This is the final piece in our four-part series on how recruiters can increase candidate response rates. Last week, we went over why recruiters should customize their approach for each candidate they contact. In the conclusion to our series, we’ll discuss CTAs and the dos and the don’ts of the follow-up email.
Include the right call to action
You are much more likely to improve candidate response rates if you include a clear call to action (CTA) at the end of your email. There should be one clear action you want the candidate to perform, so make sure you don’t use passive language or hide it in a long, rambling paragraph. Keep it separate, short, and eye catching. But don’t jump the gun by asking if they’re interested in the position right away. There’s an inherent anxiety about switching positions, so you could scare the candidate away.
Instead, your CTA should be more exploratory. They haven’t considered your company before now, so they’ll be hesitant and have questions. Take the process step by step. In the early stages, your main call to action should be to reply to your email if they’re interested in learning more about the opportunity or if it seems like a good fit. This gives the candidate the chance to consider your proposal and do some preemptive research.
How to Follow-Up
It’s perfectly reasonable to send a follow-up email if you don’t get a reply. However, it’s not okay to try to guilt prospects into responding or bombard them with emails multiple times per week.
Also take great care in how you write your follow-up emails. Even if it’s not your intention, certain phrases can leave a bad taste in candidates’ mouths and encourage them not to reply. Here are a few examples:
- I have tried to reach you a few times over the past week
- I haven’t heard from you in over a week
- I’m waiting to hear back from you
In these cases, it sounds like you’re blaming the candidate or accusing them of holding up the conversation – one they might have not wanted to have in the first place.
Not everyone is going to reply. It’s something all recruiters experience, yet many are not adept at handling the rejection. Just make sure you note the differences between those who reply and those who don’t. You can use these observations to help improve future candidate response rates.
Sourcing passive candidates takes time. And while it might be tempting to send email blasts to speed things up, without the requisite legwork, recruiters won’t see progress. In order to get responses, you need to know your candidate personas, and send targeted emails with enticing subject lines, as well as CTAs. Candidates will notice the personal touch, and will be more willing to speak about the opportunity at hand.
Thanks for following our series on improving candidate response rates. Download the entire guide now.
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