3 Candidate Outreach Messages That Work (& Why) - Glassdoor for Employers
3 Candidate Outreach Messages That Work (& Why)

3 Candidate Outreach Messages That Work (& Why)

When you're recruiting experienced, in-demand candidates, first impressions can make or break the connection. That's why seasoned recruiters know that they need to make a good first impression with their candidate outreach message. But when the average candidate receives as many as 121 business emails every day, it's hard to stand out.

To find out what makes an outreach message a successful one, we connected with Norma Jean McClain, President of TekChix, a specialized IT staffing and consulting firm serving Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Below she outlines 3 successful outreach messages that work, and why.

Successful Outreach Messages

The first rule of successful outreach messages? Avoiding bulk email, which can be a big turn off for candidates in specialized positions.

"Companies have quotas to fill, and they'll get a false sense of security from sending out 300 bulk emails about opportunities," says McClain. "But while you may get responses to those emails, the responses won't be very relevant or actionable."

"A successful outreach message has three key characteristics: it's personalized, it's relevant, and it takes the candidate's career goals into account," McClain continues. "You can't send a bulk email that does that. And even if a candidate isn't interested in the opportunity, it's still worth the investment to send a thoughtful outreach message because it can work as a connection for future referrals or pipelining."

Ready to see what quality candidate outreach looks like in action? Here are three sample outreach messages with commentary from McClain on why they work:

Example #1: Personalized message

Hi Tyrone,

I hope this message finds you well! I'm reaching out to you to share some exciting senior JavaScript developer opportunities that we have available in Baton Rouge.

Based on your years of experience with full stack development, you seem like a great candidate for these opportunities, and I'd love to tell you more about them, and see if they align with your career aspirations.

Let's schedule a quick call for later today to discuss. What time works best for you?

Thanks, and looking forward to connecting with you.

Why It Works

"The most successful candidate outreach makes it very clear that you've reviewed the candidates resume and you're not just sending an email blast to random contacts," says McClain. "Sending mass emails has a negative impact on the candidate's perception of your recruiting team and the company you're working for - it reflects your lack of rigor and lack of interest in the candidate."

"You can't always tell if a candidate is a good fit, especially if you're just looking on LinkedIn," McClain continues. "That's why it's just as important to find out about a candidate's aspirations and career path as their skills set. Make it clear you're not trying to stick them into a job, but that you actually want to introduce them to a role that aligns with where they want to go in their career."

Example #2: Message to a candidate with a new job

Hi Tyrone,

I hope this message finds you well. I see that you recently started a new position, so I know you may not be looking right now, but you may know someone who would be interested in this great opportunity.

I'd love to tell you about the opportunity we have on the table, and see if you may know any quality candidates who may be interested. Can we schedule a brief call for later today?

Thanks, and looking forward to connecting with you.

Why It Works

"When you're connecting with a candidate who just got a new job, you want to acknowledge that you know they likely aren't looking to leave their new role," says McClain. "This outreach message allows them to consider an opportunity without being directly targeted. They can still reach out to hear about the opportunity for themselves or on behalf of their network, but you're being respectful of where they are in their career."

Example #3: Message to a candidate with a common network

Hi Tyrone,

My name is Ava with TekChix, and I've worked with some people you know such as Jocelyn Smith and Juniper Doe.

Jocelyn and Juniper mentioned you might be a great fit for a systems administrator opportunity that we have available in Baton Rouge.

I'd like to schedule a call to tell you more. What time works best for you?

Thanks, and looking forward to connecting with you.

Why It Works

"Whenever you can, mention common people you have in your network to establish credibility and trust," says McClain."The power of a recruiter's network is that you get to know candidates with specific skill sets, so that when the right job comes up you know who to get in touch with."

One thing all three messages have in common? They don't go for the "quick win." Each message has the primary purpose of seeing if the candidate is a good fit for a role- not to fill the role as quickly as possible.

"If you try to push someone into a role, she'll end up in a job that isn't a fit," says McClain. "The candidate isn't happy and leaves... and you lose the trust you've built up."

Want to make a good first impression when reaching out to candidates? Consider how you could use these three templates to improve your outreach strategy and make thoughtful, targeted connections.

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