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“Recruiting eMails”: How to maximise candidates’ response rate

Are you also one of those people who get bombarded with emails on a daily basis? Now imagine you have some great vacancies that need to be filled and you found some highly suitable candidates who you want to approach via email. How do you make sure that your recruiting email will get instant attention? Here I would like to reveal my strategy in tackling this challenging task.

# 1 – I think the key to success here lies in “personalisation”. I would differentiate my message and email by not making it sound standard but tailor-made to the candidate. Yes, it will require some more time and research from my side but it will make me stand out and the chances that my messages will be read will be much higher. And even if the candidate is not interested in the job offered, it might still be more likely that the candidate can recommend a friend or recommends my recruitment services to a friend who might be looking for a job in the future.

# 2 – I would use an appropriate email address which consists of my name and my company’s name so that it will not be classified as spam message.

# 3 - The headline is key! This is the first thing a candidate will see. No matter how great the content of my email is going to be, if the headline is boring or looks like a spam message it might never be read. So why should I mess it up at this crucial stage? I would think of headlines which will increase the reader’s curiosity. For example “Candidate’s name, these are 5 Benefits your current company doesn’t offer you”, “Candidate’s name, can you really afford to ignore this job offer?” “Forget your current job, watch this and take action!” “Having you on board would be a great asset”.

# 4 – I’m also fully aware of the importance of the first opening sentence before presenting the vacancy in more detail. I would do some research and look for famous quotes which match the candidate’s personality and the job I’m offering. For example if “passion and enthusiasm” is a key criteria for a certain positon I am trying to fill, then I would start like this:

‘Dear candidate’s name,

Have you already heard this quote? “Enthusiasm is the daily food of successful people. It makes ordinary people extraordinary”. I came across your profile on LinkedIn and was impressed about your achievements so far and the endorsements in which many professionals describe you as an enthusiastic person. You would be a brilliant candidate for a very rewarding job at a multinational company based in your local area.”

# 5 – I will not overload the person with information about my own background or my company’s history because it would not make any difference to the reader’s current situation or future career. Instead I would focus on the candidate and the job opportunity that I want to present. I would provide all the relevant details (job responsibilities, person specification etc.) and try to increase the reader’s interest by sharing also the benefits that the candidate can gain from accepting the new job.

# 6 – I would show the candidate that I care about the person and that I did some thorough research about them on Google, Linkedin and various social media websites. I would mention and talk about something that we both have in common (e.g. educational background, companies worked at, hobbies, interests, places visited, skills, other connections etc.). If I was not able to find any common ground I would ask a question about something that the person did in the past which sparked my interest. I do strongly believe that both these tactics would allow me to establish a relationship quicker. It does make a difference if a candidate has the impression that you made an effort to get to know them better and are genuinely interested in them.

# 7 – I would not limit my email to content in text format only. I would provide the candidate also with more insightful information (if available online), such as: links of corporate videos, company’s and staff members’ photos and employees’ testimonials why this company is “A great place to work”. This insights about the company’s nature and culture can motivate candidates to take action and reply to your recruiting email more reliably and quicker.

# 8 – The closing sentence and salutation should also be a bit more creative. Instead of writing “Kind regards” or “Yours sincerely” I often write “Enthusiastically” followed by my name. I often got positive comments about it and genuinely believe that the chances of getting a reply are higher.

Sending out standard emails will not help you to achieve your goal in finding great talent quickly. Remember that the more time you first invest in carefully crafting a personalised email in order to engage with great talent, the higher your chances are of attracting the right sort of people and finally finding the perfect match. It might also help you to create and maintain good relationships in the long term.

Thanks for reading! If you got any value out of this, I’d really appreciate if you share it.

Karin Schroeck-Singh is a passionate Public Speaker, eBook Author, a Career Blogger at and a freelancing Online Content Producer. She has an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and gained 18 years of international work experience in Italy, the UK and India.