In today’s error of mass messaging via LinkedIn Recruiter, how do you get a potential candidate to open your message, much less respond to it? While recruiting is a number game, sometimes we’ve forgotten the balance between quantity and quality. Investing a little extra time to make your message stand out can help improve your response rate and/or the quality of the candidates who respond.
What have we found that works?
Don’t bury the lead — your subject line is your elevator pitch and your opening sentence(s) should state who you are and why you want to talk to the candidate
Help the candidate qualify or disqualify themselves — be upfront about any deal-breakers like relocation
Include the cliff notes job description — don’t ask the candidate to take any additional actions before you’ve hooked them as your potential talent pool shrinks with each extra click. And don’t leave them hanging as to some mysterious opportunity they could be a fit with — that undermines credibility, screams ‘spam’ and will lead to a quick delete
Outline clear next steps — so you’ve got them interested, great! Get the conversation off of LinkedIn into email and make clear what additional information you need to proceed (a copy of their resume, times for a phone call, etc)
Be respectful — treat the candidate’s time like you’d want your time treated; clear and concise always win, no novels or conversational fluff needed
Be professional — it’s ok to be conversational, but recognize this is someone’s career. Pay attention to grammar and spelling. Keep the tone professional and respectful, this isn’t your BFF or work spouse that knows your inside jokes or quirks
What do we make sure to avoid?
“I’d like to network with you” — being upfront is important, but sounding like you just want to pump the candidate just for their connections is a one-sided relationship no one is going to be interested in
DON’T USE ALL CAPS — yes, this draws attention (as screaming has a tendency to do), but only to let a candidate know you are unprofessional and not to be taken seriously, leading to an immediate delete
Be honest — if you don’t know someone, don’t claim to or try to pull one out of thin air (friend of a friend of a friend). State why you want to connect and what you have to offer; that is far more compelling than trying to leverage a connection that is not easily made by the candidate