There are so many different ways we can approach passive candidates now-a-days. But, what about the initial outreach?

Did you sound professional when you wrote that email? What about enthusiastic? Genuine?

It’s tough to create an email that both captures the candidates attention while also being informative.

Here are a few steps to help with that initial outreach…

First thing – complete a thorough intake with your hiring managers to understand the role.

What’s next?

Well, trying to figure out what would make the candidate want your job can be tough [working on cool stuff won’t cut it].

Tip: Allow the hiring manager to reiterate what makes the job cool [ask for details] – this will allow you [the recruiter] to create a more customized template that will hopefully support a higher response rate.

Next choose your social platform of choice to source [i.e. LinkedIn, Facebook, Slack, Instagram].

I’d recommend creating a pipeline of candidates for your hiring manager(s) to review – before reaching out to specific candidates.

Why? Creating a pipeline will allow hiring manager(s) to sift through candidates that have the right skill-set [a bit time-consuming yes, but optimizes collaboration between recruiters and hiring managers].

Recruiters can create pipeline(s) in their company’s ATS system – recruiters can also leverage online applications like Clockwork or LinkedIn Projects – which allow hiring managers to seamlessly review candidates and provide their stamp of approval before reaching out.

Now what?

It pays off to be a little creative when you’re reaching out to candidates via social – by creative I mean shifting the attention away from the “opportunity” – and focusing on the candidate.

Recently one of my hiring managers offered this note: The candidate’s music background would fit in well here!

How did I use it? Toward the end of my email I mentioned: “Sam mentioned your music background would fit in well with the team :)”

This is simple but creative addition shows candidates that we [recruiters] aren’t sending out robot responses.

But wait… What about the introduction part?

I think us recruiters’ expect candidates to be receptive to our emails because we have a job opportunity – but we also know that the candidate(s) we are reaching out to can be passive – so it’s probably a good idea to introduce who you are and why you’re reaching out [remember we [recruiters] are pretty much strangers].

Here is an example:

Hi Sam,

Quick intro, Hi I’m Angela, Recruiting Manager with Recruiting Social – I’m supporting XYC with their technical hiring in Vancouver, BC.

Max Smith, Manager of DevOps at XYC and I wanted to reach out to you on a role we are working on together: Junior DevOps – you’d have the opportunity to be responsible for improving the overall infrastructure of XYC servers.

I’d also recommend including details like:

“This position also works closely with engineering, project management, operational, and engineering peers to develop innovative technical tools and solutions.”

Again, simple but to the point.

Tip: Sometimes we [recruiters] tend to avoid overly informative emails in our initial outreach; however, from my experience -the more informative and transparent I am – the higher response rate.

Tip: Including your hiring manager in the message will also allow the potential candidate to learn that you both are working as a team and have a vested interest in the candidate as well.

Last but not least…

While it might be seemingly obvious to include a date/time of when you [the recruiter] are available to chat – I’ve seen a few emails that don’t include this.

Providing dates/times serves an important purpose – you are providing a call to action.

Check out free email schedulers that allow candidates to pick and choose dates/times that work  best for them – or even including specific times/day in your outreach is better than not providing anything at all.

Image: Pablo

About Angela Bortolussi

Angela Bortolussi is Recruiting Manager [Specializing in Technology I Product] for the Vancouver and Los Angeles Recruiting Social’s office.

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