Email Tips for Passive Candidate Recruiting

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Learn tips for getting better responses on your emails and InMails.

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  • When we talk about sending emails to passive candidates, it’s considered email marketing so you’ll see several of my slides refer to email messages as email marketing.
    Taking a step back from recruiting and just think about your inbox at work and home and message that you receive through LinkedIn or even your facebook and twitter inboxes. Ask yourself this question. How many times have you received a marketing email from someone and never opened it?

  • So if you’re not opening emails, it’s because the subject line wasn’t persuasive enough or you didn’t trust the sender. Candidates are doing the exact same thing when they receive messages from recruiters. Your job is write effective email subject lines that convince candidates to open the email.
  • Ideally, you should keep your subject line to 50 character or less. The shorter the better.
    It is tempting to write your email subjects in all caps with the exclamation points at the end, but this is one of the most ineffective ways to create a subject line. It makes your email look spammy, so keep exclamation points and capital letters to a minimum.
    Studies have shown certain words turn candidates off.
    One of the most effective techniques for writing a subject line is to ask the candidate a question that he/she will answer “yes” to By crafting a “yes” question, the candidate will want to see how you can fix his/her problem
    Pique your candidate’s interest by being a little obscure in your subject line.
    Another tactic is to write your email subject as a start of a though – sort of a “fill in the blank” for the reader to complete. Your subject line may be “aren’t jobs great when…” or “the one great thing about new jobs is…” See how these subject lines make people want to learn more?
    If your req is in a market where CH is well branded, include the company name in the subject line. We’ve tested this subject line and saw an increase in the response rate. As more people read emails on their phone, it’s important to act like a newspaper reporter and put the most important words first in the subject line. If you mention CH2M HILL at the end of the subject line, it would be cut off until you open the email on your phone.
    After viewing an individual’s LinkedIn, you likely have a wealth of information about at your disposal –So why not use it? Mention something in the subject line about their work history, projects, mutual connections, company, group alma mater or anything they’ve shared in their network update feed, like articles or insights.
    People have a natural inclination to not want to miss out something, and you tap in to this feeling with your email subject line. Be careful, though, as to sound too sale-sy or desperate. For example, if today is the last day you’re accepting applicants for a career fair or req, try an email line like this, “I would hate for you to miss this” That will inspire a reaction more so than “today is the last day to apply.”
    Hand in hand with an effective subject line is an appropriate “from” line. Big brands, like Coca cola, pepsi, google, facebook can get away putting their company name in the from line. For the rest of us, use your first and last name – just as you would if you were sending out personal emails.

    When you spend time crafting a good subject line, you ensure you’re writing something that will inspire candidates to open your email and learn more. Experiment with the types of email subjects that work best with your audience. While there is a lot of data about effective subject lines, there is no “true formula,” as it depends on your business, message and audience.
  • Avoid red as a font color – It can trigger your email to be sent to the spam or junk mail folder.
    Be logical about sending multiple emails to the same company
    * Don’t send the same or very similar emails to many employees at a company or you may be identified as a spammer
    If someone doesn’t open your email 3 times in a row, stop emailing
    If someone doesn’t open your email 2 times, in a row send them a unique email the 3rd time to help increase open rates.
    If an email bounces back, remove that email address from your list.
  • However, if your position is direct (versus contingent) say so. Your message could be going to a contractor waiting to go direct
    Actual job req is too big and too dry.
    Don’t ever include comp EVER! Don’t sell too hard. People will catch and quick turn off. Just engage them.
    Remember what you really want. Open the email, respond and send referrals.

    Express gratitude - Thank you so much! I am really grateful” A little thanks goes a long way, not only for encouraging busy people to help you, but also for motivating them to help others like you.




  • Question for the group. Hopefully you get participation!
  • Time of day matters and more importantly, time zones matter. I found myself sending emails at 8-9pm at night because that’s when I had time. I learned that 9pm ET is not the best time to email candidates. So when is the best time to send an email to get it opened?
  • Email Open Rates by Time of Delivery
    The best time to send emails is when users are reviewing their inboxes – i.e. morning and early afternoon.
    Emails sent in the afternoon have a better chance of being noticed, opened and clicked – due to 39% of messages being sent between 6am and noon
    Most emails are clicked on at 8 and 9am and 3 and 8pm, and opened at 8 and 9am and 3 and 4pm
  • Email Tips for Passive Candidate Recruiting

    1. 1. Emailing Passive CandidatesEMAILING PASSIVE CANDIDATES Derina Adamczak, CH2M HILL Sourcing Training May 2014
    2. 2. Everyone I know feels harassed by email which has invaded their waking and sleeping hours - Margaret Heffernan
    3. 3. Get Candidates to: OPEN YOUR EMAIL
    4. 4. How can you write effective email subject lines that get candidates to open your emails?
    5. 5. Perfect the Subject Line 1. Keep the subject line short 2. Avoid CAPS and exclamation points!!!! 3. Don’t use certain words – help, assistance, apply online, apply now, for only, urgent 4. Ask a question 5. Say something obscure 6. Start a thought 7. Use the information you have 8. Create a sense of urgency When crafting a candidate email, spend as much time writing the subject line as the message
    6. 6. Avoiding SPAM Filters Steer clear of red as a font color Be logical about sending multiple emails to the same company ◦ Don’t send the same or very similar emails to many employees at a company ◦ Call + Email = 30% more likely to respond
    7. 7. Get Candidates to: RESPOND TO YOUR EMAIL
    8. 8. Rules of Thumb for Email Marketing Spell (and context) check your message multiple times Use Appropriate Icebreakers Tell The Why You Chose Them Be Specific to be Compelling
    9. 9. Components of a Compelling Script Keep it short and sweet (i.e. avoid a mini-novel)  Truly MARKET the opportunity and CH2M HILL  2-3 paragraphs that explain that you, the proposal, the company and the call to action  However, if your position is direct (versus contingent) say so.  Exclude full job description, salary range and a hardball sales pitch Write with a pure networking focus  “while not presuming you’re interested in a new role, I hoped you might help me with this tough search by …”  “I am working a really tough search and thought you might be able to help, if I asked nicely.” Express gratitude
    10. 10. Always Include a Call To Action (CTA) Treat every candidate as passive until they prove otherwise. Go beyond asking if candidates are “open to discuss new job opportunities?” Be more persuasive than, “If you are interested to talk please forward me your contact details” Sending an email that only gives candidates the option to act like an active candidate is going to FLOP A clear pointed tactic is required. Have the CTA as its own paragraph ◦ “How is your schedule next week” is not specific enough ◦ Add specific times Replace “How is your schedule next week?” with “Would a call at 10am Pacific time on Thursday work for you?”
    11. 11. Consider Your Messageon a Mobile Device
    12. 12. Web Browser PC client Mobile Same Email… May Be Read In Multiple Environments Social Network
    13. 13. InMails on Mobile Devices
    14. 14. Tips for Messaging 250 words No lengthy signatures Don't overabrvt.  Say, "I loved that Mashable article you shared last week," NOT, “I lved the artcl u shrd lst wk"
    15. 15. Best Time to Send Email is…
    16. 16. When is the best time of day to send an email to potential candidates? ◦ Morning? ◦ Afternoon? ◦ Evenings? ◦ Weekends?
    17. 17. The Right Time Is… …when each candidate is most likely to respond. The time when they consistently open and act on emails.
    18. 18. Top click hours •8am •9am •3pm •8pm Top open hours •8am •9am •3pm •4pm Engagement during the day
    19. 19. 5:00 p.m. is the Worst Time to Send an Email 5:00 p.m. - Stuck in traffic 6:00 p.m. - Ordering a pizza 7:00 p.m. - Bathing their children 8:00 p.m. - Checking their email again By now, 3 hours have passed and the chance of your email being opened is less than 5%
    20. 20. Best Days To Send Email? As a general rule: • Avoid weekends • Avoid nights • Avoid Fridays and Mondays • Avoid public holidays Midday and midweek always seem safest
    21. 21. Summary
    22. 22. Reality Check Before Sending. Ask Yourself: What time is it? What would I think if I received this email? Will they know how to reach me? Will they truly believe the message?
    23. 23. The Do’s of Email Messages BRIEF HONEST SPECIFIC COMPELLING INTRODUCE SPELLING & GRAMMAR TIMING CTA REFERRALS PROOF-READ (again!)
    24. 24. The Don’ts of Email Messages Don’t use PUNCTUATION in the Subject Line Don’t use the RECIPIENT’S NAME in the subject line Never include the SALARY RANGE Don’t include the full JOB DESCRIPTION Don’t SENDemails too often Avoid being too VAGUE Avoid “please answer this question” and “respond promptly”

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