Tips For Sending Cold Recruiting Emails To Your Candidates

Cold emailing for recruiting can be tough. The people your company wants to recruit are likely already overwhelmed with hundreds of emails from other recruiters and agencies. How are you meant to grab your dream candidates’ attention when there’s so much competition?

Your recruitment email needs to stand out enough to persuade the candidate it’s worth their time, which is no easy task.

At Reply we help salespeople with their email campaigns, and we’ve noticed the same tactics top salespeople use to reach out to their prospects can also help recruiters connect with candidates. So, why not think like a salesperson the next time you email a candidate? Here are our top prospecting tips for recruiters.

Research your candidates

The first thing a salesperson does before writing a single word of an email is research his prospect. The best take the time to talk to existing customers and use what they learn to create buyer personas. These personas will form the basis for everything that comes next, including finding ideal prospects.

Then, once they’ve found a prospect that matches their buyer persona, they’ll research that individual, looking for anything that’ll help craft a compelling message that appeals directly to them.

Recruiters should spend just as much time researching their potential recruits. It’s likely you already have a good idea of what your ideal candidate looks like as a generalization, but how much do you know about your recruit as an individual?

A friend who receives hundreds of recruitment emails complained that most of them seemed to have made zero effort to find out more than his name: “I’d have emails from people asking me to apply for Business Intelligence jobs in finance when a quick look at my profile would show I only work with retail companies.”

Take a look at your potential candidate’s online profiles. Most job candidates today have a LinkedIn profile with all their professional experience, but depending on the job there may be more specialist profiles out there, such as Github for coders or Medium for writers.

Ideally, you want to find out:

  • The candidate’s work history
  • Their skills/qualifications
  • Their current employment status/position
  • Their career goals

That way you can be sure you’re getting in touch with the right person with a message that applies to them.

Personalize your message

The next of our sales tips for recruiters cover the content of your email. Salespeople recognize personalization as an essential ingredient in any prospecting email. At a minimum, this will mean referring to the prospect by name. However, the savvy salesperson will go further, tailoring his email to the prospect’s specific situation, challenges, and interests, to show the email isn’t just a copy-and-paste job.

Recruiters should also be using the research they carried out to personalize their email. While that should obviously include using the candidate’s name, using a {First.Name} merge tag isn’t enough today. To stand out you need to make it clear the email is specific to the candidate.

Some people suggest including obscure details you’ve discovered (‘I see you’re a fan of experimental Norwegian poetry. Me too!’) but, personally, I find that can easily come across as insincere and a little creepy. Instead, I recommend keeping it to relevant information that also demonstrates you’ve actually done more than pick their name from a list.

Show your recipients you’ve made an effort and you’ll stand a better chance of getting their attention.

Just because you’re sending a cold email, it doesn’t mean the content has to be cold.

Make use of sales tools

Every craftsman needs their tools, and a salesperson is no different. Today there’s a whole range of tools covering every stage of the sales funnel, taking care of the boring manual work and freeing up more time for making a personal connection. This means they can scale up their campaigns to a level far beyond anything they could normally do on their own.

The good news is a lot of these tools can be used by recruiters as well. For example, prospecting solutions for recruiters could include…

Email verification. Make sure you’re using the candidate’s correct email and reduce the number of bounced emails.

Social Selling. Follow along with relevant conversations online, or automatically scrape contact information from websites and social media.

Contact Enrichment. Save time researching your potential candidates and have the information on hand when you need it most.

Scheduling. Set up interviews without having to go through a bazillion emails trying to find a time and date that suits both of you.

Email Automation. Use a tool like Reply to plan your emails, schedule your follow-ups, and track your results.

And there are plenty more. Check out our complete list of recommended sales tools for more ideas and examples.

What’s in it for me?

Lots of salespeople send promotional messages outlining their company’s service, their history, and their goals. Smart salespeople, on the other hand, send messages with the focus on the customer. They put themselves in the prospect’s mindset and look at every sentence from their point of view, asking one question: What’s in it for me?

Follow their example and make your candidate the star of the email.

Don’t waste time explaining what your company does. People’s time is limited, and going over the basics is just a waste of that time. If the candidate is already familiar with your company, they know what you do and aren’t interested in hearing it all again.

On the other hand, even if this is the first time they’ve heard about your business, no-one’s interested in hearing a long detailed history. They’ll just see a wall of text and switch off, before moving on to the next email.

Either way, a long company-focused email is going to be a waste of yours and the candidates time, destroying your chances of a positive reply.

If there are some company details the candidate simply has to know, keep them to a minimum or include a link to a full company profile in your signature.

Forget the hard sell

As powerful as cold emailing can be, it’s not magic. No matter how compelling or persuasive it is, most people are unlikely to buy as a result of one email—it’s virtually impossible to build up the trust required for someone to hand over their hard-earned money to a stranger. That’s why good salespeople avoid the hard sell and instead aim to start a conversation with the prospect.

When you’re emailing prospective candidates, it’s unlikely they’ll sign up for the job after just one email. Rather than even trying to make that happen, the goal of the message should be getting the recipient to agree to meet up or jump on a call (even in this digital age, an actual verbal conversation is still considered much more effective than an email).

Whatever kind of email you’re writing, including recruitment emails, a good call-to-action is essential. Your email should end with a prompt or request for the action you want the candidate to take next. You could ask a question like ‘What’s the best way for us to connect?’ which is a great way to increase your chances of getting a response.

Keep it simple. Your objective is for them to get in touch, so don’t dilute your CTA by adding extra requests (‘Learn more about the job requirements here, follow me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, and read the first chapter of our company’s history. Then share this message with your friends. Would you like to get in touch?’).

Recruiting top talent can be tricky. Next time you’re trying to find the right candidates for your new opening, use the same strategies and tools as salespeople to grab their attention and seal the deal.

Lucy, VP of Marketing @ Reply. Lucy is #3 employee in Reply with 8+ years of experience in different fields of B2B Marketing. Her main areas of focus are SEO, Content Marketing, Analytics, CRO and a bit of PPC for SaaS companies. Fond of working, traveling and Sci-Fi.

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