grab a cup of coffee. Keep it real; keep it authentic! Be different! Don’t do what everybody else is doing. Try it—it works. I think the outcome is so much better when you’re human about it.

So, what could the potential outcome be by using these three tips? Perhaps a relationship with the candidate—maybe a friendship? For me, relationships and friendships matter, and those are real. Maybe I’m a little old school, but old school works. As Katrina Collier says, #behuman.


Angie Verros is the founder of Vaia Talent. A passionate, strategic, and innovative talent acquisition leader, she has a unique combination of successful recruiting leadership coupled with talent brand and operations experience. She has an impeccable work ethic and proven track record of success in identifying, recruiting, and hiring outstanding talent. With experience in fast-paced entrepreneurial and start-up environments, she excels at designing and implementing recruiting programs to build social and brand awareness.

In her 13+-year career in the recruiting space, she has been responsible for managing and executing overall company talent acquisition strategy to meet firms’ high growth people needs and improve policies, procedures, and tools for effective and seamless candidate sourcing. She has also led employment branding and social recruiting efforts to create candidate awareness and engagement.

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