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With unemployment at record lows, today’s job seeker has options. Employers have to be proactive when it comes to finding candidates.
Even when you find someone who’s great for a role, it can be hard to catch their attention, especially if you’re recruiting for high-skill, hard-to-fill roles. Imagine opening an inbox to a flood of messages from recruiters every day: you’d quickly tune out. That’s what it’s like for in-demand talent.
So it’s vital to make a good impression fast — standing out in a sea of generic messages is key when you’re one of many trying to reach a potential candidate.
How can you increase your chances of making sure your outreach sticks and you actually start a conversation? Here are some tips.
Be specific in your targeting
You may be tempted to cast a wide net, but often only a small number of people will meet the criteria for a role.
If you’re messaging anyone and everyone rather than targeting your efforts, you’re likely wasting a lot of time interacting with candidates you’d never hire.
Narrowing your search will help focus your efforts. Think about geographic location, skill sets, number of years of experience and educational background. What is required and what is flexible?
Technology can help. For example, Indeed Resume is a database of potential talent, containing over 120 million resumes. That’s a lot of potential candidates waiting out there. It allows you to filter your search by work experience, education, location and even specific words and phrases included in the resume in order to think strategically about who you want to hire.
Filtering candidates is important, but the language you use to reach out can make all the difference.
The pitfalls of using templates in outreach emails
Now that you’ve narrowed your search, you’ve come across a great contender. Once you’ve found them, a new effort begins — getting them to engage and, in the end, accept your offer.
So what kind of message are you going to send? Something generic, a template with some personalization or a handcrafted, hyperpersonalized email?
Below we see an example of a generic message:
Bit of a snoozer, isn’t it? It’s easy to see why these messages are appealing to recruiters pressed for time — all they require is a bit of cutting and pasting. But who enjoys receiving “canned” emails? We’re in the people business, not the robot business. This is no way to connect with a candidate.
Maybe if we add some personalization to a template, it will work better, right? Let’s add the recipient’s name, small pleasantries and a reference to the candidate’s background.
This semi-personalized note is an improvement on the generic message. It may not be possible to handcraft an email for every contact with a candidate. This type of communication strikes a compromise between time savings and addressing the candidate as a person.
But it still sounds a bit flat. It doesn’t exactly fill you with inspiration and a burning desire to learn more. If you’d really like to increase the chances of receiving a response, there’s a…