If you’re in the field of talent acquisition, you’ve probably heard that LinkedIn statistic that a whopping 90% of talent is open to hearing about new career opportunities—even if they’re not actively looking. (The caveat to that data point, of course, is “assuming they’re presented with the right role.”) Yet engaging passive candidates demands a different approach than recruiting active ones: You have to tap into your inner marketer to break through the inertia that comes with job-contentment. The three emails below exemplify strategies for doing so.
Though they employ different strategies, these examples have two things in common: 1) They make the recipient feel unique and uniquely spoken to, and 2) They include what we’ll call, broadly speaking, “motivating factors”: the elements likely to prompt a response. As you’ll see, those motivating factors range from employee value propositions to mentioned mutual acquaintances to messages directly from the CEO.
What doesn’t change is the part about personalization, which is part-and-parcel of ascertaining whether a prospect is right for your open role. The below are “templates”; and you can certainly see in each example where whole paragraphs can be used when sending in batch to save time. But each example is also fine-tuned to meet the prospect as an individual. That’s why you’ll want to find an outreach tool that can send in batch without sacrificing personalization. When a prospect believes they’re on the receiving end of a bulk email, they develop a negative perception of both your employer brand and your recruiting team. So—particularly for those harder-to-fill positions—do the work of finding out what would be meaningful enough to make that prospect invest time in a dialogue with you. Otherwise, that satisfaction you feel after sending out 400 bulk emails is only a false sense of security.
Then use that research—in tandem with these examples—to craft outreach that prompts real engagement.
My name is Chris and I’m working alongside our CTO, Erika, at XYZ Financial to find some of the best back-end engineers to grow our current team. I’ve just spent the last hour on your GitHub and LinkedIn profiles, and called Erika over to show her the most recent debugging feature you published on GitHub. Needless to say, Erika’s thrilled: We’re actually working on a similar project—and in Haskell, which it looks like you’re currently programming in!
XYZ Financial is an account aggregation technology looking to make big waves in fintech. Last year we opened our second engineering hub in Chicago, raised $47M in funding, and we’re on track to double in size by next year. Our next few hires will be critical, as they’ll shape the engineering culture of our new office.
What it’s like to work on the eng team:
Do you have time to jump on a call this week? I’d love to hear more about your background, your current projects, and your career aspirations... and of course, tell you more about our company.
I look forward to talking to you,
Recruiting Manager, XYZ Financial
What this outreach does well:
Hi there Brian,
My name is Kelly Arnone and I’m the CEO at X App. I discovered your profile on LinkedIn this week while looking for a Sales Ops Manager for our fast-growing sales team. It led me to both of your articles on sales team leadership on Medium. I’m really impressed by the thought and consideration you’ve put into running your teams.
If you’re getting a lot of emails about career opportunities these days—and you probably are—I imagine you’re not hearing much from CEOs directly. But I attribute the success we’ve seen so far at X App in part to my dedication to finding the best talent, putting them in the same room, and watching them thrive. That’s why I commit so much of my own personal time to sourcing and outreach.
I’d love to tell you about our plan to open up a new market this year and about how we see experimentation and autonomy as central to a world-class sales team. If that sounds interesting to you, feel free to schedule a 30-minute intro call with someone on our TA team here. And if we discover it’s a ring you’d like to throw your hat into, I’d love to grab a coffee with you.
I look forward to getting to talk to you soon, Brian,
CEO, X App
What this outreach does well:
Happy Wednesday! My name is Carmen and I’m a recruiter at Range. We’re expanding our design team right now, and I’ve been reaching out to my network to find the best of the best in Austin. I met up with Nolan for coffee last week and you came up as the most remarkable UX designer he knew. I honestly can’t imagine a more enthusiastic recommendation.
I jumped into your Dribbble portfolio when I got home that evening—and Nolan wasn’t kidding! Would you be open to chatting this week about our open positions and why we’ve been named one of the Top 10 Startups to work for in Austin? My sense is you’d be a killer UX lead for us… but I also want to be clear that I’m not interested in “selling” you a job! Rather, I want to find out what your career goals are and what you’d be looking for in your next position. Of course, if your needs align with what we have to offer, we can go from there! If not, it will have been great to meet another friend of Nolan’s.
What do you say? Coffee at Magnolia next week? If you’d like, I can ask Nolan to join us.
Thanks, Terrence. I look forward to hearing from you!
P.S. Nolan mentioned your new dog?! Feel free to bring her along! The weather’s supposed to be gorgeous next week; we can find a space on the patio.
Carmen Benisty (pronouns: she/her)
Top 10 Startups to Work for in Austin
Range Scores $12M in Series A Financing Round
What this outreach does well:
Of course, follow up over time with more details. You might even base the content of your next email on how recipients behaved with previous outreach. With Gem, you can get detailed campaign data and A/B test for message content and subject lines. Keep analyzing. Add touchpoints from other people in the company. Find your own best practices through trial-and-error. We hope you take delight in those experiments.
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