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If you are a recruiter working on hard to fill positions, chances are you have cold called and emailed hundreds of candidates. Most recruiters I know have 10–15% conversion rates on emails. If marketers and sales people had a similar conversion rate, they would be out of their jobs soon!
As recruiters, when we are sourcing, it is imperative that we put our sales hats on and think like sales reps. Great sales people have perfected the art of cold emailing prospects based on sound science and their understanding of their target customers. While writing a recruitment email is not exactly the same as writing a cold sales email, there are things we can learn and pick up from them.
Evoke curiosity with your subject line
Subject lines are probably the most critical part of writing great recruitment emails. This is the point where your target candidate decides whether this email is worth reading or not. The people you are targeting likely get loads of emails every week from recruiters vying for their attention. Your job here is to stand out. Figure out what will it take to start a conversation.
A few examples that I have seen working:
Yoga and node.js- Sent to a developer who was passionate about Yoga!
Hello from Acme Inc- Works when you have a great employer brand.
Opportunity to ignore my email- For a senior level hire.
You get the drift!
Write skim friendly emails
Most people don’t read the entire email in the first go. We are all in hurry and 70% of emails are read on mobile devices, which are a treasure trove of distractions! So assume your email is going to be skimmed through in the first go. If it’s something interesting, it will be read and pondered up on. Long sentences and long emails make them skim resistant. That does not mean you should never write long, well thought out emails.
There are examples of people writing 600 words emails that can still best anyone’s conversion rates. But the chances of that happening are slim at best.
Uber executed skim friendly email brilliantly! This email is one of my all time favourite email campaigns ever.
Here’s the email Uber sent to urge users to integrate their calendars:
Keep the important information at the beginning and the end
Whenever we read a series of words or numbers, our brains are hard wired to remember the beginning and end much better than what came in the middle. Keep important information at these two ends. My advice — get your candidates really interested in what you have to say or offer at the beginning and keep your call to action at the end. After they are done, reading the email and deciding whether to reply or not, they will remember the trust/familiarity you built at the beginning. This increases your chances of getting a response.
Ask for a call
Ask for a call, not for a resume or an application. I think in 2017, this should go without saying but I still so many recruiters asking for a resume or asking to apply on a boring drab job page in the first email itself. The worst possible thing you can do! It is never easy to decide whether to consider a new job or not for a passive candidate. However, it is really easy to decide whether I want to take a call with you or not. Ask your candidates to get on a call. It is always going to take more than 3–4 touchpoints to get them even interested in the position you are offering.
The cardinal sin of recruitment is leaving the conversation at the first touch point. Write a follow-up email. Get hiring manager to write a follow-up email. This is the easiest way to stand apart in the crowded recruitment cold emails. Don’t stop at second email. Write a third one or even a fourth one. According to our data, among the candidates that replied, 60% of them replied in second and third touchpoint! You can use tools like Recruiterflow or Sendbloom to automate personalized email sequences and get better conversions without any extra effort!
It is not easy to get dramatically different results on first day of doing this. For this, we put together a bunch of templates for cold recruitment emails to help you get started. The trick is to test, iterate and figure out your own rhythm and voice that matches your personality and employer brand.
Manan is co-founder and CEO of Recruiterflow – A recruitment CRM and ATS that helps businesses automate their candidate outreach and organise recruitment process. He previously worked as Head of Growth at Inshorts – India’s highest rated news app with more than 2 million monthly active users. Follow him on twitter and Medium.